My Life Has Not Turned Out the Way I Expected

A year ago, before the shadow of Covid darkened our skies, my daughter wrote a guest post. As we look for the light at the end of the 2020 tunnel, it relates to our lives now even more. The most powerful lessons of thanksgiving often come from the least likely of dark places. 

My life has not turned out the way I expected. – Guest post by Charity George

Too often I wait till I’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel, to be thankful.

“Thank you that those test results turned out good.”

“Thank you that the pain is gone.”

But what if that light at the end of the tunnel is…just more tunnel, or a light shrouded in a veil, or not a light at all. What if the grief never ends? The sense of loss follows you. How do you thank God then?

My life has not turned out the way I expected. At the age of 26 I found myself in the middle of a catastrophic medical mystery. A shadow of unknown origin suddenly appeared in my brain stem, and within a month I found myself completely paralyzed, unable to speak or eat.

It was so beyond any of my wildest thoughts for my future. I felt like a spectator watching a nightmare unfold. Slowly a few of my functions came back, different, and incomplete.

Still wheelchair bound with a shaky voice; the light at the end of that tunnel did not inspire me to thank God, but I knew what He was asking of me.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5: 16-18; ESV.

So I’ve tried it.

And you know what I’ve discovered?

  • My own attitude is life changing.
  • My enjoyment of living.
  • My circumstances didn’t change, but I began to see them in a different light.

God took moments of thankfulness and turned them into brightness in my life.  There was a different light at the end of the tunnel. It was completely different, but still beautiful

36 Replies

  1. Tim Blycker Reply

    I love your eternal perspective to life. Thank you. It is inspiring to the rest of us on earth as we strive to live thankful lives in our circumstances.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Tim. It is far to easy for me to take my eyes off the eternal, my daughter does a good job of helping me see beyond.

  2. Joyce Nelson Reply

    Great article Charity. I think of you & your family often & still pray for you. Trust this finds you all well& safe from the virus. I still think you should write a book about your “adventures”. I’d be first in line to read it! Have a great Thanksgiving.

    • Charity Reply

      Thanks! Sure miss you!

  3. Joshua J Masters Reply

    Thank you for this honest and heartfelt post, Charity. Having a heart of gratitude toward God completely changes our perspective. May the Lord continue to strengthen and encourage you.

    • Charity Reply

      Thank you!

  4. Becky Jacobsen Reply

    Sylvia and Charity,

    I pray for your continued love for God and love for others. You are a blessing to me. Just the fact you are. ♥️

  5. Don Pahl Reply


  6. John Felton Reply

    Thank you again for sharing this. It is another fantastic reminder of how God can redeem our pain and bring healing in ways we don’t expect.

    • Charity Reply

      Thanks, John

  7. Deb Reply

    Love you friend. Your faith encourages me!

    • Charity Reply

      Thanks friend! Miss you

  8. Donna Burke Reply

    Charity, thank you for choosing joy. You have blessed many!

    • Charity Reply

      Thank you!

  9. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Charity, thank you for sharpening our perspective on challenges. Well-written. Blessings to you and your family. Love your mom

  10. Leah Heinemann Reply

    Beautifully done. Thanks for sharing your heart and relationship with the creator! So encouraging!

  11. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Ms. Charity, I can’t wait until that day when God allows me to meet you. We’ll stand together, smile, laugh, and praise God for using you to teach me and many others such important lessons about living. God’s blessings sweet girl.

  12. Jeri Abraham Reply

    You are so beautiful! I’m so thankful you fought for joy!

  13. Jenny Reply

    What a testimony! 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is not only a comfort to me on the hard days, but also a reason I am so thankful for chronic illness- I can relate to some that no one else can!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Jenny thank you so much for reading and responding. Even chronic illness has blessings!

  14. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Thank you, Charity, for sharing your story. It is hard to be thankful when we feel such despair. But you courageously remind us that we are to be thankful no matter our circumstances. When we keep our faith through the hard times, God grants us hope. Thank you, Charity.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you for reading and commenting. You are so right. God grants hope.

  15. Marilyn Foster Reply

    Dear dear Charity,
    Thank you for your honesty. I cannot imagine the despair and hopelessness… where there is no end. Yet you have shown me a thankful heart.
    My struggle with thankfulness is nothing compared to yours. God took my soulmate and even though it is been years since that happened, I miss him dearly.
    So if you, my dear, can give God a grateful heart, so can I.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Marilyn, this is Sylvia responding. Thank you. I know Charity thanks you as well. We both loved Coach dearly.

  16. Linda Kline Reply

    Oh Sylvia, you and Charity give me such inspiration.. what a blessing you are. Miss you all so much..❤️👵🏻🙏🏻

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Linda, this is Sylvia responding. Thank you so much. Boy oh boy, we miss you as well!!

  17. Katy Kauffman Reply

    This is very touching and inspiring. May God continue to shine through you as you live for Him in these new circumstances. I’m praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story, Charity. I am blessed to know your mom and to read your words.

  18. Anna Janzen Conwell Reply

    Just read this today Sylvia as Tim Challies posted another of your blogs. I always enjoy your perspective, I guess because we are the same age and have similar backgrounds. I have been wondering how your daughter is doing. Love her perspective. Her faith. Her humility and trust in our faithful God. Psalm 16 you and Phil have given her a strong foundation!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Anna, So good to hear from you! I’m always a bit shocked and very honored when Tim Challies picks up one of my blogs. Charity is doing quite well in what is most important. Her faith is strong and her family is wonderfully supportive. Thanks so much for asking, reading and responding!