Saturday, January 30, 2010

When it rains, it pours, guaranteed

This statement and I became very close friends at a very young age. Quickly, I learned what it meant for one blow after another to hit you over the head. The sensation of when it rains, it pours became something I referred to as "being hit from left field." I've had many experiences with this feeling.

The sensation can be emotionally crippling. It seems like the sky opens up over your head and nothing can stop the rain from falling. (Channeling Eeyore, anyone?)

But you know what keeps me sane, even when holding back tears starts to sear my eyes, and frustration burns in my chest?

The fact that I know God will put nothing on you that you cannot bear. These trials and tribulations are His way of building your strength and your character. God's been working on my strength for years. He has thrown things my way that I could not understand; things that left me feeling broken, worthless, ridiculously crazy.

But you know what? After these storms, I emerged on the other side, a much wiser and much stronger person. And I can feel that fortitude now. Because with every storm, my faith grows a little deeper, and my resolve grows a little more. You have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. I might not be running yet, but I am walking at a steady pace, when I used to be crawling slowly along.

God has granted me with the understanding that there's a reason for everything that happens. And I'm so blessed to have acquired that knowledge. Because that makes it harder to steep in a serious funk for very long, like I used to do so well. Even in my anger, frustration, sadness--whatever, I know that there's a different side of the storm, and that eventually I will emerge on that side. I know that time passes, I know that wounds heal, I know that clarity comes.

Erykah Badu says, the man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all... I know that the only thing I know for certain is what I've already said. God will never put more on you than you can bear. If you believe in Him and seek Him out sincerely, He is there.

So, so what if I love someone who says they will "never" love me? It's not the first time. And you know what I've learned from that first experience? That life goes on, and that the pain does fade, even if it never completely leaves. And that you start to appreciate that person for what they taught you, even if you never connect with them the way you once did. Even if you don't want to appreciate them. Even if you want to hate them and punch them in the face and scream and kick and rant and rave like a child, you'll start to find that you cannot. And you will find that you will eventually love someone else, who will open your eyes further than the previous person did. The reason why it all hurts so much is because you are being stretched further than you thought you could be stretched. Your eyes are being opened when you thought you'd seen it all.

So, so what if my financial situation isn't what I wish it was? I still have a job, two jobs at that, when people are killing themselves (and others) because they can't find one job. I'm not collecting unemployment. I'm not on welfare. I can still afford to take little trips. To buy a scarf I don't need. To put gas in my car. To eat.

So, so what? When things aren't going your way, say, "so what?" Remember the things you do have, rather than focusing on what you don't have. And remember, even though things might not be what you want them to be now, at some point, I'm sure something was just as you wished it to be. Maybe even beyond your wildest expectations.

I am divinely blessed. Which makes it hard for me to remain upset about the things that are simply a part of the construction of my character God is taking me through.

Sometimes, we all need a reminder, like I did today. Hopefully this serves as a reminder for you also. You are blessed, because you are alive. So, embrace these gray skies. At some point, they will clear, and your sun will be so bright, you'll almost forget the clouds ever existed at all.

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