Life Got You Down?
I received word from a friend yesterday that something terribly bad had happened in their personal life. Being the person I am, I offered an obligatory condolence and my favorite bible verse. I wanted to say more but what do you say to someone grieving? What comfort do you have for someone who could understandably be inconsolable? All I had in this moment was my word and I hoped this was enough.
I thought back to our friendship over the years and the twist and turns their life has taken. Not that we all haven't had our portion of pain but theirs seemed to be awfully heavy at an early age. I had always admired their ability to press on and keep a smile on their face although life had dealt them a seemingly bad hand. They epitomized the phrase: thank God I don't look like what I've been through. I couldn't imagine them being any more saddened now than they had been years ago when life was flipped upside down. Even years earlier (years and years before my accident), they had been a constant reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel. They had been a constant reminder that the devil may set out to break you but he doesn't have the final say. They were a constant reminder that life wasn't always fair and neither is favor. They were a constant reminder that life is only as good as you make it. But considering the circumstances, I know this pain is different and once again, something I can't relate to. I trust God but I would be lying if I didn't say I question Him at times. I'm not sure what my friend's faith is like these days but I hope they trust in Him.
Being the friend I am, I questioned why things just can't go right. I questioned the already overflowing cup of hurt that had been poured and wonder how and why there could be more. What could my friend manage to do with this and how could they bounce back from this? Their circumstance all too common but I'm sure they still felt more alone than ever before.
Though our situations completely different, I thought of my accident. I thought of this indescribable and nearly unbearable pain that no one could possibly understand. A pain that people tried to empathize and sympathize with but didn't manage to come close. I felt like God had forgotten about me and this was my punishment. I felt like He had thrown me into the eye of the storm with no escape plan or ounce of hope. I can't help but wonder if my friend is thinking the same thing.
Even if you're in the fight of your life, you're exactly where you are supposed to be. Trust me, it's hard to really understand that when your world is falling apart but it's so true. I've said it several times here but I do believe everything happens for a reason. I don't say it because it's easy but because it's true. Had my life not been flipped upside down, I don't know what I would be doing right now. I'm sure I would still be successful but I don't think I'd have that underlying grit to keep moving forward. The resilience I've developed over the years has proved to be more than beneficial in my adult life. My ability to use the stones people throw at me as a path to more is a God given talent.
I wish someone would have told me 6 years ago that life isn't fair. I wish someone would have said that yes, things will get better but right now, they suck. I wish someone would have said I'll pray for you but I'm sure you're pretty upset with God. I was. I was furious. This is what I wanted to tell my friend yesterday but I felt those words too sharp and too real. Im hopeful that with time, my friend will heal and things will make more sense.
Six years later and I still sometimes feel at a loss for exactly what transpired. Six years later and I wonder if all that happened was for me to become better or for God to use me to help others. Sometimes the fight you're placed in isn't for you but for others. I'm almost 100 percent sure that God is using me as His mouthpiece. He had to pull me through the storm to show what His true love looks like. He used me to make believers out of people and I'm okay with this.
I pray no one goes through what I did but pain is universal. I can't help but question what God is doing in the life of my friend. I can't blame them if they are mad and confused because I would be too. I do know that this friend has a story to tell and people who need to listen. I do know God has a strange way of showing His love for us especially when it doesn't look like it at all. He has a way of mending broken pieces into masterpieces and transforming pain into purpose but that's hard to see with clouded eyes. Be faithful even in the midst of your fight because eventually the dust will clear.