What Happens When the Unexpected Happens?

Sometimes you start with a plan and with the best of intentions—and then life happens. This is when you find out how you are truly doing.

What Happens When the Unexpected Happens?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/animatedfunk

A week ago Friday, I took the men in my Mentoring Group on our year-end retreat. We had a great time on Friday evening, including catching up with one another around a beautiful campfire.

After I went to bed, I felt some itching but nothing too out of the ordinary. My skin is normally dry in the winter, so I didn’t think too much about it.

However, in the morning, I asked one of the guys from my cabin how he slept. “Not too well,” he reported. “I felt like bugs were crawling all over me.” One of the other guys overheard us and chimed in, “Me, too!”

Uh-oh, I thought. Could it be? No way!

“Let’s check out the beds,” I suggested, not really wanting to confront what I thought I’d find.

Sure enough, we found numerous bed bugs, some dead and some alive. We also found red streaks in the sheets—a tell-tale sign of bed bugs. (This is more than you want to know, but it is their blood infused fecal matter. I know, yuck!)

Though we were pretty grossed out, we reported the matter and began day two of our retreat. None of us seemed worse for the wear and the bugs appeared to be isolated to one cabin. We went on with our program.

When I got home that afternoon, I went through a rigorous cleaning procedure, throwing many items away and running others through the clothes washer on high heat. This is about the only way to kill them.

Nothing happened until Sunday, when the bites and welts started appearing on all the exposed parts of my skin. Fortunately, I had worn a long-sleeve t-shirt and pajama bottoms.

But my head, neck, hands, part of my arms, and ankles were exposed. My hands, in particular, looked like I had a bad case of measles. On Monday, I simply applied some cortisone and went about my duties.

On Tuesday, my friend Stu McClaren flew in with a video crew from Toronto to shoot some footage for a new project we plan to launch next year. (I can’t wait to tell you about it.)

I thought about canceling the shoot, but decided it would be too expensive. We worked hard all-day Wednesday and Thursday, including hosting a book signing on Thursday, so we could capture the footage for b-roll.

Meanwhile the bites were getting worse. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was having a severe allergic reaction to them. Over the course of the next three days, I ended up in UrgentCare (a kinder, gentler form of ER) three times.

They ended up giving me two shots of prednisone and a battery of medications to take besides, including antibiotics and Ativan to control the intense itching. The good news is that I turned the corner Sunday night. The welts are smaller and have disappeared on my face and neck. My hands are still pretty bad, but even they are improving.

The bad news is that I am operating at about 80 percent of capacity mentally, no doubt from the effects of the Ativan. I am tired, light-headed, and occasionally confused—not really a condition conducive to writing or podcasting.

My Dad

On top of this, my dad was rushed to the ER with a seizure on Tuesday morning. He is still in ICU here in Nashville. The doctors have still not confirmed a diagnosis.

He’s had a number of seizures while in the hospital, and they can’t seem to figure out what is causing them. He suffers from an old war injury to the head, so that might be it. They have ruled out a heart attack and a stroke. They are now trying to see if an infection, like meningitis, is the culprit.

It is disturbing to watch my dad in this condition. He is very confused and engaging in lots of erratic behavior. Gail, my sister, and my mom have taken turns watching him. I’ve been pretty much useless, because of the drugs.

New Office

And, last but not least, I am still moving into my new office, with all the disruption that affords. My stuff is kind of in both locations, and I am shuffling around and running errands trying to get everything I need in place.

As you can imagine, I am woefully behind. I will dig out, but it’s going to take a few days to perhaps a week. I have been pretty much given up on the idea of writing or podcasting this week, but we’ll see how it goes. (I didn’t intend to write this post, but I thought an explanation was in order.)

My Take Away

So in the midst of this, I don’t have any big life lessons, other than to lean into what I know to be true:

  1. God loves me.
  2. This too will pass.
  3. Be grateful—if not for all things then in all things.
  4. Do the next right thing.
  5. Don’t push myself too hard.
  6. Get plenty of rest.
  7. Prayer matters.

Frankly, this is a good reminder for someone who likes to control his environment that you can’t always control everything. Sometimes life just happens, and you have to roll with it, right?

Question: When was the last time you experienced a season like this? How did you handle it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Sweetsoaps

    Michael I’d say you are very clear minded despite the medications! I’m having some of my own disasters like yours just piling up. It helps to stop and think about all the good things. Sleeping is really the key to keeping things together. Remembering you are never alone & when you share your fears it’s amazing how people share theirs to help.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      You’re absolutely right. Sleeping really does play an important role when navigating overwhelming circumstances.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

    I’ve had to do some growing this year in the area of letting go of things I have no control over.  (I tend to always be learning this lesson) My dad had a stroke back in May that has left him paralyzed an unable to get out of bed by himself anymore.  I have been reminded this year over and over that God’s presence through lives trials means everything.  I live 2300 miles away from my dad and my family.  I have been able to visit a couple of times but I am still reminded how little control I have over things in life.  We do what we can and trust God to work it out.   

  • Rebecca Tudor DVM

    Sounds like my last 6 weeks, thanks for reminding me that we are all just human!

    Have a Merry Christmas and thanks for all the inspiration!

  • JulieAnnKaye

    One of my clients is a pest control company and we teach about always checking the bed, mattress and sheets before you even go into a room. I never found any, and even have gotten lax in not thoroughly checking a hotel room. I will never not check thoroughly again! Hope you are feeling better and keep a vigilance on your home. The little critters can hide. 

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Michael, your week could be a country song. No shortage of helpful song writers down there :)

    Laughter is the best medicine…so much more than a cliche. 

    I’ve found that laughter from movies, comedy, or great conversation is not escapism. It’s medicine. It’s therapy. It’s healthy.

    I’ve been through a few seasons like this. The washer broke, I had to lay off people, then I got laid off, then our health insurance with the previous company mis-filed $15k in health bills, and our basement had mold…all in a two week span. 

    But we still had a bunch of fun during that time. We kept our laughter.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       I like the country song comment, Matt :)

      • http://sevensentences.com/ Geoff Talbot

        Country songs are a good representation of the tough times I agree!

  • http://www.women-unlimited.co.uk Julie Hall

    Hi Michael … just wishing you and your family lots of love at this time.  It can be overwhelming having to deal with so much stuff.  I came across a great infographic the other day which I hope helps…

  • Hbloomfi

    Hang in Michael..lots of readers pulling for you ( and your Dad).

  • http://www.growing4life.net/ Leslie A

    Seems like the perfect post in light of last week’s happenings in Connecticut. We think we can control life and then we realize that we have no control at all.  I think you make great points to focus on– especially #3. It is hard to complain and grow depressed if we have a heart of gratitude.  But that is so hard sometimes!

  • Debbie

    Michael, just a note to say I’m praying for you, Gail (and your Dad). I’m praying the God of peace will pour out His peace on you at a time when I know I would feel utterly overwhelmed (were I in your shoes). I just feel like saying over and over — “rest in Him, rest in Him, rest in Him — breath deep and rest in Him”. It seems rather “pat” but I guess, it really is what I pray for all of you. May His rest and peace simply take over in you (meaning all of you who are travelling this road along with you at this time) — let Him be in control. Give Gail a big hug, too!!! :) May God pour out His blessings on you  in and through all of this. 

    • Debbie

      P.S. Thanks for sharing this. Its real life! We get to be mentored by you as a leader from circumstances that are obviously less than ideal and boy, don’t we all need to learn to walk “really” in those!!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Thanks, Debbie. I appreciate your kind words and prayers!

  • Ilene

    Praying for you and your father… When going through adversity where it seems as though the unexpected happens and happens and things are piling up, I also say out loud, “It is well…” And, speak the Word of God that comes against any contradiction to His Word. So, in spite of the circumstances, I continue to try to walk in the spirit as much as possible, and like God, call those things that be not as though they were… And, God said, “Light, be…”

  • http://davidkirkaldy.com/ David Kirkaldy

    #2 on the list “this too will pass” has often been repeated when I have faced challenges.  Always confused if I should think that way then pray about a situation or pray then think that way but either seems to work.  Thanks for sharing and for the bedbug photo that stared at me so early this morning.  I trust all the trials have the best ending and thank you for the inspiration this year.  Merry Christmas!

  • Marcia

    Thanks for posting…I remember my mom and dad tucking me in saying, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” I guess they really meant it. I had not heard of anyone having such a reaction, but it’s good to know about so if someone else has a similar situation, a remedy can be shared. Isn’t that what we’re here for anyways? To share experiences to encourage one another to hang in there and not give up. I also understand parent health challenges, having lost my own father to pancreatic cancer and watching my mom go through a double mastectomy from breast cancer. What I’ve learned is relationships matter, and even though you may not be able to do anything to help, being there and sitting with them is huge. I liken it to sitting at the feet of Jesus, who affirmed for Mary doing so. Also, I like all your bullet points. You’re on the right track.

  • http://Busyness.com/ Dr. Brad Semp

    Hi @MichaelHyatt:disqus – sorry to hear about your “bed bug” episode! Also, sending prayers for your Dad and family! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and the takeaway lessons that we can all use. :)

  • Jonesm1998

    It seems that I did not have seasons, but years like this. I wish I could say I was steadfast and strong but I retreated to self-medication and avoidance. Thank God that He is faithful when I am not and with His help I obtained freedom and renewal. I have learnt that when life throws you curves balls , don’t dodge them or hide from them but ask God for the strength to live through them.

  • Cheryl Karpen

    You are not alone! A recent experience with bed bugs, left my 91 year old mom kind of loopy for a short while. She got through it and so will you.

    My prayers are with you and your family for healing and peace. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good to know!

  • Steven

    God, take care of Michael’s dad and Michael. Let them both heal up and let Michael get done what you want him to do while all this is happening. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    Be well, Michael

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your prayer, Steven.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    I have experienced more than 1 of these seasons for sure.  The best thing to do is to be grateful, rest and move forward.

    Also – put a circle of people around you that helps lift you up.  Very important.

  • http://fireandhammer.blogspot.com/ Dennis

    Michael, praying for you and for your father.

  • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

    Wow, thanks for sharing. We’re all human and not alone in our trials.

    Love these 7 points! My personal additions: “Trust God” and “”Keep it positive” .

    By the way my blog post today is based on your podcast #35, https://michaelhyatt.com/035-the-importance-of-the-leaders-heart-podcast.html

  • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Get better Michael!  I stopped to pray for you “right now.”  I mean right now. I mean….well, guess I better get off this thing so I can pray for you….in two seconds. ;o)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Linda. I’m grateful!

  • http://www.justinbuck.com/ Justin Buck

    It is indeed heart breaking to witness the confusion and disorientation of those titans in our lives. I will keep your dad in my prayers and praise God for your recovery.

  • Mike Salsbury

    Just because I know you would want to be aware of this, I usually read your post in the email the cyberdrones graciously send to my inbox; however, I have been unable to read the last couple of emails owing to a formatting problem — the lines of text are extending beyond the viewing window on the right margin.  I was grateful to find that by clicking on the comment link, I could come here to read this, but it is an extra step I’ve not needed to take in the past and might not take in the future.  I thought you should know in case it’s something you would like to correct on your end (not to add yet another trouble to your plate.)  My prayers are with you during your current trials, praying especially for your dad and those caring for him.  God bless!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for letting me know. I will check into what might be causing that. Thanks.

  • ChadMillerBlog

    I know I echo the thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes of others for you and your family. Thank you for all you do and pushing beyond circumstances to be a great encouragement and inspiration for others.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    I’m so sorry you have having such a tough time. But you have some great “take-away” points! Sometimes the only thing we can do is rest, so that we can get better and get going. 

    And rest assuredly that prayer does indeed matter, and I will pray for you & your family. God bless.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Michael, praying for you and your family, especially your dad. Hopefully you get some answers soon. I always seem to relate to your posts. Most are very timely. This one is no exception. I just woke up in the middle of the night with a severe stomach flu totally out of the blue. Had to cancel a bunch of things for today. Your list is very helpful…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I’m praying for you!

  • Jfleming32

    Enjoy your posts…praying for you & your dad. BUT, just reading this post made me itch!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I know. My wife said I should not have included the picture!

  • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

    I’m reminded when I go through times like these….this is one of the many reasons God gave me my wife.  She is his loving arms for me.  We join those in prayer for you for courage, your wife for wisdom, and your dad for comfort and healing.  

  • Gary Oppedahl

    During my (at first, terminal diagnosis cancer fight:
    1) Help me to continue to be a blessing to all you bring into my life no matter how bad it gets
    2) Help me to draw closer to you, never pushing you away in frustration or anger
    3) And oh yeah, please cure this thing
    (He answered all three in the affirmative) :)

  • Dawn Jumper

    I am sorry you are going through a hard time now.  Thank you for sharing your list of “what you know is true” . I am printing this and sharing with my 3 teens (and hubby!). Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • Blake

    So true.  Being a leader means pushing yourself hard, but your advice is golden.  Don’t push too hard and get plenty of rest.  Thanks.

  • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

    Wow Michael, so sorry to hear this. Prayers coming your way for sure! 

    As weird as it might sound, I really appreciate you posting this though. It helps me understand that people I look up to so much really are human and stuff still happens. Sometimes I forget that other people have struggles too, thanks for being so transparent about everything.Merry Christmas, hopefully things will settle a bit by then!

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  • Rebecca Renew

    We groan in eager expectation…God gives us a beautiful picture of life in his creation- we go through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter in our outward and inward experience. Even in Narnia, Winter eventually ended. I have now learned that the Winters of life – when we have health challenges, lose a loved one, struggle with a job, have broken relationships- will not last forever. I have had a chronic illness for 20 years. It has been a long inward journey. In my book of life, the chapter of winter, though, is not all there is. The pages of that season are written and bound together with Sping’s growth, Summer’s joy, and Fall’s thoughtfulness. Every moment of our life is known by the Maker and is for the Maker.

  • http://www.michelerichardson.com/ Michele Richardson

    It’s funny, I was having a similar conversation with a friend recently as I described how I feel so settled in my life despite the swirling circumstances that always seem to be present at varying degrees. I definitely attribute this sense of foundation and strength to the 7 take aways you mention and even told her, “When things happen, I just roll with it!” Funny that you closed your post the same way! :)

  • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

    Life is crazy, isn’t it?  Honestly, your seven take-away points ARE a big life-lesson. Because it’s all about the little things.

    I am praying for you, your dad and the rest of your family.  You are a man of faith.  I am guessing that you like to do things on your own.  ;-)  This might be a good time to allow others to ‘be there’ for you.

    Hang in there!  God loves you and so does your community of followers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Michael.

  • Sweetie Berry

    Two years ago my world changed when a bilateral eye injury arrived and within hours I could no longer focus my eyes…for over nine months. Everything changed, light caused pain, driving was no longer a possibility, a husband overseas. Within weeks my father was diagnosed with cancer, my world turned upside down as I learned to deal with new normals. God was there as much as I would allow him to be, and the fact that I am now seeing, driving, living with vision both inner as well as physical is such proof of His love and provision for me.
    Prayers for you and Gail  for peace and  healing this season.  It IS hard to deal with the unexpected and we often do comfort ourselves that our preparation protects us from such things..or situations. Oh how life is fragile and despite our best care, it reminds of of that periodically. We must live while we breathe.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wow. I can’t imagine what that must have been like. Thanks so much for your prayers!

  • http://www.alansalls.com/ Alan Salls

    Thanks for opening up & letting us all know you go through hard times too, Michael.  May God bless you and your family & bring you all through these crises such that you may still have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.  This too shall pass – Merry Christmas, my friend.  And thank you for the inspiration at the same time!  :)

  • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Michael, prayers being sent out to your dad! Yikes, what a strom season you are in it sounds like. I KNOW it is not funny now, but perhaps the video timing might make you smile in the future – there has to be a good leadership lesson in there. Wow, it really wild though how these things can hit us at once isn’t it?

    A few years ago, out of the blue, our 7 year old son was diagnoised with type 1 diabetes. We were absolutely devastated as not only this can be a tough medical condition, but also the fact that out of our four kids, my Robbie has big time sensory issues. As his mom watching him go through screaming fits each and every time he got one of his 5-7 shots and 5-7 finger pokes a day was really tough. Emotionally, it was the toughest thing to go through as a parent. Add to it that that the medical bills were the tipping point to almost losing everything finacially (obviously we learned later this was NOT the only reason we ended up in the financial situation we did, but it sure felt like it at the time) and I tell you, it definitely ended up to be the darkest time in our lives.

    During that time, we just took life in incremental steps. As a controlling person as well, it was hard to give up on things that were out of my control, but it was a good lesson to learn. In addition, it helped me to seek out solutions that were not “normal” in order to help us through this (within a month I went through 300 medical research studies and we ended up going through a 2 year out of state medical research study – lots of time, energy, tears, money, and sacrafice, but so worth it).

    Thankfully, it also proved to be reason we transformed into the life we are living today. Easy to look back on and “see why” things happened, but hard at the time. I hope too this will somehow be a time of growth and learning in order to help you live even more awesome.

    Many thanks and blessings.
    Live BeyondAwesome.
    Twitter: @TheIronJen

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing your story, Jen. Very encouraging.

  • Rose Gardener

    Michael, I hope you feel better soon and your Dad recovers quickly. Age has taught me that these sort of upsets are part of everyday living and I cope with them by allowing myself a few minutes to wallow in self pity (or steam with anger) before rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in as before. ‘This too shall pass’ is a phrase I say often, sometimes with a resigned smile, occasionally through clenched teeth! The most important lesson I’ve learned though, is not to expect more of myself than I can reasonably do; the world will wait and people are tolerant of a brief lapse in production when they know you are facing additional difficulties.

  • http://twitter.com/RoySaunderson Roy Saunderson

    Almost 10 years ago when my business failed and we had to sell our house and I was at the bottom of the barrel emotionally, physically and spiritually, my one daughter sent me quote that said, “How many times do we thank God for the doors that are closed?” When I turned the woe is me attitude into the challenge of actually saying thanks for all I was going through only THEN was I prepared to learn the lessons I needed from my experience.

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      Roy…you have one smart daughter.  :)

      • http://twitter.com/RoySaunderson Roy Saunderson

        They are smarter than we ever realize…grateful we can learn from our children.

  • Lauren Yarger

    So sorry to hear all of this, Michael. Sometimes during these types of times it helps to know friends are praying for you. And we are.

  • http://gauraw.com/ Kumar Gauraw

    “This too shall pass” and “Prayers matter” are my favorite takeaways. I will keep your dad in my prayers Michael. He will recover quickly!

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Aaron Stahl

    Thanks for sharing, Michael.  Sounds like quite the ordeal you have been going through!  Prayers are going out to you and your family.

  • http://michaeldmassie.com/ Michael Massie

    Get better. Praying for you and your Dad.

  • Bridget

    So sorry to hear about your difficult time and am praying that both you and your Dad recover soon!  When I am going through difficult times, I always do exactly what you did and make a list of things I know to be “true”.  It sounds crazy, but it does create a sense of clarity that seems to help.  It helps clear the fog of the confusion of life being turned upside down for a moment.  I call it my “what I know for sure” list and build from there  Have a blessed Christmas season – sounds like you need a little Peace on Earth!

  • CA

    God’s grace is what gets us through everything. Blessings to you and your family and thank you for your posts – I always find them useful and uplifting.  ps – ask your dad’s doctors about West Nile – a friend’s father had similar symptoms to your dad’s and they were baffled for quite a while before they discovered West Nile – it’s been going around this year. 

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    Praying for your father. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Erik.

  • LaGeris

    Thank you! I really needed that today. Right now I’m struggling w/grief and depression about the murder of those 20 babies. I don’t live in Conn., I didn’t  know any of the victims, but I’m grieving so hard!  I keep seeing their little faces! Last night I prayed for the strength to attend my discipleship class; I made it, but as soon as I sat down I shut down  completely and couldn’t participate; my classmates were all genuinely concerned, but I couldn’t respond. Thanks for teaching me to be grateful in all things if not for all things.  Thanks also for the reminder that this too shall pass.

  • http://twitter.com/ConnieAlmony Connie Almony

    Yes. Prayer matters!!! Praying for you and your family.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    Wow, Michael, you’ve really been through it recently.  Thanks for sharing with us.  I think we have all had similar episodes in our lives and one thing that I find helps is simply sharing the story with others.

    It helps everyone else know that we are not the only ones who experience similar problems in our lives.

  • http://twitter.com/quirkycity Heather C Button

    Thoughts and prayers with you and your family. I know the bed bug situation all too well, but the rest on top? Brutal. Feel better and prayers for your dad.

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    Michael, we had a similar situation, when driving from Indiana to Colorado with our two daughters (infant and 3yr old). In Missouri, I suddenly got sick, then a tornado whipped up while I was trying to get back to the car from the horrible service station bathroom. Electric lines were sparking in the street and debris was flying through the air. To keep my family safe, we checked into the closest motel. Well, you can probably guess what happened – bed bugs! They are absolutely revolting. We’ve had some pretty rough drives home, but that was probably the worst.

    Praying that you heal up quick, as well as for your Father. 

  • Walterboston

    Michael, transparently, there are times when these seasons of the “Unexpected” are prolonged for me (in one right now); but, not long afterwards, I manage — by the Lord’s grace — to pull myself together and find reasons to laugh. O, so medicinal, I tell you, with side affects of unexplainable calmness! …Go ahead, take one; a good laugh right now — …With you, Sir “Rolling with it.”

  • Kathy

    Wow Michael…really need to hear your message right now. A number of things going on right now that are beyond my control…thanks for sharing!

  • Jggarlow

    Micheal, your post came at a great time. Wishing you and your family well. I to am experiencing tough times dealing with 2 parents with Alzheimer’s, a brother who was their FT caregiver had a heart attach and was in the hospital 4 weeks. He can no longer be their caregiver because of his health. I live in a different city but have been home taking acre of all three since october. Due to the long absence I lost my job, and my bills are piling up. 

    It’s overwhelming and I’m exhausted, physically, emotionally, mentally & spiritually. I want to seem hopeful but it’s a daily challenge. Your post put a smile on my face. Just knowing that you coped and dealt with your challenges helps. With the tragedies in the world, we all canuse a little encouragement and support. 

    Thanks for sharing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m praying for you!

  • http://trevoracy.com/ Trevor Acy

    I think #3 is a very good distinction.  Sometimes it is very difficult to remain grateful during difficult times.  I hope you get to feeling better and I will be praying for your father.

  • Natisha

    Love this post and I so agree with you. I’ve been told that I like to control everything. I am working on it. Thanks*******

  • Adeyinka Adewale

    I had similar experiences last year too. Bedbugs in my accommodation that left me weak and helpless, I didnt notice them in time so they had fed on my blood for months,  then my father passed and I had to move to a new house with no guarantee i could afford the rent as i was yet to get into my job. My personal projects hit an all time low and my productivity was hitting zero. Pressure was mounting from the commitments i had to give seminars, then the bank letter came etc… naturally, the string of events seemed to cast depression on my mind. BUT i learnt a simple yet profound lesson. IN ALL THINGS, GIVE THANKS, REJOICE, AGAIN I SAY REJOICE.

    So I did the craziest thing ever. Locked myself up for 3 days and DANCED PROFUSELY as though I had just won a lottery. I praised God like never before. I THANKED Him for all these things telling Him I acknowledged He was in it with me. On the fourth day, the tides turned and I still cant explain how I got through BUT all I can say is that EVERYTHING turned around for my good. 

    Times like these are abound in life otherwise, it will be too boring. Likewise, if we profess to love God, then seasons like this test our faith (Job comes to mind here). Michael, I wish your dad a speedy recovery in time for him to spend Christmas at home and NOT in the hospital, and I wish your good self a BLESSED season as the irritation gives way completely and you are ushered into a fabulous end of the year push and a GLORIOUS 2013. 

    My thoughts, love and prayers are with you and family always. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Amazing story. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Eric

    As you “roll with it”, know you’re not rolling alone. It is in seasons of distress that God has proven His faithfulness to me and like the refiners fire, brought priceless depth to my journey. You ask “How did you handle it?” In the moment, I simply held onto my faith for dear life. The riches of lessons learned were in hindsight. “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine; To Him be the glory…” Paul’s words are a reminder to seek, ask, persevere and in due time give God the glory for whatever becomes of this season of distress. As you “roll with it”, you’re not rolling alone… He has you!
    Your fellow servant,
    Eric Willis
    Reconciliation Pastor
    Executive Director

  • John D.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your dad.

  • http://www.charlielyons.ca/ Charlie Lyons

    It seems this entire year has been like this… life happening while I’m living it. Started the year flat on my back, just about as sick as I’ve ever been… extra busy winter at work… our 2nd baby arrived in April… a summer of deep introspection which resulted in my resignation in the Fall (I blogged about this process – http://www.charlielyons.ca/2012/10/resignation-announcement/)… transitional duties as a result of resignation… and here we are now, just three more days in the office before Christmas. My final day is this Thursday; I still don’t know 100% yet where I’ll be on January 1 work-wise… but it’s been fun and enlightening the whole way through. :-)

    Michael, this is going to be one of those “I don’t have any big life lessons, but it’s going to be one of the biggest-number-of-comments-ever” posts, isn’t it? ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/CarrieROConnor3 Carolyn R. O’Connor


    Your post could not have been more well-timed for me. Having woke up with a bad head/chest cold this morning in a week that has me preparing for our Christmas services and various meetings, I was frustrated and happened to read your post as I was trying to figure out what to do (go in sick or stay home and rest??). 

    After reading the post, I realized that I would be doing no one any favors by going into the office and “toughing it out” (and making everyone else sick). So, after running in to grab some files I needed (before people arrived), I am now at home, catching up on some email. Plan to rest throughout the day. The team knows were I am if something comes up and I am accessible by phone/email in an emergency. Thus, my unexpected is leading me to take care of myself for a change and trust the team to handle things in my absence. :-)

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. That sounds like the right thing to do.

  • Carolyn

    Thank you for your amazing example of Philippians 3:12-21.   It is just what I needed this morning and an answer to prayer. 

    I believe God allows life to close in on us so we will look up and keep our eyes on Him.  He then renews our strength for our calling and he uses the experience in amazing ways. 

    You are a trooper.  Thank you so much for writing this post.I will be praying for your family, particularly your father.

    Merry Christ-centered Christmas!

    p.s. Bed bugs are not just in cabins out in the woods. My mother had bed bugs in a five star a few years ago, so now my husband and I check our mattress as soon as we enter our hotel room no matter where we travel.  I was told they hide inside the cording located on the edge of  the mattress so you have to do a careful inspection.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      One of the things I learned is that bed bugs are unrelated to hygiene. You’re right; they can be anywhere.

  • ConniesDeam914

    I asked for prayer of agreement from those who believe God for great miracles. I come into agreement with you that God said the works that Jesus did, we can do…Jesus sent his word and healed them, I send Gods word to heal you and your Father in the name of Jesus of Nazareth by who’s stripes we are healed. I thank God that his healing virtue flows through your body even now and that your Dad is also a receiver of the healing virtue of Jesus of Nazareth. Thank you Father for your word and your pomises. You are not a man that you should lie , you said it and you will do it, your spoke it and it shall be done. In Jesus Name Amen.

    • Hjcarstens

      I fully agree with you. I can SEE that you are a Man of God! Trusting and believing in Him and His WORD, and speaking to the mountains to be casted into the sea! AMEN!!!
      Hermanus. South Africa

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much!

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Lifting you and your dad up in prayers and asking for a clear diagnosis for him from the doctors soon. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Sundi Jo.

  • David

    How true it is that sometimes we just can’t control things the way we want.  Get well.  I love the blog and the podcasts.  Thank you.

  • http://giveflowerswhileliving.wordpress.com/ Julia SB

    Mike, I understand totally that we can be thrown out of our comfort zone at any minute. That makes us appreciate the time we have that much more. A few months ago, my 19 yr. business relationship came to an end because of a stroke, and the stroke victim’s relatives blamed me for giving it to him. How, when I was the one taking him to the doctor and dialysis for the last 7 years? After grieving, I wrote a blog in honor of all of the good things he said over the years [along w/3 more blogs]. Also, I’m writing a book about the experience, because GOD knows I did what I could. I’ll make sure you get a copy when I finish. God Bless.

  • Nlove1010

    I hope you are doing better and that you receive good news on your Dad. Two things come to mind -Sometimes God uses these character building moments to remind us that he is in control. He is telling us, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
    This too shall pass…………Merry Christmas:-) 

  • http://www.lifefacilitator.blogspot.com/ Teresa Y. Green

    I’m so sorry you’re going through all this. I hope you are better soon, and that your dad recovers completely. It’s a good reminder for all of us that when bad things strike we can go back to our roots and what we believe. Thank you for taking the time to write.

  • Shannon Rinckey

    The last time I went through a season like this was actually last month. My business wasn’t doing very well, and I was at a crossroads of deciding to try to make it work, or move on.

    At first, I shut down. It was awful. One evening I decided to go out to dinner, all by myself. I took my dear sweet time. Afterwards, I did some journaling over a cup of coffee and met a stranger that helped me gain some perspective. 
    Writing my problems and talking about it to someone with a fresh perspective was so rejuvenating. It gave me a lot to think about. I found a business mentor, and her insights have helped me turn a corner. Now I’m working on my next venture.

  • Pmpope68

    Hmm….I’m in that season right now.  My father, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer last January began a steady decline over the summer. In late October, he went to the hospital and we knew he would not be coming back home. Starting that night, I began staying with my mother, sleeping on a very soft couch in her living room.  That same week, her furnace went out so I had to pack her and all her medications up (including oxygen) and truck over to my apartment at 1:00 in the morning.  We stayed there for four days until a repairman could come out.  Meanwhile, we made trips to the hospital to see my father.  At the end of that week, my brother and I met with the social worker and got my father moved to hospice, all while I was staying with my mother and gradually moving things from my apartment to her house.  At the end of that second week, a physical anomaly occurred, but I put it off while dealing with my parents.  At the end of the second week, my father passed and then began the funeral arrangements that my brother and I had to make and all the running around that that entails.  I was still sleeping on my mother’s soft couch and starting to deal with an aching back from all the moving and lifting.  Since the funeral, I have been dealing with all the usual stuff that comes with moving in with another person after being on one’s own for about 20 years.  So, I’m the primary one to do the grocery shopping and take out the garbage, I pull in the paper every morning before I leave for work, we’ve written thank you cards and now Christmas cards all while I continue moving from my apartment into my mother’s house, trying to make room for all my stuff.  I’ve left out a little minutiae, but it all adds up to a lot in an almost two-month period.  Because of my faith, I can breathe a heavy sigh at the end of the day and just relax in Jesus’ arms.  Over the years, I’ve learned healthy coping strategies and so I set limits for myself and stop when my body tells me to stop.  All in all, it could be worse and I thank God that’s it not.  And I know that this is a temporary, transitional period of life that will pass and then my mother and I will begin settling into what she calls our “new normal”.  

  • http://twitter.com/MarciaLKing SimpleMSolutions

    Thank you so much for this post. I received some disappointing news today which is allowing me to rethink my careers path. I really needed the reminder that God is in control and this disappoint shall pass.

  • Hjcarstens

    The way that I handles it……..I DON’T . God handles it for me……Through His Word……revealed by the Holy Spirit. The SWORD of the Spirit is the WORD of God……eg. “For God did NOT give us the spirit of fear, BUT the Spirit of Power, the Spirit of Love and the Spirit of a Sound Mind”…….get this into your MIND and Live it when fear grips you.
    When you need Peace: ” Peace I leave with YOU. My Peace I GIVE unto YOU. Not as the world giveth,give Iunto YOU. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”
    Peace be unto YOU.
    Hermanus. South Africa

  • Peladeau, Lorraine

    Thanks for the post!  The Lord bless you as you recover…sometimes this is the best kind of post because it gives people permission to be real and begin to acknowledge what is really important in this life.  Oh, by the way, I also prayed for your Dad…that they’d find an answer quickly and be able to treat it so that his recovery will be swift.  Bless him too!

  • htowner

    Excellent. Prayers for your Dad

  • Martin

    Hi Mr. Micheal, I have prayed for you and will be praying for your dad too through out this week. God Bless you and may His favor follow you every where you go. Martin.

  • http://championforgod.com/ Jason Hoover

    Very well put Michael. I have been going through some storms in my life over the past couple months and there is no relief on the horizon. However, my focus is on the LORD and I continue to think on Matthew 8:23-27. On Faith I know God has in store for me, better and grander days. So I wait out those storms with joyful expectancy.  Be Blessed! 

  • http://twitter.com/StuMcLaren Stu McLaren

    I’m still amazed at how on the ball you were during those two days of filming given all that you were dealing with.

    You’re a trooper for dealing with all of this and I certainly wish you and your father a speedy recovery.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You were a HUGE help, Stu, in keeping me engaged. Thanks so much for all you are doing!

  • http://www.intentionalcareer.com/ Henrieta Riesco

    Hope you get some calm (boring) days now to recover from all the turmoil :-) I’m often telling kids that being bored is not the worst thing ever and it actually creates a space for possibilities, because you can choose to do whatever you want to do.  It’s calming to know that nothing is happening and we don’t need to react to and deal with anything. All the best to you and your family :-)

  • Gloria

    I remember when it felt like the world was collapsing around me.  My mom died, I was going through a difficult divorce, the company I worked for was being taken over and my job eliminated, I had to give up custody of my 2 year old grandaughter I raised from birth and I was having to move….all in the same month.  My solution was to press in closer to God and allow Him to take all my burdens.  All this was not easy, but I’d hate to think what I would do without Him in my life.  Yes, all things pass, but my trust in God has increased!

    • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

       “press in closer”  I like that Gloria. 

  • http://www.sowingseedsofgrace.wordpress.com/ Sherrey Meyer

    What a timely post for my life right now!  You asked when had I been in a season like this?  NOW!  For a year plus, my husband and I have been making first monthly, then every three weeks, then every two . . . you get the picture . . . trips to help with caregiving for his brother to lighten our sister-in-law’s load.  My husband’s brother suffered over this time from a rapid and vicious rare dementia, which took his life on Nov. 19th.  The week before that, while home for a few days, our older son let us know that he would be having surgery in early Dec. for potential testicular cancer.  Friday we learned of the two kinds of testicular cancer both showed up in the pathology reports.  We’re waiting to see what the course of action is.  And if that wasn’t enough, the same son’s stepdaughter and her two young children (ages 4 and 1) have moved home because her husband “no longer wants to be married.”  Suddenly, all the things I thought were important — my writing, blogging, social networking, and much more — have paled in comparison to those mother lode of life stresses.  And I do exactly what you have listed above starting with prayer.  If God isn’t for us, who will be?  Leaning on Him is my best answer at times like this.

  • Liz C

    Michael! Bless your heart (and in the “you poor thing” way, not the “southern” way)!!  Praying for you as you recover!  My favorite on your list is #2, my mom has said that to me often over the years.  I recently landed myself in the ER from being dehydrated and passing out multiple times.  The hardest thing for me is accepting that I can’t jump back up and keep going, I have to recover and accept a little extra help for a few days. =)  THEN, off and running again.  Thank you for all your input throughout the year!  I am looking forward to meeting you (again) at the BEECH Retreat in January!  Merry Christmas!  Sincerely, Liz

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I look forward to seeing you at the retreat, Liz.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    Excellent takeaways! I too have had a bit of the unexpected over the last few weeks. Happens and we just deal with the best that we can. One foot in front of the other. As one of my friends says, “You may not be able to control all the circumstances in your life but you can control how you respond to them.” 

  • Scottmilnes

    Thanks for the great read, Michael.  I really like how you wrapped it up with some timeless wisdom from the Good Book.  God loves me and this too shall pass are two mainstays in my daily (and sometimes hourly) prayers and meditations.  
    One nugget I offer to my clients is the simple question of- How do you believe God is trying to grow you through this experience?  That alone is a pretty quick attitude shifter that most people seem to resonate with.  Take care, keep up the great work, and I’ll look forward to your next post!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great question. It totally shifts your perspective.

  • Vsbrowning

    Hello Michael,

    Your post today reminds me of 1999. It was the roughest year of my life and the foundation for what I teach today. I have shared some of this in a public format previously, but never in this exact form. I hope you don’t mind me sharing my story with your readers here.

    January to December 1999:

    In January, my father and wife were both diagnosed with cancer (leukemia and brain respectively). A mid-aged friend of the family died of liver cancer the day my wife was informed of her situation. My wife was given approximately 2 to 3 months to live. 

    In February, my wife and I were hit broadside while sitting at a traffic light. This was the first of 2 car accidents that year.

    In March, my wife had brain surgery to remove her primary tumor in the Occipital Lobe.  They could only take 50% of it. This led to the loss of 70% of her visual field. As a result, she had to quit her job. The rest tumor would have to be treated with radiation. We asked our Church and close friends to pray about the situation.

    In April we took a few days in Cabo San Lucas to rest post-surgery and discuss what might or might not be left of our future together. When we returned from this short vacation, my wife had a follow-up MRI at Loma Linda Medical University. Her surgeon invited us to the hospital 10 days later to let us know the rest of her cancer had simply disappeared!!!!!!!! He asked us to join him in prayer – thanking God for being the Master Surgeon and for blessing us with this miracle. She is cancer-free today.

    In May, I lost a significant client. This was the beginning of my business going under.

    In June, my father went in hospital for emergency blood transfusions and we almost lost him. He would live another 11 years.

    In July my business closed. As with most men (in my experience), I internalized all the stress trying to be tough for the family. It was around this time that a ministerial friend of mine began referring to me as Job. 

    In August, I began suffering “stress-related” brain seizures. My neurologist placed me on a drug cocktail that had a side-effect of thick-tongue syndrome. I was told my speaking career was over. The muscles on the left side of my body would randomly tick. As a result, I was forced to walk with a cane or walker depending on the severity of the ticking each day.

    In September, my wife and I were in the 2nd car accident while on vacation visiting my father in Texas. This led my father to introducing me to a chiropractic neurologist. My case was referred to this man’s mentor in southern CA where we were living at that time. 

    In October, I began following an intense treatment process (5 days per week) with my new friend, Dr. Kathleen Powers (no longer in practice). I began showing signs of improvement, but was far from out of the woods. 

    In November, our lease home was sold out from under us. We were given 30 days to relocate. Then, the day before Thanksgiving, my wife’s maternal grandmother died. Gigi was a significant influence in her life and was a true shining light in this world. 

    In December, my maternal grandmother passed away. Grammy had always been the glue that held my side of the family together. At her passing, my extended family became seriously fragmented. From that time until now, the family would never again have a Thanksgiving meal together. This is significant as Thanksgiving was the one holiday that had been our traditional gathering for everyone in the family. 


    1)  Count it all joy, for in the midst of great challenge is forged great strength
    2)  Be grateful for every act of kindness no matter how small
    3)  Believe in miracles
    4)  One step and one day at a time
    5)  Keep setting goals and keep your eyes set on the mark
    6)  Be willing to humbly ask for and accept help in times of need
    7)  The greatest turmoil in our lives can be the foundation for life of significance

    I look back at 1999 as one of the most incredible blessings of my life. It drew my wife and I closer together, it strengthened our faith, and laid a foundation on which we could build a wonderful life. While it was terrible in many ways, it was also filled with moments of incredible joy. 

    Today, I no longer walk with a cane. I am off the medications. And I speak as normally as I ever did. We have a beautiful daughter (age 8). And our new speaking business is getting off the ground (http://www.shanebrowningspeaks.com). It has been a tough road, but one I would take again.

    Best regards,


    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wow, Shane. Your comment is a blog post of it’s own! Thanks for taking time to write it. I’m so glad you were able to learn from such difficult circumstances.

  • Edwina Cowgill

    I’ve been in this season for the last 5 years! I’m a major control freak and I think God has decided to leave me in this season until I’ve learned to completely “let go and let God!” 

    I am praying for you and for your dad. May God’s healing touch rest upon you both, and may both of you have the “peace of God that passes all understanding.”

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      God has a way of giving us wake up calls, huh Edwina? I’ll join you in prayer that things begin to wrap up and you learn what He needs you to.

  • Tappitytaptap

    I am in the midst of that season right now. My mother is in the hospital, also with seizures and broken ribs from a bad fall over the weekend. Us sblings  are all in different states with impending life and family events – weddings, babies, final exams – so this of course came at the worst possible time. 
    I learned last summer when my mother in law died to lean heavily on my friends, even if they are online friends only. I am constantly amazed that though I am isolated as a work at home mom, I have this window to the world that allows me to reach out. Hopefully I have been generous in my support and sympathy to others; the investment is returned to me tenfold. 
    And somehow, God always drops the perfect email post or scripture via status update on my screen. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Sorry to hear your mother is in the hospital. It’s rough, especially at this time of year. You’ve already learned the lesson to lean on your friends in the past, be sure to do it this time around as well.

  • Bradshawinbotswana

    Michael, sorry to hear you are going through a less than excellent season and I pray a speedy recovery for you and your Dad.

  • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

    Prayers sent! Take care, and try to get some rest. Sleep tight, and don’t let the…

    Never mind.

  • Jill

    You just described the season my roommate and I have been in. Like your takeaways, we have taken a step back and banked on what we do know.Thank you for writing and reminding us of the simple things we can do when life doesn’t go the way we expect.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    I’m sorry you are being attacked by chaos and suffering, Michael. Thankful you are getting better. I will be praying for your dad. 

    Despite not intending to write this post, you’ve presented some valuable take-home points. Ones we should learn earlier rather than later. Blessings.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnBLemmon John Lemmon


    Your experience brings three things to mind that I try to remember when I am in similar situations and everything seems to be going wrong.

    First, the words of Solomon who wrote in Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for every purpose under heaven…” There will be good times and there will be bad. There will be ups and downs. It is for our testing and strengthening to learn how to persever through these times and to come to the place the apostle Paul was in when he said in Philippians 4:11-13,

    11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in
    whatever state I am, to be content.

    12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in
    any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and
    hunger, abundance and want.

    13 I can do all things in him who strengthens
    me.Second, and aligned to the point above, is that it is easy to give praise to the Lord when everything is going well. However it is in the “down” times that we need to remember to give praise also, which I am sure you are doing.And finally if the attacks are motivated by the devil, then you can be sure you are doing something right. If he is at the bottom of any of these things, then he is opposing you for good reason and that reason is that you are doing the work and the will of the Lord. If nothing else, that is reason for praise.God bless and I pray you and your father make a full recovery in short order.

  • Shawnlei Breeding

    Similar experiences this week. Discovered my aging dad needs triple bypass surgery, my cat’s routine dental turned into a 15-tooth extraction to the tune of $1000 and my car battery died and needed to be replaced. In each situation, I could complain or choose to be thankful—that they caught my dad’s blockages before they turned into a deadly heart attack, that pulling my cat’s teeth is alleviating his pain and preventing more serious health issues down the road and that I have a car to drive that needs a new battery. And thankful to have jobs that allow us to slowly pay down these unexpected bills. I have lived most of my life in the shadow of worry and “What if?” Slowly learning to adjust my thinking to “Even if…God is in control.”

  • Joejulie0918

    I had partial knee replacement May 16,2012.  I was healing yet very slowly.  In August I was told to have 36 more PT visists.  Life happens.  In September my health insurance became an Individual policy.  I went to PT as much as I could.  My DH has been laid off since April 2012.  It felt grim like why now?  My right knee began to hurt.  My cat Jackie died October 26,2012.  My DH went on 2 job interviews yet no job.  The bright part was on November 10,2012.  My mom and 2 other women founded the Santa Monica Mountains.  It was the 34th year since the founding.  An oak tree was planted for my mom and the other 2 ladies.  On this day I needed my cane to walk.  I was sick until after Thanksgiving with asthmsa and a viril infection.  Then I went back to work out.  My knee was swollen.  I now know there is something more wrong with it.  I have seeen 2 doctors for a consult.  One doctor injected numbing solution in my knee.  As of today I still am numb in my knee.  My DH’s money will end soon.  I will need another operation on my knee.  My DH will need a shoulder operation from the USC orthtopedic department

    This is what I have learned.  God is always with us.  I will survive.  I am strong.  This too shall pass.  Take one day, one moment at a time.  Be grateful for each other.  Move forward.  Remember where you have been.  My DH and I have done all we can and could do.  Take the next step.   Mery Christmas to all!!! 

  • Clara Rose

    Oh my, sounds trying to say the least.  I will be praying for you and your father!

    Slow down, take a breath and give yourself some grace!  We all have times like these and yes it does pass but usually slower then we would like.  While offering grace to others can be easy, it is often more difficult to extend the same grace to ourselves.

    Rest and enjoy the holidays, remember the real reason for the season and confess that he is in control. (You know its true, you are not in control)

    Blessings  to you and your family this Christmas season.

    Clara Rose

  • Robert Rudge

    Dear Michael, I’m a Brit living with my family in a crazy city called Moscow in Russia and have been listening to your podcasts for quite a while. I can honestly say that my days and weeks can be completely derailed at a moment’s notice, and it has made me a stronger leader because of it.

    I have become a lot more tolerant, more accepting that situations are not wrong, just different, and that things just happen and you are measured by how you deal with them – not just survive but thrive in a chaotic world.

    How do I handle it ? Well I just remind myself that it’s ok not to be in control of events or outcomes, and that gives me a calming feeling and makes me stronger – to face the next curve ball thrown my way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.martin.10485 Steve Martin

    Hang in there and get well. And know that Christ suffers along with you, and that He is there for you…always.


  • annepeterson

    I was signed up to do an accelerated program. I had planned it for weeks. There I stood in line to get my books, the last thing on my list. And I had a meltdown.

    My brother-in-law was about to be arrested for my sister’s murder. And there I was trying to push through with my plans. 

    A counselor was immediately provided. She talked with me and helped me realize my timing was not going to work.  

    Reading your list I realized God was helping me through those very things. 

    I Gave myself grace.
    I realized it would pass.
    I Did the the next thing, (in my case it was to put my goals on hold)
    I Realized God loved me
    I Didn’t push myself 
    I was thankful (thankful for the wonderful counselor God made available)

    Yes, I got through the ordeal. We got through the trial. And when the judge pronounced him “not guilty” and the other side of the courtroom erupted in cheers, God settled our hearts.

    Sometimes things don’t go according to plans. And though I like plans I’m learning how to flex better. 

    The thing that struck me most about that time of unrest and chaos? It was knowing God is still in control. Always was and always will be.

  • Beth Rayann Corder

    Recently I was overwhelmed by the many things I couldn’t control–funerals, financial setbacks, and sad realities. Below is part of what I shared in an email to our church lifegroup about what God was teaching me through life’s trials during a day I stopped to rest and reflect:
    “…As I tried to relax my mind and body and spent time in prayer, I sensed God telling me to “Be still, and know that I Am God.” As the day went on, I felt Him reminding me to:
    stop trying to figure things out, stop expecting too much, stop trying to plan so far ahead, stop depending on yourself and your resources, stop worrying about what tommorrow may bring, stop trying to fix everything, stop living in regret, and stop trying to know what I know.
    It was a profitable day. I submitted to “being still” and listened. And, you know what? It worked. I woke up this morning more focused, energized, and relaxed about the future. I Know God is my God and cares for me.
    He cares for you too–“Be Still and Know…” (even an hour of reflection can be beneficial!)”

    Michael, I hope my partial post can inspire you as much as your spiral of posts have inspired me and many others. Feel free to take a nice break! We can live off of your previous info. until the New Year at least. May God be your strength through the tough days ahead. PS.  Now I’m itching…lol.


  • Lea Stormhammer

    Boy – this sounds like my current week.  I teach college and we’re finishing up finals and I have about 100 papers to grade (literally), my Dad went in for emergency cancer surgery yesterday (we had found out on Friday and he spent the weekend in the hospital) and all four of us in my immediate family had a 3-6 day virus that included temperatures over 101F and a whole lot of tissues.  I’ve had pneumonia for last 10 weeks on top of this (slooowwwly recovering) and I have two chronic illnesses on top of all this.  Thanks for the reminder not to push and it’s honestly good to know that everyone had weeks like this! 

    And you’re right – there’s a lot to be thankful for: none of us will loose our jobs or even pay because we had to take some time off, my grading will get done before grades are due, my Dad has a wonderful surgeon and the surgury went great, we’re all getting healthier – even slowly, and we all will have a week or two off to rest before having to head back to school/work in January.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for the encouragement!

  • Kitty B

    I’m just coming out of a year like that. It has not been easy, and I haven’t always handled it well. But God’s presence and wisdom and love have been overwhelming in their constancy. When you can be clear-headed enough to look for it, there are always things to learn – and so grow in wisdom. It’s amazing how in the midst of the worst times, beautiful things grow. :)  Praying for you and your family, Michael! Thanks for  the post.

  • Gabeswing

    Hi Michael, 

    Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate right now- I endured this thing called poison wood found here in the Caribbean last spring- no fun.  I will send a few prayers your way!  Especially for your father. 

    God Bless, 


  • Catherine_123

    I too am going through a time of trial, wondering how many more obstacles life can throw at me!  I agree that trusting God is the best thing to do, even though I’m having trouble focusing enough to pray.  Sleep is important, as well as eating healthy food.  God be with you and your family in this Christmas season!

  • http://twitter.com/ekjcpa Erin Johnstone

    Love your take aways!

  • Ken Shaddox

    Thank you for your transparency about what is going on in your life and family. Be assured of my prayers for you in the days ahead. You are a blessing to so many people through your blog and platform. Blessings.

  • http://www.tammyhelfrich.com/ Tammy Helfrich

    So sorry to hear about the bedbugs!! It seems like these things happen all at once sometimes. Have been praying for your Dad, and now will include praying for you and your family throughout all of the rough spots. Hang in there!

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    That’s a lot of stuff at one time! When I go through crazy moments like this I stop, pray then throw on some Pandora on my iPhone. Music is what calms me down and ready to start tackling tasks.

    Been praying for your dad.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’d have to say a few years back. First, my dad had to have surgery on his neck to fuse 7 vertebrae. Next, my wife’s mom experienced heart failure. Thankfully this was while she was at the doctor’s for a routine visit. Toss in work issues and it was a hectic, rough time.

    I tried to take all of it in stride. Some days it worked well, others I felt frazzled and ready to give up. I then had to push through and get through it with the rest of the family.

  • Sheryl Root

    Praying for you and your family Michael!

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Michael, I love point #4. 

  • Evelyn

    I envy you – only a week or so and there’s an end in sight for you.
    Two and a half months ago my husband came home from worked feeling chilled – we thought it was just a flu or cold. Since then he’s been in the hospital 3 times – several times I wasn’t sure I’d be bringing him home. Turned out he got a very rare bacterial infection and was put on very heavy antibiotics – which are almost worse than the infection. And he’s supposed to be on them for six months!
    Fortunately I had booked holiday time – and it plus two extra weeks went to spending all my time taking care of my husband.
    I dropped everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary – all I could focus on was fighting for my husband’s health and keeping myself as healthy as possible so I didn’t crash.
    You let go and trust God. Easier said than done – but sometimes there is no other option. And you discover Him right there in the midst of all the awfulness – when nothing makes any sense.
    You learn to trust your friends and church family – and we’ve been blessed with an amazing one. They’ve prayed and loved us through this so far and are still there for us – ’cause it ain’t over yet.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    A wise person learns from any season of life, especially seasons of life your experiencing. It’s so important to remember God loves and cares for us not matter how we feel or what we are going through. I’ll be praying for you during this season.

  • http://www.elizabethingersoll.blogspot.com BethIngersoll

    I’m in that season now. My dad went into the hospital the day after Thanksgiving, I have 3 kids (1 in college) and I work full-time. I spent several days with dad, watching him go from bad to worse. Turns out he was nearing the end of his earthly journey, so add in the emotional stress as we moved him to a long-term care unit, and had to bring my college-aged son home the week before finals to see his grandfather one more time. Finally, after nearly three weeks of constant changes, dad passed away last week, and the next few days were non-stop funeral stuff. The only thing that could have made it worse was if someone in my house were also ill.

    It really is a relief now, as dad had been deteriorating for a while, and he hated it. I miss him, but he is in such a better place now. I have to remember that, and just try to not push myself to do too much, recognize when my emotions are about to let loose, and rest. All 7 of your take-aways are exactly right for me now, too. I hope you and your father both recover soon!

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks for saying that, Pat. I really appreciate it.

  • http://www.veronicajonesbrown.com/ Veronica Jones-Brown

    Micheal, sorry to hear of the recent calamity you and your dad are experiencing. However, I’m encouraged at your outlook and your continued capacity to reach out to others and offer strength and encouragement, even in your distress.

    I’m praying for you and your dad. May you continue to prosper!

  • Phil Smith

    Given the events on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School – I find this post extremely selfish and frankly – embarrassing.
    Shame on you for posting about “bed bugs” when 26 families, a community and our country have been forever changed by this tragic event.
    I will no longer subscribe to your blog post.
    Phil Smith

  • Christa Upton

    Prayers for you and your family!!!

     I have been in a season like this for about 4 years!  “The Unexpected” about 4 years ago changed my
    life in just about every way one can imagine and continues to affect every day.  Here is how I have been handling it:


    1.      Cry.

    2.      Get

    3.      Re-surrender
    to God.

    4.      Wait
    for the next step from God.

    5.      Obey
    God with His help.

    6.      Thank
    God for everything good (including good stuff coming out of the bad).

    7.      Pray
    for relief from the difficulties.

    8.      Repeat


    Thank you for your points, especially 5.!  Yes, you sometimes just have to roll with
    life.  In my case, I “rolled into” a
    completely different “career.” 
    Long-term, disabling illness took me from musician, dancer, and
    stay-at-home mom to writer!  

  • David Giersdorf

    I have learned to embrace such times. The good and bad is all the same. It is the stuff of life. 
    I focus much attention on maintaining character throughout.I felel the pain and worry and do my best to direct that energy to good eventual outcomes, even if present circumstances are decidedly not good. I remain sensitive to what those close to me are also experiencing and do my best to provide strength while drawing strength.Most importantly, I refuse to co-create a perfect storm out of the cumulative impact of several separate challenges. Instead, I strive to keep them separate, relating to and addressing each on its own basis, never allowing the combination of events to become the focus and to overwhelm or create a paralysis of will.

  • JanetHertogh

    Michael, it doesn’t even matter that I am also going through that kind of season, too, however since by God’s grace we are healthy, I will be praying all week for you and your Dad. You are fortunate he is still around, as I miss mine horribly. 
    You are doing a great job rolling with it!!! :-)  Keep rolling and praying!

  • Jannie

    Thank you for sharing.
    I pray that you will be fuelled in your being-functions during this “sabbatical”.
    You’ve been such a great intentional leader -I pray that ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

    Blessings from a sunny Gordon’s Bay, South Africa!

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  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    Lindsey Vonn is having a racing season like this. She’s handling it by taking “some time off the mountain” to regain her strength. 

  • Amber

    Michael, this just might be my favorite post of yours so far. It’s easy as a reader to view life coaches as somehow superhuman. As the rest of us struggle daily to balance life’s surprises while still applying productivity principles, we might fall into the trap of believing that you are somehow immune to troubles if you never write about those experiences. Thank you for being so transparent today.

  • Pru

    I’ve faced a bit of this just this season. Prayer is helping me cope – and I’ve finally given over to the fact that I absolutely cannot control everything. Duh. The more I try, the more painful it gets. I keep reminding myself to be gentle, not only with those around me, but with myself as well. Hope that you and your father make a full recovery to enjoy a peace-filled, family Christmas.

  • Rita

    This will also part and God is in control.I just run to Jesus and pray earnestly for this to end.I read, think through and keep focused. I thought i was in my chaotic world alone but we shall overcome.

  • http://www.softskillsforhardjobs.com/ Jim Ryan

    Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. 
    – Helen Keller 

    Even though I wouldn’t wish to go through my trials and suffering again, I would not be the person I am today without it all.

    Hope your dad gets well soon.

  • Sivadds

    My prayers are with your dad and your family. May he recover and get well soon. Take care and thank you for being an inspiration, Michael.

  • http://www.curtiscopeland.com curtiscopeland

    Praying for you and your family Michael. 

  • VickyC

    Michael, what a week! You have always been open and transparent, but I especially appreciate your vulnerability  here. I’m praying for all your family as well. How hard this must be on your mom & Gail!

  • http://www.mazzastick.com/ Justin

    Quite an experience you had there Michael. Congrats on winning the CYT Top Personal Development blog award.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Justin. I’m honored.

  • http://sevensentences.com/ Geoff Talbot

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for sharing so honestly, I think when we let other people know of our struggles in normalizes everything that we are going through.

    To often when the brown stuff hits the fan, we can feel targeted or victimized BECAUSE no one else who is anybody ever seems to experience these things. Despite knowing with our faith that it rains on both the good and the evil, the saints and the miscreants.

    I try and remember that there is a seasonal aspect to all our journeys; we’ve had a ridiculously tough year on so many levels BUT I felt it coming, prepared for it and in man ways it has just been a matter of one foot in front of the other while we wait it out.

    But many good things, many humble things have been happening and growing inside of us during this season.

    So even though it has been terrible…. it has also been good.

    Geoff Talbot
    Seven Sentences

  • http://twitter.com/DennisMcIntee Dennis McIntee

    Michael… I always appreciate your transparency in how you communicate, whether written or audio, it shines through.  Your content is always an immense help to me.  Hope to meet you live in person one day

  • Doug

    Yikes! Two thoughts: 
    1. There was a recent report in the Wall Street Journal that–since people often read in bed–bringing books home borrowed from a public library may mean bringing bed bugs home with them. 
    2. New office? It wasn’t that long ago that you were setting up your “new” office at home was it? Why the change?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      The reason for the new office is that I needed a distraction-free environment. I have five daughters and eight grandchildren, all of whom live in the area. They are always dropping by the house—which I love—but it was hard for me to stay in my office and be productive. I couldn’t resist coming out and loving on them. ;-)

  • anonymous

    Lean on me.
    No really – actively ask your readers for prayer.
    I asked God this week to help me stop giving such great emotional importance to a cousin who has shut me out (due to differing beliefs perhaps) and within one hour I heard a preacher on the radio say “…Do you need a cousin? Jesus will be your cousin. You need a father, He’ll be your heavenly father…[and more]”
    How often do we hear that on the radio?

  • http://joeabrahamlive.com/ Joe Abraham

    I can, to some extent, identify with what you shared here, Michael. 
    Will surely pray for you and your Dad! 

    Like to share an encouraging Scripture that comes to my mind now – 
    “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You” (Isaiah 26:3 AMP)

  • ~MEJ~

    Your are indeed a true man of GOD.  All you can do is place all your trust and faith in HIM.  As you mentioned; This too shall pass.
    ~Mimi Jenkins~

  • Carrie W

    I really appreciated your article today.  I had been sitting here in my office reflecting on some challenges I’m facing, and it’s definitely timely.  I think the biggest time that is relavent to your question was when I’d only been in my position for about 4 1/2 months.  One of the people I supervise, who was in charge of supervising 2 separate departments announced their departure. I felt overwhelmed, as another one was out for a couple weeks with surgery and there were other issues as well. How did I handle it? Well, initially, I cried, because that’s what I do when frustrated. It was short lived as I talked with my boss who promised it was a good thing and things were going to be alright. She left for a meeting promising to come back and discuss it. By the time she returned (about an hour), I’d wiped the tears away, prayed, called a friend for prayer as well, and took out fresh paper and started writing down and prioritizing all my responsibilities and duties in addition to their responsibilities. Things got a 1, 2,3 or 4. 1’s and 2’s stayed on my list in order of importance; 3’s got delegated, and 4’s could wait. Then I went through and marked what could be delegated.  It wasn’t easy, but with great mentoring from my boss and support from other coworkers, I grew through the experiences. As always, I find lots of growth in my position and try to look at those challenges as opportunities both personally and professionally.  Your site is one I turn to often for your insight and wisdom, and I’ve referred my teams to it as well.  Thank you Michael.

  • YahuwsIbex

    Thanks for your post…I’ve had my share over the past 16 months as well – I was about 3-4 months pregnant with my son last year September when I discovered my husband cheating on Facebook; my little girl was just over 2 years old. He wasn’t only having an online affair he had actually slept with the same woman a year earlier. She was a client while he was working as a PSD in Iraq. I kept everything quiet as I knew the birth had to be paid and that my husband would make a run for it if I told him at that time that it was over. On 17 January 2012 my baby boy was born, after I had to get an emergency c-section because I got pre-eclampsia again. My son weighed a healthy 3,6 kg at 37 weeks but his first day in this world wasn’t the best…He swallowed to much amniotic fluid the moment the doctor delivered him and he turned white and stopped breathing. I didn’t see all this, my mother, who was with me in the theater did, and she said it was the worst thing she ever had to witness. When she saw how the doctor was trying to get him to breath again and how white he was, she immediately switched off the camera…she felt her knees get weak…and she just prayed for him to start breathing again. She knew what I had been through in the past 4 and a half months and she knew  how much my boy meant to me. He did start breathing but he struggled the whole day and he had pain. They only brought him to me at about 4 pm that afternoon – about 9 hours after he was born. He lay against my chest with only his nappy on…his breathing was being assisted by an oxygen pipe placed near his little face. To feel his little body against mine for the first time was the most wonderful feeling considering what happened at his delivery. I just wanted him to stay with me, where he belonged. At about 5 pm we tried to get him to breastfeed…he drank for about half an hour!!! I was overjoyed. It was the most amazing feeling to see him make such a comeback after he struggled so much. Over the next two weeks he improved tremendously despite having jaundice as well. My blood pressure was at it’s highest after his birth and it was quite scary at some point it had me in tears. 
    Just when things where getting back to “normal” my husband notified me via e-mail of his intention to divorce. My son was two weeks old. The divorce proceedings started…and the most difficult year I’ve ever had to face. In May I found out he got engaged to a Filipino woman two days before my son’s birth. Suddenly everything made sense and all the lies where starting to fit like a puzzle. He rejected our son openly on Facebook and lied to people about our relationship status. On 18 October he got married illegally to this woman as we are still married and the divorce hasn’t even reached a settlement agreement yet. I saw all the photos on Facebook and it wasn’t nice looking at them but I could handle it. What was very difficult to handle though was the video of the wedding. When I saw him, I started crying (soflty so no-one could hear me…). He walked toward the camera…and as he did this I knew he was walking out of our lives for good. I kept seeing my two beautiful children’s faces and eyes in front of me as I looked at this video…my heart tore apart and I just cried…cried…cried. 

    Today my son is 11 months old and my daughter is 3 years and 8 months old. My son has never seen his daddy, he doesn’t even really know he has a dad. My little girl longs for a father when she sees other kids playing with their dads and she doesn’t understand why her daddy has chosen someone else over us – over them. 

    He hasn’t cared about building a relationship with them either as he only phones once every 5-6 weeks and he has Skyped about 4 times this year. He has threatened to disappear if I do not agree to his terms for the divorce and my gut feeling tells me he will do this at some point in the future.  There has been so many fights and so much heartache and pain…I don’t want this to be part of my and my children’s lives anymore. 

    If it was not for my faith in Yahweh Yahuwshua I don’t know how I would have been able to handle and overcome all this. He has been my Rock all this time, strengthening me and lifting me up and carrying me when I didn’t have the power to face life. It also because of my persuasion in Him, that I chose not to take matters into my own hands but to let Him have vengeance and retribution. 

    Life does sometimes just happen. Everyone isn’t in the same boat and none of us have the exact same experiences and circumstances, but all of us have faced mountains that had to be climbed, each person busy with their own life story. No matter how big or small your mountain may be or may have been it has served a purpose in your life and always remember “this too shall pass” because everything has already been accomplished in Him. 

  • http://www.leavingconformitycoaching.com/ Randy Crane

    Wow, Michael! That’s quite an onslaught of circumstances all at once. I’m glad most are progressing well, and I pray they will continue to do so.

    Also, #4 in your list of take-aways reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from the canceled-too-soon TV series “Firefly”: “If you can’t do something smart, do something right.” I remind myself of that often.

  • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

    I thought about you several times this past week
    wondering why your posts were less frequent – now I know why.


    I prayed for you and your dad – I trust you are both
    improving. Please update us.


    Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.toddstocker.com/ Todd Stocker

    Michael, I’m experiencing that season RIGHT NOW!  I’m a pastor and with Sunday services tomorrow and Christmas Eve/Day following that, I have been hit with a nasty cold which leans toward pneumonia.  

    However, I’m surrounded by a great team who is filling in as need be.  Thanks for the post!

  • Jeffrey Paul

    I am sure you know this but no matter how it looks …all things work together for the good and God sees to it. Thank you for sharing your inner life it makes us all know we all face real life everyday. Jeffrey Paul 2 Corinthians 4:17

  • Renata

    Hi Michael,

    Sorry to hear about all these problems. I think the best thing to do in such case, and what I usually do when I am sick or other things out of my control happen, is to take it easy and relax, if possible.  Perhaps it happened to tell you that you need to take some more personal time and even stop blogging for a week or two.

    Holidays are coming so take a break, relax and enjoy staying with your family and friends. Many people will be away from computers as well, so they will even not notice that there were no new blog posting from you, and if they do, they won’t be surprised since it is holidays time.

    Merry Christmas, happy Holidays and a very healthy and wonderful New Year  to you and to your Family. I hope your father will get well to be home for Christmas or sooner.

  • http://twitter.com/landrewchalmers Andrew Chalmers

    Two weeks ago I found myself working an extra 20 hours, packing to leave the country and moving all in about 5 days. I was so overwhelmed but just had to do the same thing you suggested which was stand on the Truth! The belt of truth is mentioned first in Ephesians 6 for a reason! I believe that remembering the Truth is the most important thing in your life as a Christian. Thanks for this transparent post Michael! I will keep you all in my prayers!

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    So sorry for all you had to go through all compacted together!  I hope you are feeling better!

  • Jesus loves me

    Three years ago my family experienced one devastating issue after another that has forever changed my life starting with a sibling’s marriage breakup after almost a 30 year marriage, crippling stroke for my father, death of my beloved Pastor of almost 30 years who was like a family member, loss of my beautiful 19 year old niece due to a driver under the influence.  Through all of this my God is still faithful and a source of strength!!

  • Hanging in there

    Like your list of things to remember. Within the past month, my brother died, I found out my husband is having an affair, I’ve started the divorce process, and am waiting on some test results that will tell me if I have a terminal disease. It’s been a lot to deal with all at once.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Wow. I’m so sorry.

  • Phoenix537512

    Michael, life happens as you said, it happens all the time, I have been married 20 years, and one of the earliest talks we had was what we will do if the other died, we concluded that God put us on earth to love and be happy, and that was what we should do. Sad or difficult times happens, and sometimes the do happen all together. My heart goes to you and your family, I pray for you andyour father. 

  • Colleen Donaldson

    Hello- I have gratefully received your life plan, and also your blogs for a while now, and came across this one tonight-almost as if God meant for me to read it again. My experience, in relation to yours is as follows. I was a successful but unfulfilled money-chasing businesswomen, who gave it all up around the time of my divorce, and stupidly thought I would “simply” re-create a new life based upon my newly-studied and passionate set of values- with God’s will as my highest priority. Well, it turned into 4 years of pure hell, where I couldn’t find work, after running out of money to sustain my two daughters and I, but I received a divinely inspired instruction from God, to write a book, which He also confirmed in the exact way I asked for (secretly in my heart) and poured 3 years into writing this book. Then, after gaining employment,finally, at a small ad agency, I gave it my all only to be retrenched 3 months later which co-incided with my father being diagnosed as terminally ill with cancer. This plan of God’s worked well into our lives, as I was then free to assist in nursing my dad, enabling my mom to keep her morning position which she does require. This I did until his death a month later; during which time all our long-standing relationship issues were healed. I then re-located back to Johannesburg from the coastal city of Durban in South Africa, where there was more work opportunities and also sent out my book proposal and first 4 chapters to numerous American based publishing houses. I was rejected by many; which was to be expected, but then I received 2 offers. Obviously I believed THIS WAS IT! My breakthrough! the 1 offer far outweighed the other in the financial and marketing benefits offered…and, of course, this was a dream come true as the book is not about me or my ego, its about reaching as many women and girls to provide hope for them, when relating to the many life issues involved in the story of the book. I duly signed the contract, and am now working my butt off at a boring, under-paid job to afford the publicity fees-only to discover tonight that my so-called reputable publisher appears to be a fraud..and my dream appears shattered.  Yip- great plans…..and then life happens!

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