When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Where should I begin? When I thought I had breast cancer last week or when my child didn’t get the class I wanted?

And, I’d love to write an entire different post on successes. I have had a lot of questions on my recent celebrations on whether they are self-made or favor by God. I’d love to address my best guess on that.  I’ll come back to that another day.


So, when things don’t go well – how do I handle that? I’m sad to say, I didn’t do so great lately.

I just wanted to share because they were markers for me. Lessons for me that shined a light on how I can see God refining my character for the future. I thought I’d share since I’m always quick to share the good stuff.

I better share the breast stuff first. I started feeling pain on one side – like really uncomfortable. For about 3-4 days. I thought there is NO WAY I am pregnant.

I had a chiropractor/acupuncture appt for my migraines (I’ll try just about anything for my head at this points point).  got worried I needed to know if I was pregnant prior to that appt. I sure did get a pregnancy test in Publix and take it IN THE BATHROOM WHILE TEXTING with Katie, Ashley, Amber and Kylie via group text.

Imagine …snorting from laughter, dropping everything, the first test not working, mass confusion from all the ladies, texting photos, Katie almost losing feeling in her limbs…. it was an epic feed of texts. Ron would’ve really enjoyed finding out about a third child after this nonsense. Oh good grief.


The result after two tests and almost sweating through my shirt – negative.

I immediately got concerned. This pain isn’t right. Something is wrong. So, I made an appointment for a few days later with my OB. I am giving you details because I think our health is so important. She did feel some lumpy stuff and said she wanted me to go to get a mammogram and an ultrasound right away. She left the room. And the tears starting pouring. She came back in and told me it was more than likely NOTHING and fybrocystic stuff. My mind just went all the way there. And fear started coming.

I sat in the car and boohooed by myself for a while and then make the appointment. And, wouldn’t you know my kindred spirit just knew to call and Katie calls in. Within one breath – she said, “What is wrong?” And she remained calm. But understood.

I am so thankful I called precious Bobbie Wolgemuth, a Stage 4 cancer survivor. My agent’s wife. She told me I was on assignment. To bring joy and light and hope to someone without it in the cancer center that day. Wow.

Up until her email – I had been reeling. Praying but scared. Living out of fear. And thinking the worst. I am a drama queen and a constant overeacter. I had pretty much planned who was watching the girls for my chemo treatments – my mind had gone that far. Then, I begin to think if it was good news – why me? why do others get bad news and why do I get good news? I was a mess. I am so glad she changed my mindset.

So many friends prayed and sweet Katie set her alarm every hour to pray.



So, it wasn’t until her email that I rested. I knew God had me. I got the proper perspective that it’s simply a a test and I don’t have enough information to freak out. She gave me the beautiful mindset to worry about others and not myself. And sure enough, a beautiful woman rolled up right next to me with chemo flowing through her veins. We had a wonderful chat.

My news was great – nothing. Clear. Body changes in my time of the month and a harmless cyst. So, I let that rule me and my thoughts because I had some PMS? Wha?



Next health scare, I hope I’ll wait for more facts – remain in peace that God has it. Look for others over myself more quickly. I preach some mighty claims out of this mouth – but when it gets tough, how do I react? That is convicting me this week. I am also thinking about what does fear say about my amount of trust?

So, for those that are facing cancer or don’t get the good news. Will you know that I prayed for you on that table that day? They took forever coming back to me and I laid there thinking how many women have gone before me and how different their road must be. You are strong. God loves you so very much. Don’t give up.


I’ll do the next one quickly. School Drama.

I basically got the news that my child was in a class without her friends with a new teacher for the Fall. Let’s be honest, it’s just preK and she’s a rock star socially.

But friends – this has me crying all day yesterday. I told you – drama queen. Every text to her friend’s moms confirmed they were all in the other class. And, with every text – my heart sunk. I was heartbroken for her, but honestly for me. I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted her to have some friends she knew in her class. Does it matter? No. Does God have this? Sure does. Will I probably LOVE this teacher and every mom in there. You betcha.


I handled it like a baby and a raging helicopter mom. I preach to my kids to “hold their tongue” and I’ll fire off a text and email in two flat seconds. I have them memorize “Do everything without complaining or arguing” and I did both of those ALL DAY to anyone that would listen.

Why can’t I just pray and wait to get proper perspective? UGH!!! The truth is that it’s hard not to take some of these things personally.

The truth is that I wish some things had been handled differently by the school, but who the heck am I? We are one family in a sea of families. They have so much on their plates. How much grace did I offer them yesterday? I am supposed to be the SUPER Christian on their roster and I believe I was their biggest drama of the day yesterday. That doesn’t match up. It doesn’t mean I just take it and never speak up – but  I could’ve handled it much better.

My learning was to wait, pray and wait some more. See it for what it is in the scheme of life. Try not to take it so personally. Get the FACTS again before reacting and just maybe trust that God has bigger better things for my girl in store that I cannot see. I love this school and I know they love my child. I have to remember that truth, even when things don’t go my way.

So, learn from me… in the mess. In the mistakes. Trust God. His plan is way better than our fleshly gut reactions.

And one other important lesson… world isn’t revolving around you courtney defeo. Oh and there’s that.


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  1. I really needed this today!! I tend to let my emotions get the best of me, and before I know it I’m in “worst case scenario” mode! You are such a great Mama and inspiration!
    Happy Friday to you!

  2. The waiting is always the hardest! And, I very often want God to follow MY plan instead of me following HIS plan, which is what I should do, and I’d probably be a lot less stressed if I gave up some of my control-freak issues! Looking back in my life there are many things that did not go my way, but my life is SO much better today than what I could have ever planned. However, I still have have a hard time trusting God’s plan for me and my family. Its a daily struggle, I just try to remember the verse, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
    Also, so glad your health scare was just a scare! But, it is a scary thing and so hard not to let our minds go into overdrive!

  3. it’s nice to know that i’m not the only gal who is a “mess”. i have the same trouble with automatic reactions. thank you for sharing so honestly!

  4. Ok, I soooo feel you girl. When you wrote, “I preach to my kids to “hold their tongue” and I’ll fire off a text and email in two flat seconds”…I was having such a similar conversation with myself this morning! (Yes, I do talk to myself on a regular basis.) Why am I so hard on my kids yet constantly rationalize my own behavior away. Talk about convicting!
    And I am SO glad all the health stuff is OK. A while ago, a friend said to me, “fear is not one of the fruits of the spirit.” That really hit home to me and is something I try and cling to whenever I feel that fear or anxiety rising up in me.

  5. Love this Courtney! Sitting in my laundry room crying over this one. You sure can get me thinking and I appreciate you sharing the good and the bad in life with us.

  6. Your post struck a chord with me today. It’s so important that we step outside of ourselves and help others when we start obsessing over ourselves. It’s a tool I use often, that and The Armor of
    God. I’ve had a crazy 10 years – Cancer, Heart Failure from Chemo, Divorce, Dad died from Cancer, Custody Battle. Moving. Going back to work Full time – clearly it’s HIS plan, not mine (I could have done without a couple of those ;)). But it’s a perfect plan because He’s working through me and helping me to grow more Christ like. I have learned so much through it all and I know with all my heart that He is there with me (and always has been) and I completely trust His plan. Acceptance is the answer! It is so beautiful and comforting to see how He has progressed in my heart and how I have handled each battle increasingly better…just a few months ago, I walked into a courtroom (suited up with The Armor of God), stepped up on the witness stand and told the Judge why the kids should be with me more. I completely trusted that God would do what was best for the kids and because of that I had a peace about me. I remember the waiting and the fear during my earlier battles (throwing up in the Court’s bathroom before Divorce Trial began) and it’s a sad way to live. It is so freeing to Let Go and Let God. Happy Friday! 🙂

    1. oh Leah. thank you. i wondered how those with WAY more trying battles would react to my post today. since mine seem so silly or trivial. i am so glad you wrote. and i am so proud of you. i believe the Lord is clearly using and will continue to use you to help others see their circumstances much differently and how to fight through them with courage like you have done.

  7. Thank you so much for your transparency and willingness to share. I read the articles here almost daily and they enrich my life every time. I thank God for you and your contributors for the truth they speak into my life.

  8. This Allison was going to say the same thing as the other Allison. I had a scare in May and I was bawling at the center (all three times I was back there) and wondered how my girls would ever possiblly fare without me. DRAMA! I also had to untype a text this week before I hit “send” when my Mama Bear instinct kicked in. Thank you so much for sharing Courtney!

  9. As someone who laid on that same table 8 months ago but didn’t get good results, I know those feelings all too well! This post took me right back to that day. Now 6 months into treatment and preparing for the first of several surgeries Monday, I can honestly say I’m not scared. It’s a powerful and difficult lesson to learn that if the worst happens, God will still be there and still be in control, but how freeing to know that!

  10. Well, Courtney, do know that you are not alone in struggling with “jumping to conclusions.” Even at the ripe old age of 60, I still struggle. A super great post and sweet blessings to you as you “go forth.”

  11. I’ve thought many times how my kids will be in classes with many different people through the years. I wish the same class could just go up through the grades together but alas. Every year this is going to come up for me and how my daughter o son(< who am I kidding- he cares about zero about this. Just me!) reacts will be a reflection of what they've seen in me! Even people not staying at the school can feel so disappointing when we've bonded. We're being sharpened here and it's all about us and God over all else. So proud of your strength and humor on the other side of these times, Courtney!

  12. Thanks for sharing. I have no young children at home now. But through my granddaughter I see things .

  13. You are such a blessing! Thank you for sharing real life, real mom moments. I always learn from your posts and wrote several notes down today!

  14. Thank you for your honesty and the blessing that you are to so many. I would be the same way about the school thing. I’m already nervous about our class assignments for the fall.

  15. Only just read this today. Wow! Thank you for sharing this over a year ago. I had the same health scare with the same results and **blush** same reaction from my part. And this evening I felt awful as earlier today I did not hold back when I realised that the project I had been working on for the past couple of years nearly fell through. But reading your post has comforted me. And it actually reminded me what my sweet Mum used read to me: Jeremiah 18:1-6. “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Your ministry is such a blessing – God bless you! PS – Do you know who stocks the ABC Scripture Cards in England? 🙂

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