Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When Goals Get Flipped Upside Down

Angie here: Let's check in on our goals for the year. Why? Because people who reach their goals act every day on some aspect of the goal. But what if your goals get flipped upside down? What then?

What happens when something bigger than you flips your goals upside down?
My goal list changed drastically. The car accident right before Christmas left a lingering problem in my shoulder. It wasn't fully diagnosed until I had a scan in April. You guessed it. Shoulder surgery. I was just released last week from my surgeon for being 2-4 weeks ahead of schedule on my SLAP tear. (Don't ask what it stands for, I can't repeat that correctly! The doc basically had to whip stitch my muscle onto a titanium pin drilled into my shoulder bone. Yuck!) I was released because I added in the goal of doing my physical therapy--then did it.

But what about my plans for the year?! Now it's October. As Mindy mentioned yesterday, what happened to Jan-Sep!

I decided, like my grandson here, to accept my goals were flipped upside down. Someone, and a situation, bigger than me changed my plans. Notice that not only is my grandson in a position he can't control, but he's laughing. Laughing! He's in a position of complete trust. His arms are flung wide open--and he's laughing!

I decided I want to be more like him. I'm flinging wide my arms while I'm flipped completely upside down. I'm laughing at the situation. Not in disrespect, but in complete trust that God knows what He's doing. What if we didn't simply grouse that life went a different direction, but fling our arms wide to accept the new direction God set us toward?

As I reflect, I've not only come closer to my goals, but I've also accomplished some I didn't realize were part of God's plan.

Eerk! Are your wheels squealing as you brake at that last statement?

Check it out: I finished a book prior to deadline (2.5 hours prior while battling pneumonia and accident recovery!), edited 3 other books professionally, taught more workshops than I can count at conferences and online, attended 4 major conferences as both faculty and student, addressed a huge crowd at the Christian Fiction Event during ICRS, wrote several proposals, took on 2 new virtual assisting clients, edited on a non-fiction devotional (though this is still on my goal list to get finished this year), received a promotion at my part-time coaching job, hired/trained/hired/trained all summer with one arm, turned in my edits on time for A Healing Heart, started working on a new book, managed a couple of serious health concerns caused by the car accident, lost 10 pounds, coached over a dozen new writers, led my state chapter for ACFW, accepted a new board position as the public relations director for the Christian Authors Network, accepted the store liaison position with CAN also, accepted the ACFW webinar hostess position, learned how to use and produced half a dozen webinars, taught others how to use anymeeting to do webinars, and the list goes on. In all my worry, I still moved in a forward direction.

Quite a few of these were on my annual goal list. But the car accident, surgery, edits for 2 new clients, virtual assisting clients, promotion at work, overcoming the domino effect health issues, new board positions, ACFW webinar hostess position...these and quite a few other things were not even in my imagination when I made my goals for the year. My goals were flipped upside down.

But wow! I look back at the results and see that God had a plan for my year too. He gave me my plans through prayer, counseling, and deep consideration. Then He sent the plot twists into my story. How would God be glorified if all I did were to reach the goals I set, in my own power? Nope. He wouldn't. But when God is the author, when God puts in plot twists, our story becomes heroic. Based on God's heroism, not our own. He's constantly able to hold us up.

When we allow God to keep hold of our feet, we can fling our arms wide. We can laugh at the position we're in because we can trust God to lead us through the story to an amazing ending. We live a life of courageous beauty in face of unexpected challenges.

What are you amazed at that wasn't something you expected to accomplish this year so far? What plot twists did God allow in your story?

 Photo courtesy of Cowan Creative.


  1. Angie, I love how you spun all that tragedy into something good! Hope your shoulder is completely healed now! For me, this year has been one with very high, highs and very low, lows, and seeing the blessings in it all kept me thankful :) Although I am praying 2013 will be better :)

  2. Thanks, Eva. I know how a year like that can make a person feel lost. I thought 2011 was rough. Ending in the crash, I was so excited for 2012. I'd be able to start fresh, at least in my mind. But maybe 2013 will be the "lucky" year for both of us :) I always did think 13 was my lucky number! I hope it's yours too.