Resting in God’s Goodness When Your Story Shifts

by Sarah Frazer October 17, 2023
“... I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’” Exodus 33:19a (ESV)

“This wasn’t part of the plan.” I sat on the bed in the hotel room in the middle of China and whispered those words. As my husband and I held our newly adopted daughter, we realized that her physical needs were much more severe than we had originally thought.

The first day I held her, I cried. I didn’t understand what God was doing. I didn’t feel prepared to be a mother who had a child with special needs. Suddenly, my story had shifted. There were so many questions and no answers. Would she go to school? Who would take care of her after I was gone? Could I really do this? I was not equipped!

I’m the type of person who wants solid answers because I want to prepare and make plans. Through our daughter’s adoption, God was starting to teach me that certainty cannot be found in my plans or in the ability to predict the future. God has shifted my story many times since that day in March with our daughter. He is still teaching me — because when this happens, I’m often still quick to question God’s goodness.

Your life has probably shifted over the years, too, and maybe you just want to know what to expect. I’m sorry I can’t tell you what your future looks like. But I can tell you who holds your future.

Our daughter has thrived these past eight years, but some aspects of her future are still unknown. Will she live on her own? What kind of care will she need three years from now, or 10, or 20? Those questions remain unanswered, but God’s goodness has never left her or the rest of our family, and I know He never will.

God is so incredibly good. In the Bible, the story of Moses has shown me how God’s goodness isn’t necessarily tied to my plans but to His glory. Before heading toward the promised land with the Israelites, Moses said to God, “Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18, ESV). God’s response was, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD’” (Exodus 33:19a).

God’s glory is tied to His goodness, and God’s goodness is tied to His name, which reveals His character. Moses had met this Lord at the burning bush (Exodus 3:15), and even through plagues and wilderness wandering, God continued to be good to Moses and His people Israel, just like God has been and will continue to be good to you and me.  

God might lead us on a path we didn’t plan for, but God’s goodness never leaves us. Moses didn’t need a detailed plan before heading to the promised land; he needed to be reminded of God’s goodness. The thing about this goodness is that it passed before Moses. All Moses had to do was rest in it, and so do we. Our life won’t come with a map, but it comes with a promise: If we follow God, His goodness will follow us all of the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6).

Dear heavenly Father, I don’t know what lies ahead, but You do. Help me to rest in Your goodness that is rooted in Your character as I confidently step into whatever You have planned for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


If you’ve ever said the words, “I didn’t sign up for this …” check out Sarah’s new book, I Didn’t Sign Up for This: How to Rest in God’s Goodness When Your Story Shifts. Learn how to say goodbye to disillusionment and disappointment; invite God’s plan, presence, promises and purpose back into your heart by diving deep into the story of Moses; and discover how Moses trusted God’s goodness and sovereignty even when he faced an unknown future. You can walk forward knowing God’s goodness has never left you.



Discover more encouragement from Sarah on her Instagram.

If you feel stuck in your Bible reading and prayer habits, Sarah would love to send you her FREE resource How to Study the Bible: An Interactive Workbook. Download here!


Psalm 31:19, “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” (ESV).

How has God shown you His goodness today? Share in the comments below.

© 2023 by Sarah Frazer. All rights reserved.

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