Do you feel as though your life has come undone? Have your carefully laid plans unraveled? Michele Cushatt has traveled that road too.
And wrote a book about it, called Undone.
Michele Cushatt and her husband Troy created a blended family when they married with three boys between them. With that blended life, they had the stresses and strains that you would expect in their situation. It wasn’t a picnic from day one, and there were some rough times.
Eventually they began to see some peace and normalcy in their lives. The kids were growing up and moving out. Michele’s speaking career was taking off, and they were planning their empty nest. There was finally order. Breathing room. They looked forward to an organized and peaceful house. An organized and peaceful life.
And then the unthinkable happened. A phone call from the doctor. CANCER. Of the tongue. Surgery. Rehab to talk and eat. Complications. Michele was too young for this. They didn’t have time for this. Cancer didn’t fit into their orderly world, their perfect plan. It wasn’t even close. Their lives were thrown into a tailspin. What was worse, Michele's innocence was shattered. Now she knew she couldn’t control her circumstances. Now she knew that that bad things happen to good people no matter how well they live.
In the middle of the cancer chaos and uncertainty, there came another phone call. Three young children needed a place to live. Their mother could not take care of them. Would Michele and Troy take them in?
These weren’t just young children. They were young traumatized children with special needs. This was a lot to ask. A lot to take in. And Michele was in the middle of cancer treatments without a guarantee that she would live.
Been there. Done that. Have the wrinkles to show for it. This is all too much. Cancer and children all at once. No peace. No quiet. No rest.
Michele and Troy did take them in. They knew God wanted them to do it. So despite their own fear and uncertainty they did what they knew they should do. They were stretched in ways they did not know were possible. And the story continues to this day. Joy and sorrow. Faith and uncertainty. A mixed-up jumble of a life. As Michele says, “Making peace with an unexpected life.”
Life Is Unpredictable
Can you relate to the unexpectedness of life? I can. Although our circumstances couldn’t be much more different, in a sense I felt as though I was reading my own story as I read Michele’s. Just as Michele has to choose to walk in joy and peace every day, so do I. As do you. Your experiences may or may not be as dramatic as Michele’s, but you still have to choose.
Nuggets of Hard-Won Wisdom From Michele’s Book
- Peace isn’t a by-product of control, the payout of a happy conclusion. Peace is the infiltrating, life-giving presence of a very real God.
- Even fairy tales have villains and hardships and unexpected twists in plot.
- Faith isn’t rooted in the past or the future. It’s birthed in how we approach and handle today.
- Life is far more beautiful – and endurable – when you don’t have to do it alone. . . I thought asking for help was an admission of weakness. Instead, I discovered it a declaration of strength.
- Allow yourself to see beyond the chaos to the beautiful story taking shape.
If you or someone you love has been undone, read Michele’s book. You will get caught up in the story. You will be able to imagine yourself in her situation. You will cry and laugh with her. And you will learn some profound lessons. You can get it here. You may learn how to make peace with your own unexpected life.
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