This prompt is personal tragedy. How do you respond when tragedy strikes? Whatever the tragedy, whether huge or just a minor inconvenience, it can change the flow of life, causing changes of direction or shaping us in new ways. Tragedy can cause ripples in your life leaving doubts or helping you to discover new strengths.
We all have times where things haven't turned out the way we expected or hoped. At the time it can feel like the world has ended, that we'll never get to do that thing we wanted to do, that we might as well just pack it all in. But when we look back on those times they are often the turning point that sent us off in a new and interesting direction; the open door to a possibility we never knew existed.
When I did my A levels at 18 I didn't get exactly the grades that my first choice of university wanted from me (they were strict in what I got in each subject). Although I did well and passed all four that I took, they wouldn't take me. Then followed a harrowing few days while I waited to see if my second choice had space for me. They did, but not in the subject I had picked at first although they had space in a related subject that started out with the same foundation programme.
I chose to go with my second choice and it changed my life. While I was there I came to faith and when I stayed in Sheffield after finishing my degree I met my husband at the church I had started to attend in my final year. I find it amazing when I look back that the person who led me to Christ wasn't doing her first choice either, and my husband ended up in Sheffield by accident because the project he was part of didn't work out and he went to stay with friends.
What could have been a tragedy ended up with great blessing for me.
It's not always as bad as it seems at the time.