If you would have asked me at the end of high school, what my life would be like now, some 14 years later, I would have explained my vision of living in a third world, Spanish speaking country, a teacher by trade, and a missionary by passion. I would have a wonderful missionary partner husband and a slew of children, some possibly adopted from the third world country we called home.
Toward the end of my college career, things looked much different. By that point in life, if you would have asked me what I pictured my life would look like in ten years, you would have heard a story of a researcher and professor at a major university studying and teaching concepts in Health Psychology. I would possibly have a clinical practice on the side, counseling those who struggled with the mental aspects of their physical health (eating disorders, debilitating or fatal diagnoses, and the like). This dream also included an amazing husband, but probably just a few kids.
Today, other than the magnificent husband and a couple of kids, my life looks nothing like the dreams and plans that I had for myself more than a decade ago. And I’ve lived long enough to realize that any plans and dreams I now create for my future, are likely to turn out much differently than I anticipate. The unexpected always seems to hijack my plans.
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I’ve recently had the opportunity to read Michele Cushatt’s new book Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life. The unexpected has most certainly hijacked her life, over and over again. In this memoir, Michele opens up about her life story, discussing tragedy, heartbreak, sickness, hope, love, and life-altering decisions. Woven throughout the pages of this book is a picture of a strong faith that was tested and tried, refined by the fires of intensely difficult circumstances. This isn’t just a memoir to be read for entertainment, this is a story with life-changing messages. I’ve already read the book twice and I know it will be one that I thumb through regularly to ponder and learn again from all of the underlined and starred passages.
Michele is an amazing communicator. The way that she tells her story immediately draws you in. I could not put this book down. She writes in a way that allows you to feel her pain and experience the intensity of her circumstances, picturing your own dark and difficult moments, learning right along with her the lessons of faith, thanksgiving, peace, love, and trust.
All of our lives are undone, unexpected. We can work to plan and control every moment, but the tighter we hold to our own design, the harder it becomes to enjoy His design. We only have this one life. We can fuss and fret over the circumstances of our past, we can worry and agonize about the days ahead, or we can live fully in this moment, trusting the Creator and Designer of all things, knowing that his plans will always be beautiful.
I encourage you to get a copy of this book today. I promise it will move you, teach you, and inspire you to live bravely even in the unexpected, dark, and challenging moments that you face.