But I can’t help but wonder… Why did it have to take so long?
While making my way through the madness, I kept asking God to help me see the lesson so this ship would pass, but it felt as if it was anchored out in the middle of the ocean, with me in it, and we weren't even shifting in the direction I wanted to go.
In recent months, I’ve had two friends deal with life-changing issues and they came out on the other side, and I’m thrilled for them, but their struggle only lasted a few months. Again, I was happy for them, but I did wonder why their struggle only lasted a few months, while mine lasted (on and off, of course) for 3 years, 4 months, and about 14 days. So I searched for answers and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
My challenge had to last so long because…
- I had to realize that this wasn’t something I could turnaround on my own. I couldn’t talk my way or reason my way out of it. And, to be perfectly honest, it took me the first two years to realize that I had to rely upon God like never before.
- I had to see people for who they really were. Had my situation come with a quick fix, I’d still be relying on people who are unreliable and trusting people who are untrustworthy.
- I had to lean on others. For most of my life, I’ve been the one others could lean on, I’m the “fixer.” But this experience forced me to recognize that I’m only human and that I needed to lean on others. I will be forever grateful to my mother and my brother who stuck with me til the end. I will never be able to thank them enough.
- I had to see my own strength. Remember those words from one of Whitney Houston’s last songs… “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength"? I could say that, too. If you’d told me what I’d have to go through and that I would come out of that storm better, stronger and wise, I’m not sure that I would have believed you. But I did.
- I had to live through a season of “no.” That’s so that I would better appreciate when God said “yes!”
- I had to know what it felt like to really NEED. You see, for most of my life, I’ve been pretty good, in terms of having everything that I needed. Certainly not everything I wanted, but I’ve been blessed to have the things that I need. This experience stripped me of some of that confidence and assurance—there were things that I needed that were a struggle to get or things that I managed to do without. As a result, I’m a lot more understanding and aware of the needs of others and I’m a lot more generous in my willingness to help them.
- I had to make my testimony more interesting! I say this somewhat in jest, but it’s true. I’ve always told people about the goodness of God, but now I really have a story to tell. When I talk, people listen!
As always, I believe that God had a plan for my life then, and he has a plan for my life now. I'm anxious to see what's next!