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When Life Brings the Unexpected

When Life Brings the Unexpected

when life brings the unexpected || teri lynne underwood

A few weeks ago something major happened in my life. Something totally unexpected. Something totally life-changing.

On April 27, 2014, I had a heart attack. I’m 42 and had absolutely no risk factors or warning signs. I’m not overweight and I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t have high cholesterol or blood pressure. I have essentially no family history of heart disease and live an active and healthy lifestyle.

I now have a stent in an major vessel in my heart and take about ten pills a day. I’m doing very well and so very thankful for the way God protected and provided for me during this experience.

But here’s the thing, life is full of the unexpected.

There will always be situations and experiences that don’t make sense. Healthy people get sick out of the blue. Long-term jobs are eliminated. Well-behaved children make crazy choices. Tornadoes destroy cities and families.

Life isn’t fair. And some days, it feels particularly unfair.

I’ve been reading Tricia Goyer’s book, Plain Faith, and I love the story of Ora Jay and Irene and their journey toward hope. The book arrived the same day I got out of the hospital and I’ve been slowly reading their story as I make my own journey toward healing. Toward the beginning of the book, Ora Jay says this,

God granted us the ability to feel the ache and hollowness in our souls for a while. But on our journey to find respite, we never expected what was to come. We found Jesus waiting . . . as we were never taught He could be.

A promise for our present.

A simple hope for our eternity. {p.43}

In those words, God reminded me of a few important truths about life and the winding road it brings for most of us.

  1. We don’t have to deny the sorrow of this world. God knows our hurts, our disappointments, and our pains. He doesn’t ask us to run from them. Instead He yearns for us to come to Him with our weariness and burdens.
  2. Whether we understand it or not, Jesus is there. Sometimes we miss out on the sweetness of that truth. We think we can handle it on our own or that our struggles are not significant enough for the Lord to notice. One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43:1-4. Our God knows us! He knows our name and He walks with us through the fires and storms of life. He says we are His.

I don’t know what life has brought your way. But I do know this:

You were not made to walk the road alone.

Everything we think we know and understand about life can change in an instant. But Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. My prayer is to be like Ora Jay and Irene and continue to seek Him more and more.

In faith,
Teri Lynne

How have you experienced the presence of God during a difficult time in your life?

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Teri Lynne (20 Posts)

Teri Lynne is a word loving, idea slinging, encourager of rest, focus, and embracing life's seasons. Her priorities include good coffee, excellent books, and lingering conversations. She is the author of Parenting from the Overflow and Prayers from the Pews: The Power of Praying for Your Church and the co-author of Self-Publish: Moving from Idea to Product. Teri Lynne and her worship leading husband live with their growing-up-way-too-fast teenage daughter and their ever pitiful basset hound in North Alabama where she finds time to write in between the car line and rotating laundry.


  1. Teri Lynne, I’m so thankful you’re okay! I know God is going to use your story in amazing ways. I’m glad the book spoke to you. xoxo Tricia

  2. Teri Lynne- what a beautiful reminder about the fragility of life! I’m so happy to hear you are recovering and that you are able to give thanks through the pain and difficulty – thank you for sharing your story, your testimony, with us!


  1. […] me at Not Quite Amish where I’m sharing some important reminders I’ve gained from reading Ora Jay and […]

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