What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

12. Stand On God’s Promises
When you are in the middle of a challenging time in your life, when nothing seems to be as it should be, that is the very moment that you need to stand on the promises of God. God always fulfills His Promises. It is His very nature. He cannot lie and He is Faithful. We need to make God’s promises bigger than our problems, heartaches, and disappointments.

Horatio Spafford gave the account that after losing his son, then his four daughters at sea; in his despair, God’s promises began to penetrate the darkness of grief and began to shine light into his soul. As he poured out his heart before the Lord, he penned these familiar words:

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Wow! Did you notice what penetrated the darkness of grief and shined light into his soul? It was the promises of God! God’s promises are sure, like nothing else in this world. God’s promises are penned throughout the Scriptures. They are golden nuggets of truth, comfort, and wisdom. The more you become familiar with them, the easier they will be to recall in times of distress. Here are a few to encourage your heart today (List is adapted from “Unexpected” by Christine Caine):

His grace is sufficient for you. (II Cor. 12:9)
He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)
He is working all things together for your good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
No weapon formed against you shall prevail. (Isaiah 54:17)
You are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus Who strengthens you. (Romans 8:37)
Greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world. (I John 4:4)
Our God is for you. (Romans 8:31)
God is your very present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
God cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
He will provide streams in your desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
He will cause impenetrable walls to come down. (Joshua 6:20)
God will make a way where there is no way. (Isaiah 43:16)
He will turn your mourning into gladness. (Psalm 30:11)
He will turn your sorrow into joy. (Psalm 30:11)
He will bind up your broken heart. (Psalm 147:3)
He will deliver you from your enemies. (Psalm 60:12)
He will defeat your giants. (I Samuel 14:47)
No temptation will be more than you can bear. (I Cor. 10:13)
He who promised you will be faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

Remembering God’s promises and love for you will sustain you through your time of suffering. Stand on them today!

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

11. Realize “This Too Shall Pass”
I’ve heard it said that life is such that you are either headed into a trial, in the midst of a trial, or coming out of a trial. I believe that to be true. Every human being experiences both times of great joy and sunshine and times of hardship and darkness. I love this quote from Barbara Johnson, “To come out of the darkness into the sunshine, it helps to remember you’re in a tunnel, not a cave.”

There is always light at the end of the tunnel!

During this global crisis with the Corona virus, it may seem like a very dark time, and it is! You may feel like you’re in a cave, especially since we are needing to practice social distancing and we are more isolated. But please be encouraged! This pandemic will not last forever. We will get through to the other side! There is going to be a time in the future where life is going to be “normal” again. And best of all, we don’t have to walk through this tunnel alone. The following is a wonderful excerpt from Tunnel Walking by Evangelist Robert Maner:
“Jesus will walk with you down your long dark tunnel. At first even His presence may seem far away. But if you look, and feel, He is there. Right by your side you can feel Him standing there. Suppose you had to walk this path alone? But you don’t-He is actually there. You can talk with Him. Share your bitterness, your anger, your guilt. Tell Him how depressed you are. Tell how afraid of the darkness you are. Tell Him how lonely you are.
He provides courage in that dark tunnel life has forced you to walk…
While you may see no light at the end of your tunnel, you never know when the tunnel will curve. And right around the curve may burst the light of a great new day. You cannot see it from where you are now, but it is there.
Then, too, every tunnel ends someplace. Otherwise it would be just a cave. And life is definitely not a cave for the Christian. Jesus verified that by His resurrection.”

Dear Friend, no matter how dark or how devastating your trial is, if you lean on the Lord Jesus, the Light of the World, you will get through to the other side!

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

10. Remember Who God Is!

When your is life is turned upside down, it is crucial to not allow your circumstances define how you see God! “God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” Instead, we need to turn our attention to what we do know about God.
I have always loved studying the names of God and in doing so, it has given me great insight as to Who He is. This has been a lifeline to me when my faith is being tested. There are countless scriptures in the Bible encouraging us to praise the name of the Lord. “For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.” Psalm 33:21
Each name of God demonstrates a particular character trait of God. Also, when and how that name is first used in the Bible is significant. I will highlight only three names that are an encouragement when times are tough. But, I urge you to study more to get an even greater blessing.

Jehovah El-Roi: The God Who Sees
God isn’t asleep! He sees your tears, your struggle, your pain. You may feel forsaken or forgotten, but Jehovah El-Roi cares about you and will come to your aid!
This name of God first appears in Genesis 16. Hagar, Sarai’s maidservant fled into the wilderness to escape the wrath of Sarai. There, she felt forsaken and alone. It is at that very moment that the Angel of the Lord appeared to her and gave her the encouragement she needed. He saw her need and met her there! He will do the same for you.

El-Shaddai: All Sufficient, All Mighty One
Because He is All Sufficient, He alone can fulfill all our needs. When all we have is God, we have all we need. There are longings in our hearts that only He can fulfill. Because He is the Mighty One, He is the giver of strength and our protector.
The name El Shaddai was first revealed to Abraham in Genesis 17 when God revealed himself to Abraham as ‘the One that makes fruitful”. He promised to give Abraham a son when he was 99 years old! There is nothing too difficult for God. He is not even bound by the laws of nature (which He created, by the way).
If you have a spiritual emergency, dial Psalm 91:1 and call out to El Shaddai! “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust.’”

El Elyon:God Most High
Psalm 57:2 states, “I will cry to God Most High (El Elyon), to God who accomplishes all things for me.” Did you catch that, The Living God accomplishes all things for you!
He is the sovereign ruler of the universe. He is in control of everything. He is over all-the good and the bad. He is over government, our finances, our marriages, our children, our parents, our health, and even Satan is in submission to El Elyon!

He has permitted this trial in your life. He may not have caused it, but He did allow it. God often uses our sufferings to grow us and test our faith. As devastating and/or destructive as it may seem, in God’s economy (the big picture), He will use it for good!
Some of His other names that we need to be mindful of are: The Lord my Peace, the Lord that Heals, the Lord my Shepherd, the Lord Who Provides, The Lord is There, Creator, the Comforter, the Rock, Faithful, Holy One, Savior, and so many more!
When life throws you a curve ball, remember Who God is. Trust in His name!

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

9. Cling to Jesus
Sometimes the storms of life can be so overwhelming! Jennie Allen shares, “In suffering, the Enemy tries to make you tired, weary, bitter, lose faith, and paralyze you. Instead, we need to lean into Jesus.” Have you been there? Are you there now?

It is in these times that we need the Lord the most. James 4:8 contains the following promise, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” Our loving, ever present God is waiting for us to get to the end of ourselves and turn to Him. We need to allow Him to hold us, comfort us, and sustain us. We need to allow the Holy Spirit of God to minister to us as only He can. No human being can do this for you.

When my dad died, it was a very painful time for me. He was an alcoholic as I was growing up. But praise God that during the last years of his life, he was sober. I got to know my dad for who he really was, then he was snatched away. The pain was unbearable. I remember wanting and asking my husband to do something to make the pain go away. He couldn’t, that was not possible. Through that difficult time, I learned that I needed to run into the arms of Jesus. He alone could apply the healing balm to my soul that I desperately needed.

In his book, Side by Side, Edward Welch states, “I need Jesus is the most powerful thing we can say.” It is when we realize our weakness and need, we can then allow ourselves to receive His strength. In times of turmoil, we need to believe, trust, and cling to Jesus!

One way we can do that is to worship and praise Him DURING the storm. Job mourned, but he also worshiped God. Paul and Silas sang praises to God despite being in prison. Praise opens the windows of heaven and is a healing balm for your soul.

We also need to practice gratefulness in the midst of our pain. A dear friend of mine recently had a bout with cancer. Prior to this, as part of our women’s Bible study, I had encouraged the ladies to start a Blessings Journal. She jumped right on that idea and had been doing it for some time before being hospitalized. Several weeks later, as she was in the hospital, not knowing what her prognosis would be and too weak to write, she had her husband and mom write her 3 blessings down each day. She intentionally looked for the good in a dark moment of time. She also asked God to use her during her hospital stay and was blessed with several God appointments!

Are you worried, fearful, heartbroken, or lonely? Are you going through a dark time? Has life thrown you a curve ball? Cling to Jesus, praise Him, and thank Him!

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

8. Don’t Lose Hope!
In times of crisis, it’s easy for discouragement and potentially despair to creep in. The psalmist asks a question and answers it for us, “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My hope only is in you!” Psalm 39:7

Our God is a God of hope. He is Hope. There is nothing else on this side of heaven that is as sure and trustworthy. To trust doctors, the government, people, our finances, or even ourselves will fall short every time.
When we are in the midst of a dark season in life, we need to believe God for a different future. The Lord never wastes our pain, but has a plan and a purpose for what we are going through. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Trust that God will use this time of suffering for your good. He wants to redeem your tragedy and create your testimony! “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me.” Psalm 55:17

We need to trust God to do what He does best. He takes the broken pieces of our lives, the scars, the ashes, the messes, and turns them into hope! If you cling to Jesus during your trial, you will come out stronger, wiser, more compassionate, and closer to the Lord with a new sense of hope and a refined character that will be a gift to the world. So many people in our world are living desperately, hopeless lives. As the Lord fills you with hope, He wants you to share it with those around you.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

7. Monitor Your Thought-life
When our world is flipped upside down and we are facing a crisis, it’s easy for our thoughts to take siege of our whole being and send us into a whirlwind!

The Enemy takes advantage of these vulnerable times. He wants to cloud your vision and God’s purposes for you and to rob you of life and joy. You cannot feed into the Enemy’s lies that God doesn’t love you, you are all alone, nobody cares about what you’re going through, it will always be like this…
Satan wants to paralyze you so that you won’t be used for God’s glory. Someone once said, (unfortunately, I don’t remember who, so I cannot give credit), “You may move on in years, but you remain emotionally and spiritually stuck in the place of your greatest disappointment.”

We don’t have to let this happen! We don’t have to allow the Enemy to derail us! Instead, as II Corinthians 10:5 states, we need to, “bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” We can reframe our thoughts and focus on things that are “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

Remember, whatever you focus on becomes magnified. The more we hold onto and focus our attention on our problems and negative thoughts, the more we empower them and they completely take over and consume us. But as Isaiah 26:3 says, “The Lord will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

No matter how big the problem is, GOD is BIGGER! God is bigger than the Corona virus! As Easter approaches, I am reminded that God is bigger than even Death itself. My favorite verses in God’s Word are from I Corinthians 15:54-58:
“…Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But Thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, ALWAYS abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
And all God’s people said, “AMEN!”

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

6. Keep or Find Your Sense of Humor

Laughter and a sense of humor can combat stress, relieve tension, and provide a diversion in the midst of trial and suffering. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”

This is why cancer patients are encouraged to watch funny movies and to think on positive things.

According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, laughter can induce the following physical changes in your body:
• Enhances your intake of oxygen rich air, stimulating your heart, lungs, and muscles. It also increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
• Activates and relieves your stress response resulting in a good, relaxed feeling.
• Stimulates circulation and aids muscle relaxation.
• Improves your immune system to help fight illness.
• Eases pain by causing the body to release its own painkillers.
• Increases your ability to cope with difficult circumstances.
• Lessens depression and anxiety and improves your mood.

Wow! That’s quite a list!

During the Corona virus crisis, it has been such a joy to see people posting funny articles, pictures, games, etc. We all need a good laugh in the midst of the fear and anxiety that is circulating.
We also need to be able to laugh at ourselves and not take everything so seriously. I tend to be a realist and more serious, so I am really working on this! I’ve been trying to make a homemade sourdough starter and have had to throw away the finished bread product 2X in the last 2 weeks! The first time, I didn’t have my glasses on and where it said to put 2 teaspoons of salt, I read it as 2 tablespoons! That was one salty bread! And just yesterday, I baked a bread that didn’t rise properly(I think my starter needs to activate more). The resulting bread felt like a ton of bricks and reminded me of an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies when Ellie May made bread! Lol! I’m a good baker and a recovering perfectionist, but I have to laugh at myself and keep trying.
My prayer is that you too will find moments of levity in your life; watch a funny movie, play a game, put up a funny post, tell or read some jokes. Let’s spread some joy and laughter!

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

By Michelle Cote

#5. Maintain Your Integrity

When our lives are in an upheaval and we are under great stress, it is easy to let things slide. Often, we are so busy trying to survive that we forget to do the things that strengthen and fortify our being. Our personal prayer time and Bible reading seem to fall by the wayside. Proverbs 4:23 warns us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Some people bury their sorrow and hurt in self destructive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, and excess. Unfortunately, in the long run, this only complicates the situation and will destroy you.

You may be thinking, “not me, I wouldn’t do that”. Okay, but there are many other ways we compromise our integrity while under stress. For instance, during this Corona virus crisis we are “staying at home”. How is that going for you? Have you been taking your frustration out at your kids or your spouse? How are you spending your time? Is what you’re doing honoring to God? And then there is social media. Have you been using it to be a blessing or are you being sucked into political rhetoric or vain disputes that only cause discord and dissension rather than encouragement and unity?
We are called to be the Light. People are watching you and your testimony. Your choices affect your kids, your spouse, your friends, your church, and people all around you. If you fall, you never fall alone.

Guarding our hearts is proactive. It calls for action on our part. Most of all, we need to stay close to Jesus and in the Word of God. We need to “walk in the Spirit, so we don’t fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball
#3 – Stay Connected

By Michelle Cote


It is ironic that when I prepared this talk, COVID 19 wasn’t even on the radar. Please, hear me out.
When we are faced with a crisis, oftentimes, our natural response is to retreat and implode. We get stuck in our own heads and thoughts and this can be dangerous. We have all been created to live in community. We are not meant to be alone, an island to itself. This was well demonstrated when God intentionally created a mate for Adam so he would not be alone.
We are also not meant to carry our burdens alone. Galatians 6:2 exhorts us to “Bear one another’s burdens.” Many years ago when my children were ages 4, 2, and 5 months, my husband’s appendix ruptured. Unfortunately, we did not realize this and he was home for a week as peritonitis set in. He was hospitalized for 2 weeks and I almost lost him. At this time, we did not know the Lord and were not part of a church community. It was very difficult dealing with all of this without a support system. I thank God for my older sister who cared for my kids while I went to the hospital each day. Other than that, all other family lived too far away. At 26 years old, it was a dark time that I would never want to go through again. Today, if something like that were to happen, I have a tribe around me and I believe my experience would be very different.
When we isolate, we are more vulnerable to the attack of the Enemy. There is strength in numbers. In nature, an animal that is separated from the pack is easy prey for any predator nearby. We know scripture says that Satan is like “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Let’s watch out for one another! During this COVID 19 crisis, we are being asked to practice social distancing. We are being asked to isolate! In doing this, many folks are suffering emotionally. But, as we have seen from many stories around us, we don’t have to be physically present to encourage others. It has been wonderful to see people reaching out through phone calls and social media. Don’t underestimate the impact this is having on people’s lives. Some are concerned that suicide rates will increase due to the isolation. We can’t let that happen! Let’s be the eyes, ears, hands, and feet of Jesus!
And dear Friend, if you are suffering, please don’t suffer alone! Reach out to others for help and allow yourself to accept help and encouragement. I am here for you. Don’t hesitate. You are NOT alone!

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

What To Do When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

#2 – Trust God in Your Trial
Often times when folks are faced with a crisis, their first response is to ask, “Why?” “Why is this happening to me(us)?”
Dear Friend, the truth is, it’s not always necessary to understand why. In fact, on this side of eternity, there are many things we will not understand and we won’t be able to make sense of.
It is during these times, when you don’t understand, that you need to TRUST a Sovereign God who loves you and has a perfect plan for your life. And yes, that plan includes trials and suffering.
Remember, His ways are not our ways.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
If you recall the account of Joseph recorded in the book of Genesis: he did not have the foresight to know how his life would unfold, but he trusted God through it all. He trusted when he was sold by his brothers into slavery, he trusted when he was falsely accused of wrongdoing and thrown into prison, he trusted when he was forgotten by the butler and left in prison. He did not know the outcome of any of these events, yet when all was said and done, he could still say, “They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good!”
Instead of trying to understand why something is happening to you, it would be more productive to ask questions like, “Lord, what are You showing me in this” or “What can I learn from this?”.
Let God change YOU even if your circumstances don’t change!
In her book “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”, Lysa Terkheurst states, “God isn’t going to forsake you, but He will go to great lengths to remake you.”
The point is that even our trials are for our good. We learn and grow during these times. We become more dependent on the Lord and less dependent on ourselves or any other false sense of security in our lives.
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect (mature) and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:3,4