My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

When Life Doesn’t Look the Way You Imagined

I never thought I’d be a stay at home mom. I went to school and got a few degrees because I wanted to work; I wanted to change the world. I was the kid that wrote a book about being the first woman president.

I guess things change.


Because here’s the thing. I’m going to give it to you right up front so you don’t miss it.

Our imagination is not enough to hold all that life has to offer.

I know that sounds a little pie-in-the-sky, but if life always happened the way we imagined I’d be in an intense battle for my first term as President of these United States, even though I despise politics, can’t follow economics, and wish we could all just get along.

Sometimes what we imagine isn’t right for us.

We think things are going to be one way and how many days or decades later we find ourselves looking back and saying this isn’t what I thought it would be.

Maybe we’re relieved. We feel grateful that we chose a different path (or the path chose us) and we exhale big thankful for the change in course.

But maybe we wonder where it went wrong, where we went wrong. We wonder if we ever had it right to begin with. We doubt ourselves to the core and wonder if we are the person we thought we were.

We wonder what changed and if we never even had it right to begin with. And we think. And we think.

Too often people find themselves in this position and that’s when they give up and say I’m out. They cut ties thinking it will free them from that feeling of failure. Instead they just drift away, and the feeling never leaves.

Maybe the problem isn’t that we were wrong. Maybe the problem is that we expect to get it all right. We think we somehow know all that’s going to come, all that we’re going to become. Maybe getting it wrong isn’t the problem at all. Maybe it’s that what we imagine is only a human hope and we expect it to be divine. 


We look back and think that maybe we imagined too big, but maybe we really imagined too small. Maybe what we imagine for our lives isn’t big enough, isn’t beautiful enough.

When we start walking forward in His dreams for us instead of limiting ourselves to our own, maybe then we’ll find that we are no longer drifting away in failure. Maybe then we will see that we are sailing in freedom.

Linking up today with amazing writers!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

13 Replies

  1. Me too! So many detours on this path, and yet God has led all the way, and His plan is so much better than what I had envisioned!

    1. Becky Hastings

      His plan is so good and so much bigger than what we can even understand. We think with our limited understanding of life and love and the world, but God has an infinite view of all that is to come!

  2. I love this all of it. I love that you’re saying that we are going to mess up on big decisions we are going to not get things right and that doesn’t mean our life is over. Sometimes God uses the nightmare of our foolish decisions to set us up for our greatest victories. I know I have lamented over decisions I made in the past that cost me dearly but they cannot be undone and you’re right maybe lamenting over something like that steals from the fact that God could use that thing that we hate in a way that we could never imagine.

    1. Becky Hastings

      It is so hard when we hold onto things that could have been. When we give them to God we can walk in freedom. You are so right, that God can use those very things we hate or feel we have messed up for His glory!

  3. “When we start walking forward in His dreams for us instead of limiting ourselves to our own, maybe then we’ll find that we are no longer drifting away in failure. Maybe then we will see that we are sailing in freedom.”

    I like this! I think when we fight against what God has given to us, of course it will lead to failure but letting go leads to freedom. I really like that. Thank you. Visiting from #tellhisstory #6

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for visiting Kristina! I love that freedom of letting go — I just need to do it more often!

  4. I used to want to be the first woman president but don’t like politics now. 🙂 I could never have come close to planning my life the way it turned out!

    1. Becky Hastings

      That’s so funny! I’m so glad things didn’t turn out the way my 10 year old imagination dreamed. Maybe that’s part of what we forget too….our dreams change. And that’s not a bad thing!

  5. Oh, this is amazing. It’s like your writing down my thoughts, Becky. I have had so many dreams, my imagination can run wild sometimes. But then as years pass I realize not all of them is really what I want or in line with my passion so to speak. Thanks for this post. This is enlightening. I wish you wrote this and I read it when I was younger. 🙂

    1. Becky Hastings

      Imagination is an untamed animal (and that is a good thing!). I’m so grateful these words spoke to you Lux. My writing is often the processing of what God is teaching me, and it’s so good to know we’re not alone. Praying for God to reveal more of His wildest dreams for you. Step out in that passion to speak and see what God has. The best thing is that if it’s not the right step, He will correct our path!

  6. thanks for writing this! God has been surprising me a lot lately – I cant wait to see where he is leading me next!

    1. Becky Hastings

      It’s exciting to walk forward in the unknown of what God has for us! Keep walking with Him friend!

  7. Love love love this post!

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