You Don’t Have To Be a Victim To Unexpected Change

Gold Brush Stroke

Despite meticulous planning, some (or is it many?) days just don’t go as expected. 

It’s not unusual, but it is disheartening to have a day so thrown off kilter. A morning like this one, which was flipped upside down with one Snapchat message. 

It wasn’t anything earth shattering or tragic, just another mess to add to an already messy life. And I had a choice.

not troubled or fearful

The Choice

  • I could listen to that in-the-moment inside voice chatter that railed on the unfairness of the situation. That loud voice that insisted the person who sent the message (and added chaos to what could have been a nice morning) be set straight. That ugly voice that wanted someone to pay and me to remain embedded in unhappiness, at least for a few hours.


  • I could shut my ears to the loud voice and instead listen to the quieter, calmer message of perspective I’d been cultivating for years through a daily routine of gift counting (see my entire list here),  Bible study and prayer. The voice that says
    1. Look at the big picture.
    2. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes (if the disruption was caused by another person).
    3. What good could come out of this?
    4. What benefit is there for remaining upset? 

In the end I managed to hold onto a healthy perspective. It took me a while to process the morning’s interruption, but within an hour, I was again looking forward to the gift of the day. 

Unexpected Changes Require Intentional Perspective

In the world we live in, a day’s outlook often changes in an instant. In fact, it seems like everything happens in an instant anymore. 

In such a climate, we can let ourselves be constantly buffeted by the winds of change or we can learn to see circumstances as opportunities—opportunities for growth and opportunities to serve both God and our fellow man. 

I believe you’ll find much more peace and joy in the latter.

We can let ourselves be constantly buffeted by the winds of change or learn to see circumstances as opportunities. Find peace and joy in the latter. Share on X

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

For the rest of September, I’ll be discussing healthier perspective-driven responses to sudden, unexpected changes. If you have thoughts on this topic, please share them in the comments below. And if you know someone who would benefit from or add to this discussion, please share this post with them. 

I can’t wait to dig deeper into this topic with you!

It’s not much of a surprise that refining perspective involves cultivating the fruits of the Spirit. If you want to be primed for this Healthier Perspective series, consider listening to my popular posts on the nine fruits. All ten audio posts (includes an introductory post) are free, simply click the image below. cdcover1 (2)


Reflections: What is one way you reclaim a healthier perspective when unexpected and unwanted changes hit?

More than 4 years of counting and I’ve surpassed 4,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,285–4,305. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Connecting as a family across the miles via a family Fantasy football league (hey, you do what you have to!); Homemade raspberry pie; Catnip tea on a not-feeling-so-well day
  • Long day but still gift filled: Great dental report for Rach; Helpful meeting with Rachel’s awesome speech therapist; Short walk in the deep dark of a no-moon night
  • Day filled with inspiration; Meeting to prepare for another year of Sunday School teaching and learning ‪#‎blessing‬; Acorn flour made = acorn pancakes tomorrow
  • Showing preteens the interesting and yummy blessings found in nature; Downpour quit just in time to get a fire going; Acorn pancakes-yum!
  • Much needed morning nap to help battle this cold; Couple important assignments completed; Exciting win for Joey’s 9th-grade football team
  • Varied gifts, but nonetheless blessings: Sweet way Rachel says “mama”–I can never hear it enough; Important relationship lessons Joey learned today; New, extended season of editing work began
  • Kicking off a new year of Sunday School and Adult Bible Study; Fellowship at our church potluck; Perfect fall day


By His Grace,



  1. Aritha / Jedidja on September 15, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Good topic to write about!
    We all struggle with this. I’m glad I read your post in the early morning. Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to cope with changes. In the daily life of our family, we tried to have almost non sudden changes (associated with autism two of our sons). But … despite that, there are so many twists and turns in our lives. For me my Friday changed totally by one email from my daughter. But you’re right. We always have a choice how to respond. That’s helping me today 🙂
    God bless you!

    • Julie Sunne on September 15, 2015 at 10:55 am

      I know it must be exceptionally difficult to cope with sudden changes in the face of autism, Aritha. We can do our part to try to lesson the number of unexpected happenings and do our part to model how those changes are dealt with. Bravo for you today!

    • Julie Sunne on September 16, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      Dealing with change in the face of autism is doubly difficult, Aritha. Prayers for continued perspective and strength for you.

  2. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on September 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Change is one of the certainties of life, along with death and taxes. I do not like change unless I understand the reasoning behind it. We deal with changes each day of our life. Problem A comes into our lives. We have choices–either get upset and throw a hissy-fit or take the time to assess the options available to us. Pray about these options and turn the situation over to God and let Him work out the problem. Blessings.

    • Julie Sunne on September 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Exactly! Unfortunately not always easy in the moment.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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