Finding purpose in the pain

81698180710894523_ls78HuVz_cMy life has been plagued with a series of painful moments and memories. It seems like each time one of these events occurs it is worse then the last. There are moments where I sit back and wonder, how much more can I take?

To give you a little background, in 2011 my boyfriend of nearly 6 years, passed away due to a heroine overdose. This loss consumed my soul and I thought it was going to kill me. I literally felt my heart break into pieces that morning. But yet, I persevered. The strength that I gained to overcome grief and move forward with my life even after hardship pushed me to be the person that I am today.

Then in 2016, my best friend, my 30 year old best friend, got cancer and died after a traumatic but fearless 9 month battle. Natasha was not just a friend. She was my role model, my mentor and my confidant. Tash was that friend that I would go to for every adult decision I had ever made. Job interviews, money, relationships, she had a hand in guiding it all. Losing her was devastating. Cancer truly sucks.

A year later Jeremy’s brother died……another heroine overdose. 2 months before my wedding. My wedding to a man he approved of, which was saying a lot, because he knew how much his little brother loved me and there is not much love in this world that is very comparable to that. Losing Jn was like losing the last piece of my old life. There is no one to reminisce with. No one will understand our inside jokes. It has been a lonely road without him.

In the past 10 years, I have endured more grief that most people have encountered in their whole lives. It seems to be a trend. The people I love the most leave me.

But this December, the worst trial of all unraveled in front of my eyes. This one I am still living. This is the one where my husband leaves me. With no real reasoning, no effort to resolve things. He just decided it was over and that was that. Unlike death, divorce holds no real closure. This person is still here. I don’t know why he does not love me anymore. I don’t know why he made these decisions that turned my world upside down. I just have to struggle through it. It is very similar to the grief cycle. I am angry and bitter somedays. Other days I am sad and waves of tears wash over me. I sometimes get some good days. They usually come between the other two cycles, usually after I have battled through a day of self-blame and often flows into a day of denial.

After all I have been through. After all I have already endured, how could this possibly be happening again. This was the man of my dreams. This was the person I had vowed to spend the rest of my life with. How could god have possibly put him in my life and then so suddenly, like the other people I loved, take him away.

But as James 1:12 says, the one who perseveres will receive the crown of life. My grief will turn to joy someday. I already know that my heartbreak is in a sense, is a blessing. Without going into the details of reasons I believe my marriage would have failed anyway, I believe that there is a better life and potentially a healthier love waiting for me down the road. In god’s time, he will present those thing to my life. How am I so sure he will provide those blessings to my life? Because I believe that my faith and my call to serve will be rewarded. Instead of wallowing in the pity of all the terrible events that have happened, I have prayed and I have thanked god for all the blessing he has continued to give my in spite of those events.

I am a lot of things. Some of them positive characteristics. Others, not so positive. In these past events I have questioned why god would do this to me. Didn’t he know I can’t handle it? But each time, when I think I can’t handle anything more,  I do.

Maybe Chad was not meant to be a long term part of my life. I question now whether I ignored god’s signs that it was time for him to go a long time ago because I liked the idea of the pretty picture ,n my head, of the life we were going to share. That picture was not realistic. God knew that. Whether he was trying to tell me that a while ago or made it suddenly happen now as it seems, I know that there is reasoning behind it. I trust god’s reasoning.

If wrestling with god’s reasoning as taught me anything, it is that God is not doing this TO me, he is doing this FOR me. Yes it has broken my heart in more ways that I can even put into words, but I have seen him turn bad into good for my life in the past. I have no doubt that he will do it again….on his terms and in his time.

I know that god is using me now, even in the midst of my grief and sadness. He is using me in this blog, right here, right now. My hope is to be a lighthouse in the storm for others who are in a season of longsuffering. I have often had friends and acquaintances who have loved ones, especially significant others, who are battling addiction reach out to me. I have done my best to guide them and help them through their own struggles, because no one knows what that life is like until they have lived it. Last night I sat with one of my fellow book club tribe members and even with my heart aching, told her how similar her situation sounded to mine and have shared the little bit of knowledge I currently have, even though I am navigating this ship blind myself.

Even if I have little to bring back from the time of long suffering, I am now effortlessly able to find god and turn to him not only in times of need but during moments of happiness. To know that god is working in my favor, even when the world around me doesn’t seem to be going the opposite way. But most importantly, if I turn to him, he will show up for me.

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