One more disruption: When the unexpected happens, how do you respond?

When all the things you’ve planned end up being interrupted, delayed, reworked or canceled, your reaction can determine what happens next.

My life has been disrupted multiple times over the past year. I made marvelous, ambitious plans. I had positive expectations. I wanted to be the conductor of my life. But sometimes, the band doesn’t play the tune you want.

The plan was for my husband Dennis and I to move into our new home in Boerne by October. So, to hit the ground running before my move to the Texas Hill Country, I applied to join the Master Leadership Program of Greater San Antonio. I was interviewed and accepted to Class #15. I paid the required fees and committed to attend meetings one to three times a month. I attended one meeting. Then I hit the ground, painfully.

Yes, I fell and fractured my femur in my Houston home in October. Our new house wasn’t ready. So the timing that should have been perfect, wasn’t. Determined not to let these challenges interfere with my entry into the San Antonio business community, I ended up commuting between Houston and San Antonio for the duration of the leadership program.

What helped me through that time was faith and gratitude. I also learned to accept the help of others in a way I’d never experienced. My 50 classmates started out as complete strangers, but quickly became encouragers, wheelchair drivers, and openers of doors. One member, a doctor, even gave me a sturdy walker to use when she saw me struggling with my less substantial one. This empathy astounded me. I was able to join bus trips and walking tours around the area along with the class, and graduated with them in April.

I was reminded of the book Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal, first published in 1999. I know it wasn’t a coincidence that God brought me to San Antonio and surrounded me with caring people when I needed them most. I was more fragile than I thought during this time, because of all the changes happening at once. I felt the emotional pain of impending separation from my circle of Houston friends. The stress of construction delays was wearying, and the commute during my healing was long and painful. Yet the help and support I received from my new friends helped affirm our decision move out of Houston to the far- more-serene pace of the Hill Country.

When life doesn’t go the way we think it should, we can either view it as miserable luck or see it as something positive to be grateful for – even when we don’t see where it might lead. The necessary shift in my speed – from nonstop pace to a hobble – gave me time to reflect on all the good things that can come from disruption.

Our house is finished now, and I’ve never felt so connected to the magnificence of nature. Just outside my window are gorgeous vistas, cardinals, hummingbirds, acres of wildflowers and fresh breezes. I’m going to just pause here awhile as I look ahead to new opportunities that will help me give back to the community that has already made me feel warmly welcomed.

Life Lesson: Change can be a way to shift our focus to the right things. God puts people in our path to help guide us, encourage us and embrace us when our hearts are heavy and our steps are unsure.