Thursday, September 25, 2014

80 Years

There was a time when I viewed life in such a way that I believed "normal" was things going well. That relationally, physically, financially things were meant to go well. The tumult that came was viewed by me with almost an outrage. Like, how dare this storm rain on my normal life, I don't deserve this!!

Over time and tons of tumult, that view changed for me. I was wrong. I was actually viewing it opposite. "Normal" human life on earth is riddled with, in fact full of, tumult. The abnormal is when things are going swimmingly. When we view life as a series of hardships interspersed with sunshine and rainbows, it's easier to handle the tumult and appreciate the sunshine. I don't spend half my life pouting in the corner, screaming, "why me!??!!!!" 

Hardship isn't rare and it isn't only mine. Many of us suffer with incredible difficulties. Sometimes the break between hardships is barely long enough to take a shower. This is the human condition! The sunshine and rainbow readers are saying, "geez, Diana, a little heavy handed are we? Don't be such a pessimist!" And I agree! That's why this change in mindset has helped me. When hardship surfaces, I can say, OK, here's another one. I will survive and be OK. 
Before I was vomiting in a corner, afraid of the circumstances and quite busy at a party- a lonely guest at Pity, Party of One. 

There is often no human reason for the hard stuff we face. There is evil and there is good. One is from satan, one is from God. There is no, "if I just try harder, smile more, read scriptures more, tithe more, volunteer more, eat more veggies, then I won't suffer." 
God wants good for me. He loves me. He cares about me. He doesn't enjoy when I suffer.
 But yet, I suffer. 

If you can picture 80 years of clouds with various random rainbows in the midst- that is life. I used to picture 80 years of sunshine and a few clouds in the midst. See the difference? So, I guess it's a matter of learning to live life and find joy and laughter IN THE FREAKING MIDDLE of the storm cloud.

Yeah, I do sometimes feel jealous of people that appear to have more than their fair share of sunshine when I seem to have more than my share of storm. But I don't know what they really go through or what it cost to get that sunshine. Maybe their storm is just up ahead.  Maybe they just survived years of nothing but storms. Maybe my character needs this many storms. Maybe others are learning by me going through these storms.

It oddly does help me if I think of the crap I've faced and that I'm still here. Days so bad I wouldn't want anyone else to ever face it. I'm. Still. Here. 

John 16:21 
21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Pain is the human condition. Someday our joy will be made complete and we'll join our loved ones in heaven. For today, we must find a way to live in the storm in such a way that it can't only be described as surviving. 

No, it's not easy!

Me and the canteloup sized growth. Surgery is tomorrow!

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