A couple of years ago I wrote a post called The Bitter Pill where I talked about how to handle bitter people in your life that are close to you —the ones with whom you are obligated to share a space. When I wrote that article, I’d already ditched a lot of emotional baggage, and I was fairly confident in my ability to keep a safe emotional distance from those types of people. It definitely wasn’t easy to get to that place, but I managed with lots of prayer, learning how to walk away or mentally shutting them out.
Today I want to talk to you about someone that I never imagined could be my worst bitter enemy. One with whom I’d grown to have so much respect for—a close friend whose story I knew well, and she knew mine:
Life comes with lots of twists and turns, and if we’re not buckled up properly, sometimes those sudden twists can throw us out of our seat and send us skidding on our behinds a couple of feet down the road.
Three years ago this happened to me and my family. My husband lost his job when his company closed, and within 3 months, my own book publishing business of 7 years began to fail. Just like that, everything stopped. Surviving on one income was a stretch with 8 mouths to feed, but no income? Wuh? Suddenly, my husband and I were in panic mode trying to figure out where, when, why and how?
It probably didn’t look like it from the outside, but man, we were scared. Walking through fear is no fun. As a family of faith, we knew that GOD would not leave us stranded, but this was a test of our faith that had us truly praying for manna from heaven to miraculously fill our cabinets with food. Everything seemed to be falling apart. Within those first 4 months, we lost our family van. I had my first miscarriage and the bank was threatening to foreclose on our home. I was dealing with the financial woes of a failing business, and my husband’s unemployment benefits were running out with no job prospects in sight. For the first time in my life, I truly felt helpless. I cried in my closet a lot and pleaded for GOD to show us what to do. My heart ached.
There’s a lot more to that story (and maybe I’ll write a book about it one day), but the main reason I wanted to share this with you is because there’s a very important up side. Three years later . . .
I’M STILL HERE!
We definitely stumbled around in the dark for two of those years. We lost a lot, but we gained so much more. I loved my family before, but I’ve got to tell you, there’s nothing like going into a storm holding hands and coming out on the other end embracing one another. We are all stronger for it, and I am so grateful. My perspective is different now, and I needed that.
When times are tough, it’s easy to be hard on yourself. Why can’t I make this work? What’s wrong with me? Go ahead and kick and scream for a minute because there are seasons when despite our best efforts, life’s fair scale will tip in the opposite direction. It’s during times like this that you can either become your worst enemy and question yourself, your worth and yes, even your faith, or you can take a deep breath, keep putting one foot in front of the other and wait for the storm to pass, which they always do.
Crossroads in life aren’t wrapped up in a pretty bow like in the movies, but when you choose to move forward despite the quicksand, your legs get stronger, and you’re able to bear more weight. You learn that rain is only a bad thing when you don’t allow yourself to grow, and that even in the worst of times, we still have a choice in how we respond which shows us that true freedom can’t be taken away.
GOD doesn’t leave us. HE just pushes us out of the nest because we’re ready to fly. 🙂
Keep doin’ what you love, my friends!