Terrible things happen to good people. It is true. And we don’t like it. And don’t we ask “WHY?” in outrage? I have. It hurts.
In my darkest hours, some of them recent, I have pleaded with the Lord to release me from my own ‘bondage.’ My own tortured thoughts. My circle of mad obsessions. Answers to things I couldn’t make sense of. Violations that have happened to me. If you haven’t ever had to search the depths of your soul yet, in agony, don’t worry. Life will offer you that “opportunity.” Especially if you agree to work a 12 step program or coach with someone who puts honesty in your face.
I wanted to share something I’ve been ‘struggling’ with, and a few of my thoughts:
Terrible things DO happen to good people, not as punishment, but I believe to test faith and to teach humility and enduring. And….when endured well— to teach others. I “know” this in my core….So. Easy. To. Hear…when not in the ‘midst of a trial.’ Because, honestly- during the trial- it all FEELS like “punishment” as often we let our pain take control and victimhood lead our path.
In the MIDST of an intense struggle, the pain— IS often, SO DEEP. Grief can shake your whole core. Grief… is healing. That’s not where I stay. I move from grief into the pained “victim.”
Remaining a victim is completely disabling. And incredibly exhausting. Yet, I find myself there more than I want to admit.
In my own lifetime, (and every day for the past 2 weeks) I have asked many, many times why was I subjected to the ravages of my father’s alcoholism?
It has definitely created more devastation than I ever understood for my first 39 years of life. And this year, my 40th year , my heart has screamed for answers of “WHY?” Why me? (Can you hear my “victim hood?”) I own it.
Things I say:
Why did I have to go through this?
When will it ever make sense?
Why, decades later am I still dealing with chaos?
When will “it” go away?
It goes on…. Trust me. It. Goes. On.
I want to share what I’ve learned through study and prayer this week, and working through my own “12 steps.”
#1. It’s not up to me to find the answers to my “WHY’s”? I am powerless over other people and certain situations that affected my life. I will most likely never get answers. In the process all I do is destroy the serenity and peace I could have if I :
1.Accept what IS (OHHHH that’s a biggie😁)
2. Let go of what “I wanted.” (even BIGGER😳)
3. Give my will over to God’s will. (But what about mine?😂)
(I had to throw some humor in there.)
I’m not saying ANY of those are easy and that I haven’t bucked like a bronco (still bucking), but it’s sinking deeper into my soul as I ponder my thoughts and am tired of my own self torture.
You know what? Behaviors resulting from addictions are often senseless (to others and themselves) The root of your own insanity ends when you let go of control and say yes to God. This isn’t a “God” story, but facts are facts. Insanity doesn’t cure itself. Nor do drugs cure a broken heart and mind. God restores peace to the tortured soul.
Sigh. Addiction destroys emotional sanity. It’s effects lasts lifetimes, often in generations until the cycle is completely broken. (does that even happen?) Depending on the trauma and severity, recovery always requires WORK to maintain “sane” and the “good life.”
Am I happy about that reality? No. Is it my reality? Yes. Must I accept it to have a peaceful happy life and have I fought it? Unequivocally yes. Have I arrived yet? Nope.
I asked myself this week, why does this have to be so hard? (Oh my goodness, can you hear my inner victim screaming yet another “injustice!”) I’m being real here.
Things still make me angry.
I read something that put a lot into perspective for me so I want to share it with you. It may be my one “nugget” of sanity to cling on to while I admit to powerlessness:
“It’s fruitless for me or anyone else to blame God for the workings of this world.”
God did not make my dad an alcoholic. It was his choice, his free agency and he chose alcohol. Then became enslaved and powerless against his alcoholism. And we, (myself and my brothers) as young, helpless children, became victims of his addiction and abuse. So…..
Does that leave me a victim? As a child, yes. As an adult, there’s a choice.
“Terrible things DO happen to good people.” I get all that as I screamed my injustice to “God who isn’t giving me peace.”
I’m a “Good” “people” But so often, I don’t “feel” good inside. “Why?! When am I going to feel good!?” I asked Him.
My answer was- “Keep letting go of what you cannot control.”
My inner soul work has been neglected. I still want to impose “my will,” not “thy will.” Is my issue pride? Seems to be a big part.
So now what? I had to ask myself this again just last night. “I’m WORKING on it!” I yelled in my head to the Lord. I’m miserable again! What HAPPENED?!
And I started reading… And opened up my book to a random page with this MESSage:
I have “choices.”
I can allow despairing times and tragedy to consume me (at times I do) and to wallow in self pity. I can allow the chaos or confusion of “WHY!?” to continually destroy my serenity.
OR, I can ACCEPT that I could not and cannot control or change other people. ACCEPT that I did not and do not have control over certain circumstances. ACCEPT I must work on healing my own soul and all that ails it for the rest of my living years. ADMIT that I will forever be powerless over the effects alcoholism created in my life, but I’m NOT helpless when it comes to changing me.
It’s truly one day at a time. Tomorrow, I might hit a ‘bump.’ Or fall into a crater. It might happen by the end of this post.
I don’t have all the answers. God does.
I know THIS. Living in despair is such a waste of precious life. For each day I wallow, I’m losing an opportunity to be more.
Why would I do that for something or someone that I will never make sense of? For someone else’s behavior that had an effect on me that I could not control? For judging my own reactions when I was only doing the best I could with what I had, at the time? For all of my failures, why would I keep nailing myself to the cross the Lord already bore for me?
All the judgements, guilt, shame, and need for control have to be released.
One day. At. A time.
The only alternative IN LIFE, is to ACCEPT that life isn’t always fair or even kind, and CHOOSE to live full and rich anyway.
Acceptance of what IS, while changing what you can, is the key to all peace. With God’s help.
“I didn’t come this far, to only come this far.”