The other day I listened as a dear friend told me about struggles that they have faced recently. During their story, I heard them say that maybe this is what they deserved for having the past that they do. And while I have been working on trying to listen more than I speak, I could not let that comment go unanswered.
Friends, in this life we do not get what we deserve. It may seem that is what is fair and good and right, but that is just not the way it works. Sometimes I think we find it easier to blame ourselves and our choices for the lot we have drawn in life, but that is not always the case either.
After Ben died, my sister posted this on Facebook, “I spent a lot of time being angry with God on their behalf, infertility (7 years’ worth), cancer (3 times in 2 places), difficult deliveries with life changing returns- you name it. It was Ben Thirey reminded me of all the good that came from these things—why God shouldn’t be questioned and where he would be (and where his family would be) if it wasn’t for these trials.”
While I often still find myself questioning the why behind the things I have gone through and where I am in life, I have never questioned that it is a part of God’s plan. For every right choice I have made in my journey as a Christian (and as a person), I have made ten wrong. I have made choices I have deeply regretted later; but I can honestly look back on every single one of them and see how they grew me and led me to the place where I am today.
That same post from my sister said this, “Ben took Tricia from the shy quiet girl she was and pushed her into the amazing and strong woman she is now. Her shell is gone, her heart is open and strong and Ben Thirey is to be credited for molding her into who she is.”
While I am thankful for all the ways I grew during marriage, I believe that the challenges we faced and overcame (with God’s help not just Ben Thirey’s 😉) played a huge role in growing me into the person she saw when we lost him.
I do not think that all the hard things that we go through in life are meant to discipline us, but I love that they are able to shape us into who we are supposed to be. Hebrews 12:11 says, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” NASB
Reality is that we serve a God who has made it abundantly clear that no matter how many mistakes we have made in our pasts, we are not relegated to living the life we deserve. And we have the choice when we come up against the storms of life to allow them to shape us into whoever it is that God is leading us to be. We only need to embrace the possibilities and be open to what He is teaching us through the journey.
It is truly a glorious feeling to know that no matter how I fail, my life is still redeemable and such a beautiful thing to be able to live. And yours is too! And I have a great hope in this, that the days to come will be better than the ones I am choosing to leave behind.
If you are in a season of struggling with the unfairness of the lot that has fallen on you… or pain because you are living out a life you do not feel you deserve, I would love to pray for you! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message!