It’s Sunday morning, and I am sitting in my office. Yeah, that’s my new office in the photo above.
I’ve rented one of those “shared workspaces.” I pay a monthly fee and have around the clock access to a suite of fully-furnished and equipped offices. Free coffee, free wi-fi, and I can shut the door and write.
And my God, have I written. I’ve written more in the last week than I probably have all year.
This morning, though, I came in early, and made a cup of coffee and streamed church. I thought about everything God has been doing with me over the last week, and where to take it from here.
I’ve written a lot about really going through a lot this year. None of it really had anything to do with any kind of national events. After all, regular problems don’t stop just because of a global health crisis, race riots and a frighteningly odd election season.
I’m not going to attempt to explain everything that’s been going on, because there’s just SO many angles to it all, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. (or end). I typed it all out to explain to a therapist, and wrote 40 pages, and still felt like I had left out a lot.
But I’ve resolved all of it, to this: Yes, it sucked. Now what? I love that.
Life hands us some bitter pills sometimes, and bad things happen. People get maimed in car wrecks. People go to Afghanistan and come back with both arms and legs blown off. People have babies that die. People get mugged or assaulted. People lose their businesses, their marriages, their churches, their ministries, their homes, their jobs….
Yes, that sucks.
But, the next step is–How do you respond?
We have a choice in how we respond when terrible things, or terrible times happen to us.
We can let them define us. We can give up, and give in. We can wallow in depression. We can begin a lifestyle, where years later, people will say, “Well, everything changed with her after____________. She never really recovered, and everything with her just went downhill after that.”
When you’re in the depths of despair, you kind of hope for that. It’s like you want to punish whomever you feel did you wrong, by making them watch you destroy yourself. Maybe they would see the error of their ways as they watch the life get sucked out of you. It makes no sense, but neither does depression. And that’s what depression tells you. So, when we go through terrible times, we can choose this route. It’s available to us.
Or we can define them. We can say, “Yes. That sucked. Now what?”
And when you put it that way, suddenly, the trauma loses it sting. Suddenly, we can redefine trauma as growth. We can take what we can learn from it, and then we move on. We can decide, yes, that sucked.
But, I’m moving past it. I’m going to come out stronger, better, and move on. I can’t live in the pain of what someone else did to me. No, there was no justification to what they did. No, it doesn’t look like I’ll see restoration any time soon. Maybe I won’t even see it in this lifetime. But, I’m not going to let it define me. I’m going to back to the person I was trying to before I was interrupted by this terrible time in my life. I’m going to try to find her. She may be a little different, a little wiser for the wear, but she’s in there somewhere. And I’m not going to let this darkness kill me. That’s a choice also available to us.
So this has been what I have been dealing with over the past week. The Bible says, “I have set a choice before you–life or death. I urge you, choose life.”
That’s what I’ve decided to do this past week. Choose life over death. And when I made that choice, when I truly made that choice in my heart, I’ve started to see restoration. It’s coming in tiny, tiny, trickles, like a mist in the air so fine, you don’t realize it’s even raining until you think about it later.
Yes, that sucked. What are you going to do about it?