Working five jobs on top of a school schedule and social life. Having an identity crisis at the age of 21. Caretaking for an ex diagnosed with epilepsy. Totaling my car, having digestive issues, and having relationship doubts all at once. Contemplating life on earth.
Some would call these tragic, but I call them fortunate.
Last year, I ordered some takeout at a subpar Chinese restaurant. Of course I had to eat the fortune cookie and read the fortune inside (what’s good Chinese food without some soul ties to it?). What I read inside changed the trajectory of my thinking:
“The people and events in your life will help you change for the better.”
It made me think about significant moments in my life that have made me stronger, built my character and independence, and sharpened my wisdom. But these events didn’t have a so-called “perfect picture” or fairytale ending to them. No, I didn’t end up with the man I thought I was going to marry, and yes, I still bloat like crazy and have bad allergic reactions and sensitivities. But why do I see these things as beautiful and more compelling than my straight As and no-brace face? Because they brought me closer to God.
Brought me closer to The One who sent His son here on earth to die for us, forgive us of our sins, and carry our crosses. Brought me closer to The One who knows every hair on our head and cell in our body. The One who views me as his beloved daughter and works as both a provider and nurturer. The One who knows every millisecond of our existence from death to life but gives us the power and freedom to make our own choices, including choosing into Him. Without these hardships, I don’t know if I would have chosen into Him as confidently and earnestly as I do now.
Think of a catapult. When we go through a rough patch in our lives, it is pulling us into the trenches of the deepest, darkest pits of our lives. It’s pulling, pulling, pulling downward until one day, something will launch us—explode us into the bright light and revive us. Revive us into the purpose that God calls us to, and resurrect us much like Jesus did. Jesus had to look His darkest demons and fiercest haters straight in the eye, but He prevailed and rose from the dead. Why did He prevail? Because God was right beside Him. God conquered His only son’s death to bring Him everlasting life.
Think about that for a second. Think about how much pain and agony Jesus went through—the thorns on His head, the heavy cross He carried, the nails piercing through His hands and feet, the whips beating His body. But think about how God restored Him. Restored Him to be at the right hand of The Father and to save us from all our distress. For Him to be risen to heaven and to come up on top. God’s power is simply amazing, isn’t it?!
Sometimes, though, it’s so hard for us to see that light above us when we’re in the trenches or to think that God will even give us a second thought. How would God—this almighty and perfect power—remember little ol’ Anna when He has one million other things on His mind? I used to scoff at the thought that God would help and rather would just try to solve it on my own. Realizing that this obviously didn’t work, I had to find a new path. So what if I did trust God? What if I fully submitted to His will and truth? What hurt would it do—I’ve got nothing to lose, right?
So I did. I look the plunge and dove more into my faith than I ever have before, and man, am I reaping the benefits of God’s glory and grace. I can feel myself soaring out of the depths of those deep, dark trenches. And guess who’s holding my hand right beside it? You guessed it—GOD. God is willing to dive down into the basement of our hearts and enter into our most horrific pains, worries, doubts and anxieties just to save us and lead us into victory and to see the light of His face. Can you believe it—He found and met me in my darkest of times to propel me into my brightest of days ahead? Little ol’ me? Yes, little ol’ me.
For those of you facing a trial or tribulation, I hear you, I understand you, and I see you. But more importantly, God sees you and wants to help you more so than any human on this planet combined. So take the leap and allow The Lord into your life fully. Rely on Him to help you through your struggles and bring you out of the darkness. Depend on Him to expose you into the light and catapult you into a new joy that you never even imagined having. Let Him into your heart and guide you through the best and worst of times, and I promise that He’ll deliver things you’ve never dreamt possible.
Now, I’m not saying that I have my dream hubby on speed dial or my digestion all on track. But I do know that I’m heading there and that I have The Lord beside me to get through these seemingly debbie-downer events or any ones that may pop up down the road because at the end of the day, life is a series of fortunate events ♡