by Annie Yorty @annieyorty
This week we welcome guest blogger, Annie Yorty. Annie experienced some unexpected news when her daughter was born, but she shares how God has redeemed all her expectations in her new book. The link for the book is below along with her social media links. Please welcome Annie and check out this new book that can encourage you through any kind of difficulty.
Thirty-three years ago, the arrival of a tiny infant demolished my carefully constructed expectations.
“It looks like your baby has Down syndrome.”
In one split second, that pronouncement from the doctor shook my world, yet the implications have taken years to sink in. In fact, I’m still realizing them today.
In the nine months before Alyssa was born, I studied the baby book named, appropriately, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Guess what? My pregnancy more or less fell in line with what the author said to expect. I also garnered wisdom from more experienced moms. They recounted all the gory details of their birth experiences, including water breaking, hours of labor, episiotomies, epidurals, pushing, C-sections, husbands fainting, Apgar scores, and more.
All the dramas ended the same—a healthy, happy baby. No one I knew had ever received a diagnosis more serious than a couple days of jaundice.
I figured my birthing details may vary, but I expected the same result.
Though prospective parents don’t think much about it, they expect a great deal more than a happy and healthy baby. One day their child will walk and talk. They already envision the first day of school, sports, dance, or perhaps playing a musical instrument. Out in the future, of course, their child will graduate from high school, maybe study at college, and then begin a satisfying career. Naturally, marriage will follow. While the thought of grandchildren doesn’t float to the surface until much later, that seed of expectation also lies buried in the hearts of new parents.
In fact, most of these expectations are never considered, much less voiced, when the only evidence of your baby is a swelling stomach, morning sickness, and the occasional tiny toes prodding the kidneys. Nevertheless, they lie below the surface much like the bulk of an iceberg lies unseen beneath frigid ocean waters.
1. Lessons from the Titanic
I hesitate to compare my child’s birth to the Titanic hitting an iceberg, but I find four valuable parallels. The comparison is actually more about my expectations crashing into reality than about Alyssa herself.
(Please note that Alyssa would be tickled with my comparisons as she was once obsessed with everything Titanic.)
2. The collision came without warning.
While it didn’t turn out so well for the occupants of the ocean liner, I happen to think little to no warning of changed expectations is a good thing. Why should we spend our emotional energy worrying about something that might not happen? Worry will surely steal the joy from the present moment.
We should, however, always acknowledge the Lord’s sovereign control of every aspect of our lives and hold our expectations loosely.
What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15 NLT)
3. The crash dramatically changed the course of lives.
The Titanic catastrophe left no one unscathed. Some died. Some lost loved ones. All lived life colored by the trauma. We’ve all experienced a relatively mild intrusion of reality on our expectations, but sometimes the collision takes on epic proportions. Nothing in life remains the same. We suspect the very foundation on which to rebuild has been obliterated.
We cannot let our feelings about changed expectations control us. Our foundation should be eternal God, and we can always build on the bedrock of His unchanging character. (click to tweet)
I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. (Malachi 3:6 NLT)
(If you have not yet placed your faith in God through Jesus, please click Steps to Peace with God to learn more.)
There were casualties.
More than 1,500 people died on that fateful April day in 1912. Changed expectations also produce casualties. Sometimes a dream completely dies. Other times, a plan must be reconfigured.
Consider Job’s situation. In one fell swoop, he lost all his livestock, sheep, camels, farm hands, shepherds, and servants. Every one of his children also died on the same day. When he woke up that morning, he had been rich in property and blessed with many children. By sundown, all he had was a wife, and she didn’t seem to bring much consolation. We can learn from his response to significant loss.
He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” (Job 1:21 NLT)
4. There were survivors.
Miraculously, rescuers fished a third of the passengers and crew from the Titanic out of the ocean after the run-in with the iceberg. We, too, may unearth dreams that survived the pummeling of reality. Better yet, God always sprouts new and improved opportunities from the wreckage. If we raise our eyes and look around, we will perceive God inviting us to receive more and more of Him in every situation.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)
Redemption from the Rubble
God knows best which of your expectations need to be adjusted and which need to be replaced. In the process, I hope we never get tired of hearing and believing God’s promise to bring good out of difficulties.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)
How has God used a collision of your expectations and reality to increase your trust in Him?
Copyright ©2023 Annie Yorty
Annie Yorty writes and
speaks to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and
purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. In March, 2023, Elk Lake
Publishing released her book, From
Ignorance to Bliss, God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome. Married to her high school sweetheart and
living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with
intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. Annie invites you to
connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram.
The parallel gives most serious life interruptions perspective. Ending with the promises of God gives us hope-He desires and is doing something new. Thank you Annie for sharing.ReplyDelete
God does give us hope and His promises are always true. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
Thank you! We can certainly count on God.Delete
Thank you for this, Barbara and Annie! I agree that as much as we might not like surprises, not knowing what's about to happen can be better than knowing and worrying. My favorite line from what you shared: God always sprouts new and improved opportunities from the wreckage. What an amazing thing for us to cling to in those times!ReplyDelete
Annie's example shows us how we can thrive despite life's disappointments. Thanks for sharing, Leigh. Blessings!Delete
Thank you, Leigh, for your kind comments. God is good!Delete
Ms. Annie provides such powerful truths in her and Miss Alyssa's story. I was moved by the raw, powerful emotions, this book shared and how God's hand was found all throughout their journey.ReplyDelete
Annie's story was moving and emotional. She displayed a strong faith in the midst of some difficult circumstances and overcame. Thanks for sharing, J.D. Blessings!Delete
I am always happy to share God's story!Delete
Annie and Barbara, I appreciate this post. We take so much for granted until something we don't expect changes everything. These painful interruptions can draw us closer to the Lord and lead us to deeper faith and peace. But I've found this isn't instant.ReplyDelete
You made an insightful comment that finding peace in these situations is not instant. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete
Accepting God's way is always a process for me. But if we're willing to take a step of faith, He's always there holding our hands.Delete
Annie's story is powerful. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing this part of it. God bless!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nancy. Blessings!Delete
Thank you, Nancy!Delete
Annie and Barbara, the unexpected in our lives often leads us through pain but also results in equally unexpected goodness. Such a lovely post!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Tamny, for sharing your thoughts God can bring good things out of the unexpected. Blessings!Delete
Tammy, thanks so much for reading and commenting. Our God is always faithful!Delete
Annie, I think your analogy to the Titanic is right on target. Whenever we are suddenly faced with the unknown, our lives are turned completly upside down. All our expectations are suddenly transformed into something that seems totally unreal until we have time to adjust. I learned so much from your book about life and faith. Thank you, Barbara, for hosting. Thank you, Annie, for sharing your faith journey with us, and the blessings God granted you and your family.ReplyDelete
Annie used a great example by showing the Titanic as an example of facing the unexpected. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Katherine. Blessings!Delete
Annie’s story is so encouraging and full of hope. Thanks for sharing about her BarbaraReplyDelete
This story is about hope and God never fails to display His character though all circumstances. Thanks for sharing, Yvonne. Blessings!Delete
Thank you, Annie, for sharing your heart. Blessings!ReplyDelete