When Life Doesn’t Go Your Way

I want you to think back to what you thought your life would be like.  Are you where you thought you would be? Is the life you are living now better than you imagined? Or at some point did it stray completely from where you thought you would be. I strayed to something better but I also learned a lot about what happens when life doesn’t go your way.

When Life Doesn’t Go Your Way

When Life Doesn't Go Your Way

The other day I was thinking about where I imagined my life going when I was in high school. And then I started to laugh and realized that nothing went the way I planned.

I thought that I would graduate from college with an amazing career that would make a difference in the world. My own prince charming would come knocking at my door. Most of all I thought that I would leave the state of Iowa and never look back.
Instead, I met my match with Multiple Sclerosis. Finished culinary school but was unable to pursue a career as a pastry chef (Life’s complicated). I kissed some frogs and none of them turned into prince charming (Thank God none of those boys worked out!). And funny enough I am back living in Iowa.
God must have thought “Jenn, you know that I have a plan. Stop trying to control life and trust me!!” I needed to trust that God’s way is better than my way. His plans are bigger than any plans that I could have thought up. His dream for my life is and will always be more fulfilling, more rewarding, and BETTER than I could have ever imagined!

What I Learned

My life didn’t turn out to be anything like I imagined. In fact, the image I had for my life doesn’t even come close to what it is now, and even though I do have my days where I look back and wonder where I went wrong, I still smile when I look back at the things I learned when the plans I had for myself didn’t  fall into place.

Be Flexible

Yes, you can have plans for where you see your life going.

The age you want to have kids or be married by.

Where you see your career going.

The type of house you want to live in.

And every other life mission you have for yourself.

But be honest with yourself. You cannot control life. There is only a handful of things that we are completely in control of. Other than that we must go after all of our hopes and dreams but remember that life will throw you curve balls.

So don’t feel stressed out because of the changes that come your way. The lessons you’ll learn along the way can help you become more flexible in life.

Hold Onto Your Faith 

When Life Doesn't Go Your Way

Everyone gets to a point in their life where they realize they are not in control.But if there is one thing I’ve learned in my life, it is that failure reminds us we are not God. When life doesn’t go our way, we are reminded that we are not God. We do not hold the power. And no matter how organized our Kate Spade planner may be, we do not know what will happen tomorrow or next week or five years from now.

God has a better plan for you than you could ever imagine and his plans will make you happier than you ever thought you will be, you will be just fine. God sometimes gives us what we need rather than what we want, sometimes it is best not to ask questions and try to go against the flow of what God brings to our life, sometimes it is better to look up and say I know you got this, let go and keep the faith.

Stay Grateful

You are on this earth and you are alive. So when things don’t go your way, try to push past the hurt. No, we don’t always get what we want in life. But think about this…There are people who will never have, what you have, right now!

So, stay thankful for everything. Even the hard times because hard times will make you a stronger person. Heck, your hard times might even make you a better person if you push past the hurt and learn from it.

The Right People Will Still Be There

When Life Doesn't Go Your Way

Sometimes people in your life will try to bring you down, but you don’t have to listen to them. Keep smiling and focusing on being positive, and remember that negative people are normally very unhappy. They want to drag you down to their level, but you can choose to not listen. You are your own person, and you don’t have to deal with problems by being negative – that is their choice, not yours.

Some of those negative people will try to bring you back down, some people will hurt you, some people will walk away, some people will give up on you, and others will stab you right in the face. Only a few good ones will stick around and respect your journey, those people are the ones that are in your life to stay and will help you become your best self.

Always Move Forward

The past happened. You cannot change it, no matter how badly you may want, so learn from it and then leave it. As my favorite monkey Rafiki once said “The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Learn from your past and then keep moving forward.

Next time you are stressed, take a step back, inhale and laugh. Remember who you are and why you are here. You are never given anything in life that you can’t handle. Be strong. Be flexible. Love yourself. Love others.  Always remember, just keep moving forward.

happier life


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  1. wonderful advice! and you are absolutely right, an attitude of gratitude is transformative.
    thank you for sharing your wisdom, faith and trying to make the world a little brighter 🙂

  2. I love this post. My life hasn’t turned out the way I imagined but I still wake up every day and thank the universe for it. I thank God every morning for my daughters being happy and healthy with food to eat and a roof over their heads. Thank you

  3. Thanks, I have read your blog before, and you are inspiring! My favorite line is about failing reminds us we are not god! That really hit home. <3

  4. Amen and amen. We should have aspirations and goals, but they should never out weight God’s ideal for our lives. I also love how you pointed out being grateful. Man, we humans complain a lot. We ought to say thinks to God a lot more than we do. Great post!

  5. I absolutely loved reading this article. Life really doesn’t ever turn out the way you think it will, no matter how hard you try, something will always be different than what you thought. But, I do think everything always happens for a reason, and I think you made great points about keeping your faith and being grateful!

  6. It totally makes sense that you are an MS Warrior! I saw the title of this post and I thought “oh boy can I relate to that”. My illness has changed every plan for my life and my whole outlook but it cannot beat me and it will not make me bitter!! I may have a different chronic illness, but we have walked the same road my friend. I’m sending you all my love.

  7. Yupp. We can’t ever expect things to always go our way in life. Instead of get upset or sad about it, we can embrace change. I too thought just everything planned out after university, but now I’m doing something so different. That’s what makes life so interesting!

  8. Yes, yes, and yes! It’s crazy to look back and think about where I thought I would be by this age. I’ve only accomplished one thing, and that’s graduating college. That doesn’t mean that I turned out to be a failure. It just means, like you said, I have to keep moving forward. It’s easy to get discouraged and to feel like nothing is going to work out, but by keeping our faith, remembering to be grateful, and staying flexible, everything will work out in time. I loved this article!!

  9. There are so many great lessons to be learned when things do not go as we planned. It makes us more appreciative of each blessing, no matter how big or small. I think it’s all part of the process to make us slow down in order to appreciate things. Pinned this inspiring post.

  10. Being flexible is so important. I used to freak out whenever one of the kids didn’t feel well and I had to leave work or if we were late going somewhere. Now, I just roll with the punches

  11. I really enjoyed this post, I am currently still studying and last week I started to think about how everything I have planned for my future depends on my degree I’ll hopefully get one day. The fear of missing out on all of that started to grow but now that I’ve read this post I feel more confident that I’ll land on my feet no matter what.

  12. When I was in college my dream was to be a wedding planner, I did all the necessary steps – took the right classes, interned at multiple event planning jobs and when I graduated college I couldn’t find a paying job to save my life. Everyone was only looking for interns – but I had already been one for 3 years in college. I ultimately went to work for my dads company and now I absolutely love it!

  13. Thank you! Very inspiring and motivational. You are so right. And I’ve also noticed that when you let go of expectations, life will bring you down less. I’m definitely not where I thought I’d be at 31, but I am happy as it is.

  14. Absolutely love. Definitely never thought I would be where I am today and what I’m doing today! Life definitely is a surprise

  15. Alissa

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately! I totally believe that life is what you make of it, put into it and what you want to get out of it. Sure everyday isn’t going to be sunshine and roses but our perspective can make such a difference!

  16. Cute post. I think it’s rare life actually turns out the way you imagined but I also think that’s part of the fun. be adaptable, be open and enjoy it even if it’s not what you expected 🙂

  17. Such a wonderful post.
    Life so rarely ends up the way you think it will. It took me a good decade after highschool ended to realize that.. but realizing each day can be an adventure and that in 5 years your life will be something unimaginable, it’s kind of exciting!

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

  18. This is so encouraging. Life rarely turns out the way we expected it to when we were younger. I love your suggestions: stay flexible and be grateful. Such wisdom. Thank you for writing this.

  19. Your words and perspective are so encouraging! I don’t know a single person who can say life went exactly how they’d planned — there are always twists and turns and plenty of obstacles. Staying faithful and grateful are important keys to riding out whatever life brings!

  20. Loved reading this. Especially the part about staying grateful. In our society it’s very easy to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we have been blessed with.

  21. From life experiences I’ve learned to expected the unexpected and the only thing that you should plan is to be surprised. I’ve had my share with the unexpected and surprises but life has taught me that things do work out, even if you do not know the reason at the moment. We all have a journey and a story to tell. This is yours! Thanks for sharing your story with others.

  22. Great Post! I had so many “plans” for my life! I am so glad it didn’t turn out the way “I had planned it”! God’s plans are always better!

  23. This is a beautiful post <3 I know my life didn't turn out AT ALL how I thought it would in HS and from then on, whenever I thought I had things figured out, life flipped it all upside down. Your perspective strength are beautiful though <3

  24. What a wonderful post. And you have and are a beautiful testimony. We don’t know how our life is going to go no matter how we try to run it, but God is good and will use everything for the good of His plan ❤️

  25. Jenn, I keep stumbling across you and your posts in all the Facebook groups I’m in, and I have to say how gorgeous I think your blog is, and how lovely all your posts are. I always enjoy them, and this one is no exception!


  26. RM

    I loved your post! Life has not always gone according to my plan, but I have found blessings in those unplanned events!

  27. Flexibility is so important. Things rarely go how they are planned, but when you’re flexible, you aren’t as bothered by it. Thanks for the positivity!

  28. Life isn’t even close to where I thought it would be 20 years ago but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have a 15-year-old son who I’m trying to pass the concept of it’s all in how you react to things.

  29. Kim

    If I could go back to my younger and self and tell her that everything would work out well, maybe not way I originally intended, I definitely would

  30. Very insightful post. You are a wonderful writer, got caught up in a few of your posts! Sometimes you never know what will touch you and how. You have an incredible voice, keep it up!

  31. Flexibility is key. I was actually talking to someone about this today! You always have things in your head of how you think they’ll be and they always turn out differently!

  32. I absolutely love this. Nothing has turned out the way that I had planned either, and most things that have thrown me “off” were unforeseen. Gotta make the best of it all and be grateful!

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