Life is unpredictable. The plans we dream about and make don’t always become our realities.

When Bethany Beal was just 21 years old she bought her wedding dress. The only problem with that is she was single with no prospects on the horizon.

"My older sister Kristen was getting married. She was wedding dress shopping, and I just happened to find the dress of my dreams and Kristen convinced me to get it," says Beal, co-founder of Girl Defined Ministries.

Beal says the dress sat in the back of her closet for the next ten years. 

"It haunted me because I was not getting married, and this was a huge desire of mine. I thought, isn't marriage a good thing? Like God, wouldn't you want me to get married and have kids? That would be so wonderful. I would love to serve you in that way. God had a different plan for me," Beal explains.

Beal has now been happily married for three years and has one child.

Many of us can relate to this feeling of disappointment and hardship. The past year and a half have brought unpredictable challenges as the pandemic shut down the country and the entire world.

This is nothing new, but Beal reminds us that even amid this pain or disappointment, true hope doesn't come from getting the life we've always dreamed of but instead from trusting God with the life and plans he has for us.

“Life rarely happens the way we plan it,” writes Kristen and Bethany in the book. “Your greatest need isn’t to get what you want out of life, but to get more of God into your life.”

In their new book, Not Part of the Plan, Bethany, and her sister, Kristen, open up their lives in the rawest and most relatable way, sharing their journeys through unexpected seasons of infertility, singleness, loss, and heartbreak.

Today on Connections, Bethany Beal shares the twists and turns of her unpredictable life and how she managed to get through this difficult time. She also talks about the book and the inspiration behind it.