On my old blog, I had a post that declared “Everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.” I remember the confidence I had in that statement when I wrote it. It’s easy to have that kind of confidence in your circumstances when your days are filled with joy and happiness. Those good times after you’ve weathered the storm and can look back and say “Oh! That’s why that horrible thing happened.” When you’re in the middle of the storm, however, it can be difficult to see and believe in a life story in which everything works out okay in the end. Let’s be honest…it’s not simply difficult…at times it feels completely impossible to believe in happy endings.
It was humbling to read my old blog post about having faith and believing that everything happens for a purpose. “Everything precious to me has been harvested from the very things in my life that scarred and broke me. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing…for every difficult experience I’ve had in my life, even the most heartbreaking, played a integral role in creating something so beautiful that I would go back and do it all again.” I thought I was being inspirational when I wrote those words, but now I can see that I was just being cocky. I thought I had reached my happy ending, but now I know that it was just another chapter in my book. A good chapter, but just a chapter. And finishing that chapter has forced me to reconcile myself to the words I wrote only a year ago and “walk the walk” to give my past voice integrity.
A friend recently told me “One of the hardest things to do in life is letting go of what you thought was real. Maybe it was real at some point – who knows? It doesn’t matter. It was what it was and now it’s in your past. You can’t move forward if you’re turned around looking behind you. You can’t keep asking ‘Why?’ because only time will reveal that to you. Let it go and let God show you what He has planned for you.” Wise words…true words. For weeks I’ve been asking “Why?” and refusing to turn around and walk away. How futile to keep staring at my past for answers that only my future will provide.
This past weekend I finally looked away from my past, turned around and stopped asking “Why?” Someday I’ll understand, but for now I must rely on my faith that if God brings me to it, He’ll bring me through it. And once I’m through it, I’ll be grateful to have been brought to it. I would have never believed that I would eventually say “I’m grateful for what has happened and I wouldn’t change a thing.” But over lunch with a dear friend Sunday afternoon, I said these words and I meant them. Does it still hurt? Yes…every day. If given the choice, would I go back to the life I had before? No…it isn’t an option and it wasn’t a life that was in the best interest of myself or my children. If given the opportunity, would I choose to erase that chapter of my story? Absolutely not….it was one of the best chapters I’ve had so far.
I’m grateful for the peace I’ve felt this week that has allowed me to answer that question that have chewed on my mind, heart and soul. Now I know the answer and the answer is one that forces me to relinquish my arrogant belief that my story can be better written by me than by He who created me. The answer is simple.