I used to tell myself, that if a certain “thing” happened, I would never survive.
I used to tell myself if a certain “thing” happened, I would NOT tolerate it.
I would not forgive it. I would not be able to go on with my life.
Yet, here I am.
Living and breathing. Going on with my life. Survivor. Tolerater. Forgiver.
I have made it through some really tough stuff. Oh boy have I. Losing half my family in two days was tough. I was nineteen and alone when I had my son. I was a #metoo victim. I’ve been cheated on and a few times I probably should have lost my life. But God.
Thank you God for getting me through all that “stuff” I never imagined I would have the strength to go through.
We think we aren’t strong enough. We tell ourselves those situations that happen to other people, WE would NEVER put up with or stand for.
It’s really easy to say what we wouldn’t tolerate or stand for when it isn’t our situation. Our pain. Our heartache. It’s really easy to THINK we would somehow be BETTER at handling it.
But when that day comes, let me tell you, you will likely put up with a lot more than you ever dared to imagine. You will likely be a whole lot stronger than you even dreamed was possible.
I look back on my life now and think “Wow.” How did I EVER make it through? How did I keep breathing? How did I forgive and continue on?
How? Looking back, and now, getting stronger in my faith walk – I have to say “But God”, otherwise, I have no clue.
This time of year is tough. My Facebook reminds me of events that unfolded in my life a number of years ago. My Facebook memories reminds me of how I FELT and how badly I was STRUGGLING to keep it together.
A moment in time I did not believe I would make it through. A moment in time I never imagined I would even have to fight my way through that kind of darkness.
But I did.
You have to be very careful sometimes, even with the memories. They can take over, and knock you down. You might start to believe that some of those old thoughts and feelings are still true. Don’t believe the lies.
I am AMAZED that I am standing sometimes.
I am AMAZED that I am not bitter or resentful or full of rage.
A close friend of mine is going through a really rough situation and it is heartbreaking to have to watch from the sidelines and not be able to help.
All I can say is this “You are so much stronger than you think. You are capable of amazing things. And you will heal from this tremendous heartache. It won’t be easy and it will take time. What you thought you could not handle, you will. And then you will heal. But the hurt, the pain, the THING that caused it, won’t leave you completely. It will always be there. It will be a part of you and a part of your story. Forever intertwined with the rest of you. With prayer, and perseverance, you will emerge stronger and more compassionate. Life will never be the same. But sometimes, we grow to be our truest selves in our darkest days and biggest challenges. Don’t sell yourself short. You too will overcome.”
It’s not easy, this life. I am so thankful. I used to dwell on the problems. On the situations. I used to wait for the next big thing to hit.
Now I appreciate that I made it through. All of it. All the big things that could easily have ruined me.
You know what strengthens me? Even now? Even today? Sharing it – with you.
I hope if you are struggling, that you realize you are strong and capable. The storm will pass and you will be stronger for it. And when you look back – you too will be AMAZED at your strength.