Finishing The Race

Pursuing God One Shin Splint at a Time

Unexpected News

Alex Clark dropped into my life several years ago when she came with a friend to a bible study I was leading. I remember her compassion for my grief before she experienced her own. She has such a beautiful outlook on life even in the midst of tragedy and constantly reminds everyone she knows of God’s goodness. I am honored to introduce you to my precious friend.

You expect them to include you, but they don’t.
You expect your boss to get mad, but he doesn’t.
You expect your alarm to go off, but it didn’t.
You expect the overcooked cookies are ruined, but they aren’t.

Expectations are a funny thing. Good or bad, sometimes things don’t turn out the way you imagine. When expectations go up in the air it can mess up your morning, but it can also shake your world. These out-of-no-where U-turns can knock you off your feet and rattle you to the bone.

For me, I expected a few things from my life. Leading an active life, I never expected to have cancer. Progressing to 37 weeks of a healthy pregnancy, I never expected to not hear a heart beat.

But, you guys, I really think expectations are about control. And God has been teaching me A LOT about control. He has been nudging, hinting, tugging, and sometimes yelling to get the message through. But I’m pretty stubborn and I stand firm in what my expectations tell me.

My human-ness tells me that if I can plan, analyze, scrutinize, reorganize, and manage perfectly then everything will be just fine. No sickness. No death. No hurt. No pain. I don’t actually say this, but my actions speak it loudly. And it is what rang in my head when I heard the news of cancer, when I learned my baby no longer had a heart beat.

This isn’t fair! I’m healthy! I did everything right! I’m a good person!

I wonder if you’ve felt it too- the soul crushing devastation of unexpected news. The screams of this wasn’t the way it was meant to be. The questions of why.


Alex and Olivia Mary Clark

“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 a hope and future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Did you catch that. For I know. He knows. HE knows. He KNOWS. You guys, that settles deep in my soul! I can’t quit saying it.

He is not taken off guard. He is not surprised. He knew this was going to happen. In this ever changing, crazy world there is someone that knew and he asks for you to trust him. To trust that yes, this hurts. And yes, this sadness and pain is real. But he has big plans for you. He has a tomorrow full of hope and mercies. He will meet you were you are, every minute, hour, and day, because he loves us more than we can ever fathom.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Do you, like me, have an overwhelming hard time grasping the amount of love God has for us? How has God shown his love for you today?

Follow Alex’s continuing journey of beauty from ashes at her blog


  1. I love her faith and heart. She’s an amazing woman of God.

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