Smiling at the childhood quip of March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb, or vice versa; I wonder which applies to March 2022. For in my area of the country, March offered more extremes than any previous year in memory. Of the many lessons gleaned from March, finding resilience in the shifting sands of unpredictability kept me on my One Word journey!
Just three months into a new One Word journey, my friendship with my bold new word, resilience seems a bit more comfortable. Becoming more recognizable, I now look forward to our little encounters more regularly.
Though still relatively early in our journey, resilience lessons though few, speak deeply into my life. I created a special page on my blog where all my Resilience posts live, please take the time to read past posts for more insight into my madness.
the unpleasantness of unpredictability
March boasted extremes in weather, schedules, work-related issues and emotions. Even something as silly as 80 degree weather one day followed two days later by a snowstorm left me cranky and on edge.
Unpredictability challenges our misplaced notion of control, creating a stress driven reactionary offensive to regain the perceived loss of control.
Which presents the biggest reason for the unpleasant view of unpredictiability in even the smallest areas of life. If, as in the case with the extremes contained in the month of March, unpredictability permeates more than one area; overwhelm takes over.
When overwhelm steers the ship, feelings of discouragement, negativity and helplessness creep in. While certainly unpleasant, these feelings positively compelled me to finding resilience in the shifting sands of unpredictability.
excavating the shifting sands
Grateful for belonging to the One Word Community, where I connect with fellow One Worders; I also glean ideas for connecting with my special word Friend. I remember one idea early on suggested compiling synonyms and antonyms for your word.
A complete logophile, I found this exercise absolutely delightful. In fact, far from a “once and done” activity, I continue evaluating the nuances of my bold One Word friend often.
Tipped off by the antonymic presence of fragility of mind and spirit, I turned to evaluating where I veered off course. Excavating the shifting sands of unpredictability revealed a few thought provoking lessons.
expect the unexpected
A part of life, unpredictability presents an opportunity for resilience. If we tend towards meeting the unexpected events of life with rigidity, we break rather than bend. Confronted with my rigid mindset of expecting fulfillment of my plans, I realized much of my discontented negativity was self-inflicted.
Resilience expects the unexpected; embracing change as a catalyst for growth.
Initially annoyed by a protocol change at work, upon reflection I pondered what resilience looked like in this situation. Rather than immediately opposing the change, but viewing it with curiosity, I actually determined it saved me time. Not to mention my Nurse Practitioners have not ceased thanking me forthe implementation, as it made their life easier in the bargain.
empowerment of perspective
Encountering resilience in the sinking sands of unpredictability requires a perspective shift. If my attitude towards change or the unpredictability of people and events tends towards oversensitivity or intolerance, my perspective hinders connection.
A resilience colored perspective empowers empathy and understanding towards others and situations over which I have no control.
When the unpredictability of others’ behavior adversely effects my world, resilience offers me the opportunity of choice. When the poor planning and inconsideration of another imposed significant inconvenience to me, resilience enabled me to respond with empathy.
Choosing a perspective of understanding and compassion furnished me with an occasion of service to them. Which resulted in the strengthening of a relationship instead of the distancing of one.
embracing divine intervention
Embracing divine intervention contributed the most profound lesson resilience taught me in the sinking sands of unpredictability. How often I chafed at the inconsistency of schedule changes and unplanned events or the changeableness of people around me. When at the bottom of it all, God’s hand ordered my days.
When confronted with the unpleasant reality of the unexpected, resilience yields to God’s sovereignty.
Quick in acknowledging God’s hand when things go as expected, or when the unexpected turns out more pleasant than than the planned; we rarely utter praise for closed doors. But God orders every step of our day, every unpleasant encounter and every disappointment. All for His good purposes.
When unwelcome events or setbacks occur, resilience chooses faith over fear, and praise over a pity party. After several successful writing submissions for outside publications, receiving three rejections in a row pushed me towards discouragement.
Yet leaning into resilience helped me re-focus on the bigger picture of God’s refining work in my life. Which means at times He closes doors so better doors may open. Resilience acknowledges the pain and disappointment without despair; trusting the goodness of His hand.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?Romans 8:32
resilience in the shifting sands of unpredictability
My March journey with my resolute friend, Reslience, though rocky at first, spoke joy into the unpredictability of my days. Inviting me into growth beyond rigid responses, and spiritual maturity in loving others more than myself.
Above all, remembering in the midst of the shifting sands of unpredictability, God is the solid rock upon which I find rest, refuge and strength. (Psalm 18:2) When life’s capricious ways threaten my peace, resilience stands on the firm foundation of an unchangeable God.