I’ve never been a fan of surprises. Regardless of if they are positive or negative, I like to know about unexpected happenings ahead of time so that I can prepare for them. When my mom tried to throw me a surprise party for my 13th birthday, I secretly found out about it. When my dad decided to buy iPhones as Christmas gifts a few years back, he was sure to tell me about his plan before Christmas morning because he knew that I would have rather known about it instead of being surprised as I opened my gifts with my siblings. Call me a killjoy, but surprises just usually aren’t my thing.
This new season of life has brought many surprises. It began with the amputation, which was one of the most unexpected things that I could have imagined. Of course, it was also one of the greatest things that I could have imagined, but at the time, I was not very happy about such a huge change. After the surgeries, I began to experience a stream of other surprises. Things that I never planned for. Things that still shock me each day.
I’m going through a major learning process right now. Not only am I learning how to maneuver through the unfamiliar territory of the responsibilities of being an amputee and taking care of my stumplet, I’m also being stretched in other ways. One example of this is in the area of surprises. I am learning how to be okay with not knowing everything. I’m finding out that I don’t have to plan my entire life out, because it’s probably not going to end up how I expect it to anyways. I’m discovering how to live with my arms open, ready to embrace whatever comes my way and trusting that it will all work out in the end.
A basic fact of life is that things don’t always go according to plan. We don’t always get to know what’s around the corner. That’s probably a good thing for many reasons. If I knew five years ago that amputation would be part of my life story, I don’t think I would have known how to handle such news. If I was given a heads-up about all the challenges I’d face by age 20, I would have tried to wiggle my way around them by attempting to control everything that happened. Looking back, there’s nothing that I would have changed. Even the darkest nights brought about sunshine in the end.
Every time something catches me off guard, I have to remember that it’s all part of a greater plan. In this new season, I’m embracing the positive surprises, accepting the negative ones, and realizing that sometimes it’s the completely unexpected things in life that bring about the most joy.