What do you do when life signs you up for cancer, death, loss of a job, abuse, or failure? How do you not only get through it but recover from it?
I use to hate the fact that my new life story included the death of my only sibling. I hated it so much that I wouldn’t speak a word about it and lived my life on the outside as if nothing changed. I didn’t want to relate to other families who were torn apart because of drugs, I didn’t want to hear other people’s stories about loss, and I definitely wasn’t going to share my feelings about which “stage” of grief I was on.
In reality, I was dying on the inside. I would stay up all night, sleep all day, and I did go through the phases of anger, loneliness, deep intense mourning, and sadness.
Years later when I was pregnant with Chase, I was standing in my bathroom when all of a sudden it hit me. My children will never know my brother. They will never know the person who I called my best friend. They will never see how my brother and I had the same odd sense of humor. They will never hug him, touch him, and hear his goofy laugh. They will never see that I am part of a family of four, not three. They will never know such a large portion of what makes their mother who she is. I broke down and sat on the floor of the bathroom crying and thinking that I don’t want this. I didn’t sign up for this.
Haven’t you felt this way too? You were dealt a hand and it exploded like a 52 card pick up and you just wanted to walk away from that deck and be handed a new one.
A friend once told me, “I know you didn’t sign up for this life, but it signed you up. So do the best with it that you can. Don’t let this be the last thing life signs you up for.” And she was right, I couldn’t let this end me, but I could let it shape me.
All I did was all I could do and that was to spend time in the presence of the Lord. There wasn’t a magical prayer, special worship song, or “moment” that changed me. It was many moments with my Lord that mended my heart, made it stronger, and bred a thankfulness for the new me.
Those moments with my Lord saved me. It saved me from spiritually dying and living my life in such a way.
If you choose to, you can find a million reasons to resent your life and be angry at God. Or, you can choose to find a million reasons to value your life enough to spend moments with God and allow Him into that dark space. He will turn that darkness into light and give you a thankful attitude.
In last weeks post, we talked about Joseph and his crazy journey. His life was not what he signed up for. He would never have chosen for his family to sell him into slavery or be wrongfully thrown into prison. However, Joseph didn’t allow what was happening in his life to hold him back, even at its worse. Instead, he allowed it to shape him for his future.
Grief may not be the reason you resent parts of your life, but the truth is we ALL go through seasons where we feel that way. We all look at others around us and wonder why it seems easier for them, or how their road to success was shorter and smoother than ours. Even though you didn’t ask for the hand you were dealt, you can’t let it consume you, but you can allow it to be a tool for learning and growth.
I want to encourage you today that if you find yourself wondering how you got to where you are, or how you are ever going to recover from a bad hand- please know that there is a God who is near those who are broken. He can heal your heart and only He can make something broken whole and stronger than before.