As I approach my thirtieth birthday I’m a little shocked that I made it here. If you had asked me 15 years ago what I thought about turning 30 one day I probably would’ve doubted that the day would ever come. Not because I was suicidal or thought I was going to die (I was a dramatic teen but I wasn’t that bad), just because at the time I hard time believing that the sun really would come out again tomorrow.
I know this sounds crazy so let me give a little bit of background. This blog is called “From Catastrophe to Grace” for a reason. I had a chaotic childhood and adolescence and the chances of me ending up in a stable marriage with a mortgage and two and a half kids were slim to none. My home life was not stable, I suffered from abuse, there were major medical and financial emergencies, and I had no support from anyone in my family. I was well on my way to becoming a bitter and self destructive young woman when my whole life started on a new trajectory, all because I met some random dude on the internet.
That dude is now my husband and he was the catalyst that started me on this journey and it’s with his support and God’s immeasurable love and mercy that I have found myself where I am today. I still have a lot of moments when I take a look around me and marvel that I’ve made it to this place. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Life isn’t supposed to work this way. But because God is who he is, this has happened the way it has.
I was talking to someone about this recently and they expressed concern that I might be suffering from anxiety and I couldn’t find the words to tell her that the way I look at my life is not an expression of fear. It’s an acceptance of the inevitability of what life is. Life is messy. I don’t mean spilled glasses of milk or overturned tubs of perler beads messy (although that is absolutely horrifying). I mean it is messy.
Life is unpredictable. It is filled with suffering and darkness. We will ache with broken hearts and unrealized dreams. We will be demonized and insulted. People will aim for the weakest, frailest parts of our beings and try to break us and there is nothing that we can do to stop them from attempting it. Because that is what life is. A trial of fortitude and faith from beginning to end. The fact that there is joy and light in the midst of the darkness is a testament to God’s love for us. As broken as we are, no matter the many, many ways we fail to love as we are loved, day in and day out, God still gives us peace and happiness to help us through the dark times.
This is why I cannot deny that the Lord exists, because without a hundred thousand different “coincidences” and “chance” encounters I would not be sitting here, in the quiet of my little house writing any of this to you. God wanted me to be here, to serve His purpose, and He made it happen. With no help from me, might I add, because I was not an easy sheep to wrangle.
Even after all I’ve been through, I don’t know what comfort or advice I can offer to anyone who is struggling because I know how hard it can be to believe in a new day when you don’t know how you could possibly go on. The only thing I can say is this: In the darkest of times, let God be your light. The way may be hard, your cross may be heavy, the Lord might be cracking His whip cause you won’t go the way He wants you to, but find a way to trust in Him. Ask other people to pray for you when you can’t find the words to pray for yourself. It is only through Him that we can find the joy in this life. Try to remember that and keep the faith.