Appreciate the Unexpected- Things I Wish My Younger Self Knew- Lesson 7

appreciate the unexpected

An Unexpected Journey reveals new places, faces, and a deeper appreciation for each step.

When we arrived in Charleston, it was a blistery, humid day- the first hot day on our summer trip to the South. 

As we parked the car, my body was filled with anticipation and excitement for the day ahead. It had been eight years since we had last visited this charming place. Trying to retrace our steps from our last visit, we began to walk. 

Fifteen minutes in, I realized we were far from the destination I had longed for. We had walked in the wrong direction, and by now, we were fully invested. 

Hot, sweaty, and a bit annoyed, I stopped to complain to my husband, whom I felt had led us in the wrong direction. But the reality is that I never told him about my perceived final destination.

So, we regrouped, and I clarified where I wanted to go. We looked at our GPS (I don’t know why we didn’t do that before) and planned our next steps.

As we started again, with the correct destination in sight, we knew we were far from where we began and where we wanted to be. However, we had no choice but to continue to walk. 

I discovered new things, places, and people throughout this unexpected journey. I saw parts of Charleston that I never knew existed: the historic homes, the friendly faces, the quaint neighborhoods, and the majestic waterfront. 

I realized what we had missed the last time we visited. 

Even though we were hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable, we stopped to take in the new surroundings of this breathtaking city. 

We inhaled the discoveries and exhaled the appreciation. 

What did I learn:

Be grateful for the unexpected. When it may seem like you are lost- you are just fingertips away from something extraordinary. 

The twists and turns outweighed the despair of being lost.

The time together outweighed the unbearable heat.

The laughter outweighed the irritation.

When I think about this day, I am amazed at how God works in unexpected ways. He opened our eyes to the wonders of this city and brought us new adventures, new places, and new gratitude for our time together. 

Do you ever get frustrated by how things turn out or that things are not going your way? 

What if you thought about it this way?

There is good in the unpleasant situation. 

You can learn from every situation. 

You can experience appreciation from that moment.

I wish I had known how to change that mindset when I was younger. Instead of getting so bogged down in the negative and unhappy part of the situation, I wish I had taken the time to see what God was trying to place in front of me- whether it was a lesson, a person, or a new insight. But now I know He taught me to appreciate the here and now. 

This is what I  would tell my Younger Self:

Dear Younger Self, 

When you set out on a journey, you may have many expectations of your final destination. Sometimes, you get lost, turn wrong, and find yourself on an unknown path. If you allow yourself to be open to the adventure, you may find some unexpected joy. 

There will be times when you do not know where to turn. But look beyond that. Look for the little things you can appreciate- a new face, place, or lesson. There is always something you can learn in every situation. Please do not allow the frustration or anger toward the situation to interfere with what you could gain from it. 

You are never alone. God is walking beside you. 

Even when you feel lost, He knows what is ahead. 

It may differ from what you planned, but it will be bigger and better than expected. 

Detours lead you away from where you may have wanted to go. You may encounter them on purpose or by chance, but what you find on the other side may be what you never expected. So when you come upon a detour, be open to what may be waiting for you. The path may be filled with beautiful gems, leading to a fabulous hidden treasure. 

To my friend reading this-

When you come upon an unexpected journey, learn to appreciate what God has put in front of you. 



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