When You Encounter the Unexpected

I encountered the unexpected last weekend and learned a big lesson!

I Encountered the Unexpected in a Blow Dryer…

Sometimes it’s not the thing that’s wrong, but our thinking.

Between my cousin’s baby shower and my visit with the ladies of the Stafford, VA Military Wives Connect group, I spent two nights at my aunt’s house. The second morning I decided to use her blow dryer because it was already plugged into the wall and ready to go. I reached for the handle and was surprised when it immediately turned on. I assumed I had just bumped the switch when I grabbed it. But then every time I moved my hand off the handle to wrap another section of hair around my brush, it switched off. Then, back on again mysteriously.

I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with it. I quickly grew annoyed with the disparity between the way I expected it to work and the way it was actually functioning. I worried that there could be a short with the cord and considered dragging my own out of my bag.

But then I realized there was a pattern.

And my mind was blown. It was genius.

Her blow dryer was designed to shut off when sensors on the handle broke contact with my hand! Safety, energy conservation, and heat reduction all in one. It turns out the way it was functioning was way better than the way I expected it to work.

When we encounter the unexpected, sometimes it's not the thing that's wrong, but our thinking. #encountertheunexpected @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

Why My Initial Reaction Was Telling

What really floored me was my initial reaction when I encountered the unexpected. My wonder turned to worry in less time that it took to dry one section of my newly shortened hair. I assumed something was wrong with the thing. But what was really wrong was my thinking.

And this can happen in so many situations and circumstances. When I don’t understand what’s going on, too often I assume there is a problem. That’s when I can get bent out of shape pretty quickly. I tend to see the world through the filter of what I know. We all do. That is perfectly normal.

But when we encounter the unexpected and automatically jump to conclusions or make rash judgments, bad things happen. We hurt others by dismissing their thoughts or feelings as being faulty. We create animosity and fear inside our own minds or our social circles if our reactions are too impulsive. And sometimes we miss out on blessings because we couldn’t even imagine the unexpected in a positive light. We make a lot of messes if we react without pausing to think when we encounter the unexpected.

So, what should we do when we encounter the unexpected?

When encountering the unexpected, investigate before you retaliate.
When encountering the unexpected, investigate before you retaliate.


We have to look beyond what we know if we ever expect to grow. Other people have different life experiences that lead them to a variety of differing opinions and a wide array of passions. But rarely do we get the full picture from a 140 character tweet, a random remark, or even a rambling Facebook rant. But we act as if we’ve seen behind the curtain and discovered a catastrophic flaw, then fire back with our own unmeasured monologue undoubtedly deepening the divide or depriving ourselves of a new perspective. When instead, we could ask questions and dig deeper into the underlying issue to discover the hidden truth.

We have to look beyond what we know if we ever expect to grow. #encountertheunexpected @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

When we encounter the unexpected, we ought not immediately give up or give in to worry or fear without first investigating. There is an enormous wealth of knowledge out there, and I barely possess and infinitesimal fraction of it. So there are a lot of things and ideas that take me by surprise. But I never want to miss out on something beautiful because I didn’t expect it or understand it at first glance.

Investigate Before You Retaliate

When encountering the unexpected, investigate before you retaliate. This is all part of the proper way we wonder when we don’t understand something.

When is the last time you encountered something unexpected? How did you react? What will you do differently in the future?

When encountering the unexpected, investigate before you retaliate. #encountertheunexpected @LizGiertz Click To Tweet
 You Encounter the Unexpected
When You Encounter the Unexpected

Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerFaith On FireSusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridaySoul SurvivalRah Rah Link UpTell His StorySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market FridaySalt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope

10 thoughts on “When You Encounter the Unexpected

  1. Girl, the unexpected can throw me too! I’m impressed that you continued using the hairdryer. I’m wondering if I would have said, “Nope. This thing is going crazy!”

    So many good nuggets in here, friend. You are one wise woman.

    Miss you bunches and love you lots, Carmen

    1. Awww… I was like 2 seconds away from putting that thing back where I found it and using my own! So glad I stuck with it so God could teach me something new! Miss you, too, friend. xoxo

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