I know that life does not look the same for all of us. Some of you may be exactly where you thought you would be right now. Others of you, maybe not. Some of you may be so far from where you thought you'd be that it's either very sad or very comical. One thing is for sure: life does not always work out the way we planned or even imagined.
For me, I never imagined marrying someone who was two people and who would later take his life. I can promise you I did not plan to be a widow at the age of 38. I did not plan to be in an abusive marriage. I did not plan to have to dig myself out of a financial disaster. Who ever purposely plans such things for their life? I can assure you, no one wants these things for themselves or their families. When I look back to my senior year in highschool, I can promise you I never thought any of this would happen to me - that happened to other people. At 18, I can assure you I was very sure of myself (proud), self-focused and ignorant of the evils of this world.
This begs the question: what do you do when life does not work out the way you think it should or in the way you wanted it to?
You have two responses to this: 1) You can isolate yourself, feel sorry for yourself, curl up in a ball, get physcially and/or mentally ill and die (literally and figuratively) or 2) You can get up, dust yourself off and learn from the cirumstances you came out of and use your story to help others. It is your choice. I chose the 2nd option because I have never been and never will be a "curl up and die" girl. I do not value feeling sorry for myself because it changes nothing. I'm not dying in any form or fashion at least not until I am very old, I have too much life to live! God has been too good to me and has blessed me with too much to just curl up and die and play the "woah is me" game. If we really look at our lives, even in the bad times, He has blessed us with more than we think we have. He does not cause bad things to happen to us but He can use the circumstances to grow us up, stretch us and teach us to help others. It is your choice what you do with your circumstances. God does not and will not control how we respond to our lives. He will also not control other people. We always have a choice, even when bad things or bad people come our way. The bad people have a choice too- they are simply choosing poorly.
I can say now with absolute certainty I am so glad I did not respond to the things in my life with my 18 year-old attitude - that Elizabeth would have not survived the last few years if so. Yet, how many people do we see doing that when the going gets tough? How many people choose option 1? It break my heart to see people choose option 1. They have no idea how much new life they are missing out on, maybe perhaps because no one ever tried to tell them. That is why I am writing this blog, to tell you there is life after tragedy. There is life after "life doesn't work out the way we planned." There is hope after pain. Love still remains! You don't have to "curl up and die!"
If you have been in a situation similar to mine, get up and dust yourself off. If you have been through something totally different, get up and dust yourself off. You are stronger than you think you are. There are people who love you and want to help you. Jesus loves and see you. You are a work in progress. There is new life to be lived, many things to be learned from what you experienced and there are different choices to be made. You have something to give and a purpose. You are worth far more than you could ever imagine! Live and see your worth! Live and be free! Live and learn to love and live again!
A work in progress,