Have you ever gone through a time in your life where you just wished you could see how it all worked out in the future?
Often when we struggle, we hear people say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
I have refrained from punching those people many times.
There were times in my life where I wished I could fast-forward, or at least look into a magic mirror and see how it all panned out.
I wonder if that is why some say with age comes wisdom. We are not able to look ahead, but we are able to look back. As I look back, I see the fruit the struggles bore . . . and I see how some crosses were actually blessings.
If you know of anyone carrying similar crosses now, please share my story with them and give them a glimpse of what the future might look like . . . I know when I was going through it, stories of hope found in Chicken Soup for the Soul – or anywhere else I could find them, helped me keep the faith and dream of better days.
This weekend I told a priest that my cross of infertility was actually a blessing, because it brought us our son. He responded that all our crosses are blessings, it’s just sometime we can actually see the blessing.
Hmmmm . . .
I know some crosses seem to have no silver lining, but I can recall some major challenges that brought me tears and many prayers of “why?” to God. Probably the first heavy cross I remember carrying started in elementary school and lasted until I was almost 16. That one was . . .
Being a nerd.
I remember being lonely. I was often rejected. I was made fun of. I was not cool.
I was not pretty. I was not talented.
It hurt. It lasted years. I eventually tried to fit in by cursing like a sailor, smoking an occasional cigarette and eventually acting angry all the time. I think as a young teen, anger demanded more respect than crying all the time.
But thankfully, a thought entered my mind around the age of 15. That thought was, when things upset you – you can choose to be angry or sad. Angry people hurt people.
I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I knew what it was like to be hurt.
Being a nerd taught me empathy.
I became extremely sensitive to those who did not fit in with the crowd. I found myself defending others. Sometimes, I found myself not defending others – and my conscience knew to point those time out to me. I found myself no longer being the extremely shy girl I once was . . . to the girl that offered her friendship and attention.
I wish I could talk to every young girl going through something similar now. I would assure them that God has a mission for them – to love the unloved; and this is His training. This reference may be lost on some readers, but I can’t help but think of the movie the Karate Kid. “Daniel son” was told to wash cars and paint a fence – and all he wanted to do was learn Karate. He respected Mr. Miyagi – the teacher – but questioned, “when will I learn Karate?” He then was shown how he was learning Karate . . . “wax on, wax off” and “paint the fence” were actually Karate moves of defense.
Being a nerd helped me develop a strong character. I learned to act out of sympathy and love – and not out of a need for the approval of others.
Being Single and Depressed.
In my 20’s I lived in at least 5 apartments. I had roommates that moved in and out .. . and most of them moved out because they got engaged and married. I ended up living alone for a little while. I remember how depressing it was to eat dinner alone. I remember wondering if anything happened to me . . . how many days would it take friends or family to even notice. As I write this I can’t believe how sad I was . . . thank God that time has passed.
Those times when I felt like I had no one – I clung to the One who loves me more than I can imagine, and who is truly always with us.
In that prayer journal that I started in this time of my life . . . I wrote an idea for a book for young girls (inspired by my previous cross). I titled the book, “Be Yourself: A Journal for Young Girls”. Although the title is slightly different, that book has been written, a contract with a publisher has been signed, and pre-sales begin April 17th!!!
Not only did grow closer to Our Lord by using a journal to help me pray; this time period allowed me to make friends that I still pray with and care for. And in addition to those amazing blessings, I wrote a book!
If you are interested in purchasing this book and what to know when it is available; subscribe to our email list!!!
I wrote about this cross being a blessing here: Infertility: Carrying the Cross with Hope.
Before I became a mother, I talked to a woman named Jeanne who adopted all three of her children on the phone about adoption. Jeanne assured me that she
Thanks God for infertility at least 3 times a day.
I never forgot those words.
My husband and I love our son more than we could imagine loving anyone – ever. He is such a gift to us from God. We are so grateful that we are his parents. Adoption made me a very lucky momma!
I hope that whatever cross you are bearing passes soon. Until then, remember . . .
Don’t punch the “everything happens for a reason” people in the face.