The Unexpected


I got some unexpected news on Friday.  Some news that immediately struck fear and worry in my heart.

Has the unexpected ever done that to you?

It stops us in our tracks.  Makes us look at our lives differently.  Makes us check our priorities.

Though the unexpected can sometimes shake and rattle us, it is in those unexpected moments or situations that God can truly make himself known.


Three and a half years ago, the unexpected entered our lives through my mom’s diagnosis of stage 4 gastric cancer.  Everything that had been normal in our lives was blown to bits.  It brought out deep emotions within us.  Deep heartache, deep pain. Deep closeness, deep peace.

Yes, peace.

A peace that passed all understanding.

“My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

It really was a beautiful place to be.

I remember during those last 7 weeks of my mom’s life, how she told me that she had been given “new eyes.”  She loved her “new eyes” and was so grateful for them.  As people would come and visit her during her illness, it was her “new eyes” that could see the best qualities in them.  It was her “new eyes” that could see what mattered most in life.  She would say to me, “Traci, I just see things differently.”

I knew what she meant.  I knew that she was seeing through God’s eyes.  Eyes that focus on what is most important in life.  Eyes that see the good in others.  Eyes that are full of love.

I remember Mom smiling as she talked about her “new eyes.”  I was almost jealous.

Isn’t it funny how it takes the unexpected to really see what we need to be seeing every day of our lives?

Like how amazing the sun is at it rises and sets.

Like how precious is the face of a sleeping child.

Like how wonderful it is to hold the hand of someone you love.

Like how every breath is truly a gift.

Like what an honor it is to be a part of others’ lives.

It is all so truly wonderful, and priceless, and beyond what we deserve.


When the unexpected enters our lives, it is my prayer that God replaces our fears and worries with “new eyes.”  I don’t want to waste a moment on worrying about what is out of my control.  I want to see what God wants me to see.

I want to trust.  I want to listen.  I want to grow.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you, not to harm you.   Plans to give you a hope and a future.  Then you will come to me and pray to me and I will listen to you.   You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13


It is my heart’s desire to expect to see

God do amazing things in the unexpected.




  1. .Unexpected news can turn your world upside down. But, just remember that it is not unexpected to our Lord. He knows what we can handle even tho we don’t think we can possibly survive the situation. He tells us He will never give us more than we can handle.
    Just know that I’ll be praying for you in this situation.

    When our three year old grandson, Landen, was diagnosed with stage four inoperable cancer, I told the Lord that I couldn’t handle it. But, you know, with all of my faith and all of the prayers said on our behalf, I did survive and with a peace that a lot of people and even other family members could not understand. I still miss him so much, but have noticed that now, I think about all of the good times rather than the bad parts. I realize what a blessing he was and how precious that time with him was.

    Landen passed away on our 40th wedding anniversary at the exact time we were married. So, our anniversary is a bittersweet day.

    Love ya,

  2. I read your post early this morning and then did my Bible reading. THis verse jumped out at me and reminded me of what you wrote. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.” You and your family are in my prayers.

  3. thank you for your post. Amazing how god will lead you to exactly what you need. I’m leaving to bring home my 22 year old son from the hospital today and we have a very long journey of healing. This is exactly the reminder I needed this morning. Thank you and god bless

  4. I lost my mom just 5 months ago to cancer, and thought of your family’s journey with your mom as we walked that road. We had so many unexpected things happen during that time, that I’ve really changed my whole outlook on life….my mom, too, helped us understand life is only lived in the present moment, and that love is all that matters. We are not a Christian family, but deeply spiritual, and I’ve learned that trusting the good and right, looking for that good and right in every moment, believing there is always a ‘good’ in every circumstance is the healthiest way to look at life.

  5. I love your attitude, Traci! You have such a great way of finding some positive in any situation, even situations that would bring most people down.

    I will pray for your situation, my friend.

    “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  6. The unexpected! Oh my, how the heart jumps, and a lump as large as an apple can form in one’s throat before you can utter any words of dismay. Your beloved Mother got it right. I lost my husband, never sick in his life, suddenly, to a brain tumor, and his grace and courage inspires me daily. Yes, those are the times that awake one to what is important, but only if one is willing to open the heart and listen. You Mother was wise indeed. Sending prayers that whatever is on your horizon resolves quickly in a positive way. Hugs my dear.

  7. Thank you Traci for that beautiful post and reminder that we must keep our eyes on the One who created us for His purposes. Our minds and imaginations can be a very distructive thing when used for worry. And maybe creative people are more vulnerable to this as there minds can take them so many places. So sorry about your mother. I lost my Mom this last summer and she acted exactly the same the last week of her life, loving and asking for forgiveness from others. I think she knew even though it was unexpected and no one seemed to know what was wrong with her. We all need to be reminded to see with God’s eyes, I thank you for the reminder on a day when I surely needed just that message. Have a blessed Sunday. Linda

  8. Traci, I just love how you share your faith and are such an encouragement to others. I know you make your Mom, Dad, Husband and your boys so proud of you! I always have to prepare myself when you start to talk about your Mom. My Mama is still here, thankfully, and I try to appreciate her every day.

    Like Kathy said, I, too hope you are okay!


  9. I pray your news will turn around. I too got news like that on a Christmas vacation time. I ha to wait till the new year to do more testing. You are right about your eyes seeing clear. Everything was so special. The news has turned out ok. I just keep an eye on it. Blessings to you all.

  10. Traci – you are in my prayers! You have been such a blessing to me with all of your positive energy and godliness! You are truly an inspiration. I’m praying for all of you. Please remember that you truly touch a lot of people who really need it – just one of the gifts God gave you.

  11. Traci,
    Thank you for sharing that message that we should all remember when the unexpected happens. That nothing is unexpected to God, and it is his plan not ours. It is nice to be reminded to look at things with eyes that see only the good in people.

    I hope all is well with you and your family. Prayers sent your way!

  12. Thank you for this post. The “new eyes” are a wonderful gift that your Mom gave you. Thanks for sharing it with us. My prayers go to you and your loved ones.

  13. Lifting you up in prayers my sweet friend. I pray that God will give you peace during the unknown, I pray that all is well, and that God will show up in a mighty way. In our weakness He is our strength. He was not surprised by this, and I just pray that He will deliver you from your fears. “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears” Ps. 34:4. God is active and He’s got you girl:) Love and blessings:)

  14. I’m praying that everything turns out for the best for you. I know what you mean about “new eyes”. The months I spent with my Mom before she died were the happiest in my life, probably because there was only THAT moment to experience. It’s been along while since then, but I’ll miss her always. It’s easy to forget those feelings in the day-to-day living, but I try to recapture as often as I can. Thank you for this post.

  15. I am reminded of something Joyce Meyers said years ago that has always stuck with me…I’ll paraphrase it. “We can’t get from one place to another without going through something. As much as we’d like for Him to, God doesn’t magically remove the obstacle even though we might pray for Him to because it has a definite purpose in our life. It is the process of going through it that refines us, changes us and is necessary for our spiritual. physical and emotional growth. And after we get through it, we look back and have the understanding why we had to go down that path and thank God he took us from point A to B.”
    (Of course, Joyce’s version is much more eloquent…!) You can be sure that we are there with you as you travel the path…

  16. What beautiful words, Traci…your knowledge of prayer and strength in the Lord, even in the toughest of times never fails to help and inspire others. Thank you for touching my soul with this post. I have you and your family in my prayers.

  17. Traci~

    One of my favorite verses to remember during times of adversity is Deuteronomy 31:8. The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

    I shared this with your sister as well. You and your family are in my prayers. Remember when you think your problem is big, our God is even bigger!! :) God bless you sweet sister. God is so faithful and His ways are perfect. Rest in His promises and know He is in COMPLETE control. At His Feet, Lisa

    1. Just as I was coming to your message, Lisa, I was think that God goes before us and so we need not fear because He knows exactly what is coming. Dear Traci… are in the prayers of many…we have all faced situations that we thought we could not go through and so we held on tight and when we could go no further, we held on tighter. Praise God for your family and for your family here who loves you and will be praying. Praying sweet rest for you, my dear sister in the Lord.

  18. Traci – I was finally able to see your post. I guess your server must be overload. What ever it is you are dealing with, I know you know that God is faithful So MANY great scripture here already posted. You know my favorite: Proverbs 3 :5-6.

    I will be praying for you today and in the days to come.


    Marilyn C.

  19. I pray for you and your family. What ever the problem is I am sure God and your loving Mother has it in control. This post took me by surprise and I pray every thing is okay. You have so many praying for you. God bless you all.

    Sending you love and prayers.

  20. praying blessings of peace and comfort while you await the anwers you seek. laura story’s song blessings came to mind when i read your post. hugs friend.

  21. I don’t know you personally, but I started following your blog when I came across a post where you talked about your son and his hearing loss. My oldest son is 13 and has profound hearing loss . I love your blog ! I lost my father last March, just ten weeks after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Your post about your mother reminded me so much of him. And our family felt the same peace which passes all understanding. Just remember “when the mountain is big, BIGGER IS OUR GOD.” Prayers for you and your family.

  22. Traci, I hope that your news turns around and gets better as time goes on. One of my favourite scriptures that I find much comfort in is Philippians 4:6&7 “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” We all have problems of varying degrees at different times and no matter how big or scary the problem, if we pour our hearts out to God we will find peace. I pray that you find that peace that excels all thought.

  23. Traci,
    You have been such an inspiration to me and to so, so many others. I pray you will be lifted up through this unexpected news, and that you will feel all the love being sent your way. Keep your chin up, dear friend. God is in control of this!

  24. So true. when the unexpected happens in our life, I have to remind my self that God is never surprised. He is never thrown or caught off guard. This is very reassuring. I pray whatever news you received will be resolved soon.

  25. Traci- prayers for you and your family…..i really enjoy your blog and reading all your posts. I have known you for years- we went to church together and my grandson played ball with your son…but we never really had any conversations….but know i am keeping your family in my prayers. I love the “new eyes” post….really brought tears to my eyes- and i hope i can start looking at life with NEW EYES too…..and that it doesn’t take something as drastic and tramatic and heart breaking as what you and your Mom had to go thru…..thank you for sharing and have a great day.

  26. Almost three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was overwhelmingly blessed throughout the entire “process”. This is my FAVORITE verse, Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It always gives me strength, hope it help you too. Praying for you and your family.

  27. Sending hugs and prayers your way. What a blessing we have of knowing there is a God who loves and cares for us enough and gives us insight of what is really important.

  28. Helllo Traci, what a timely post. I have just heard bad news from the other side of the world where my elderly parents are and for a couple of weeks my world was upside down but I am trying to know that it is still a beautiful life and trying to be grateful for evryone and everything I have with me here. I so understand what you are saying. God blessx

  29. Traci, lifting you and your family in prayer. I know that whatever the “unexpected news” was, that it’s not unexpected to God, which brings great comfort in knowing He will be walking right beside you.
    Hugs from Texas

  30. There are a flood of prayers rising to heaven from all your friends, Tracey! I hope that whatever the unexpected is, it’s resolved quickly.

  31. Oh honey… the unexpected can knock us off our feet at times. I am praying for strength… courage and faith. Praying for your entire family.
    My unexpected was last summer. came in 2 fold.. both my husband and myself . I was diagnosed, finally, with a very fatal form of anemia. But I prayed HARD. I prayed for ‘new eyes’
    Sending you warm thoughts and hugs at this time. And my prayers.
    ((HUGS)) Gee

  32. Traci,
    Your post brought tears, not only for you and your family, but the beauty with which you wrote. I can identify with the post about your mom. When my dad was ill and passed away, he and my brothers and I became so close and had so many wonderful times and talks.
    Prayers to you and your family – you have the strength to get through this, and a lot of people to pray you through it.

    Prayers and thoughts to you!
    Maggie Fieger

  33. I think unexpected news always makes us stop short at least for a moment whether it’s “good” or “bad” because it signifies some change and change can be scary. But, yes, with our trust and faith in God we can find peace in any situation. Great post and a wonderful thing to give thought to, thank you for posting it!

  34. Sending prayers your way too! Just recently found your site and enjoy it very much. I love your post — we have had some “unexpecteds” come our way too and it is amazing to realize how much strength we are capable of having during these times. Take care!

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