What if I told you a story about the worst days of your life? Would you listen? Or would you close your eyes, refusing to read the words that remind you of your pain? Your shame? Your heartbreak?
The tales of our disappointments are not usually our favorite topics to rehash or reminisce about. We don’t save pictures from those days, or get cards celebrating those moments, but maybe we should.
Wait, what? Did you read that right?
Yes, you did. I totally want you to celebrate your low points. To celebrate them to the fullest extent of your capabilities.
Call me crazy if you’d like. Some people already do, and that’s okay. I’m simply telling you that you should remember the worst days. Often. That you should relive your worst experiences. Often. That you should celebrate every failure, every stumble, every single tear. Often.
Does this sound like some kind of twisted torture? I promise that I’m not some sadistic woman who enjoys inflicting pain upon myself. I’m not into chastising myself over every mistake. I don’t enjoy my pain, and I do not enjoy my tears.
I much prefer the blessings in my life. I’m totally normal like that. In fact, I can pretty much assume with zero difficulty that those of you reading this prefer the blessings as well. So, yes. I enjoy the good days. A lot. I also enjoy stories, so let me tell you a few.
The story of a young girl I know, beautiful, full of talent, and full of love to give. In fact, she had so much love to give that she gave of it freely. Her smiles were like sunshine, and she had no protective walls built around her heart. She loved with a carefree and wild abandonment.
Until the day that the heart she gave so freely of, was shattered. She was broken up with, out of the blue, after years of giving herself so freely, so openly. She was given no warning, no reason, no answers, nothing but a few uncaring words typed out through a text message.
I witnessed the aftermath. The tears. The pain. I cried as I watched her cry. I experienced the pain of watching a heartless boy hurt a girl who was so full of heart. I saw a little piece of her heart shrivel up and die that day. Part of mine died with hers.
I tried to find the right words to say, I prayed for healing words, and to this day I’m not sure if I found the perfect words, because there are no perfect words. There is only compassion, and that is our humble duty as children of God, to give to those in pain.
Though my heart was bleeding for the girl with a piece of her heart torn out, I celebrated this moment. I cherished her pain, and tried to explain that one day she would celebrate it too.
You see, what she never knew, was the very thing that God did know. That this failed relationship was a success. This hole in her heart would be filled, and her heart would love even more because of it. Why? Because the one who wasn’t the one, would lead to the one who is THE ONE.
What she never knew, is that one day, she would celebrate this moment. The day that God removed something she thought was good, for something that He knew was much better. One day, when she stares into the eyes of the man who will love her with the intensity and freedom of her type of love, she will finally know what she never knew. Believe me, I know. I believe.
There are other stories. Stories of an overdose that saved the life of another. That a new life was gained through the end of someone else’s. There are the stories of lost jobs that led to dream jobs. There are stories since the beginning of time about lost love, lost lives, lost security, lost dreams. These are the stories of blessings through pain, growth, and new direction. Sometimes the end of a path seems difficult, until you finally realize there was a better road ahead for you. What you never knew, God did.
What you never knew, is that every battle, every hardship, every sleepless night, was preparation for your destiny. Every single NO, was paving the way for your perfect YES.
What you never knew, is that every single heartbreak, every single battle, every shattered plan, was building you into a survivor, a warrior, a conqueror. Through your pain, a champion was being forged.
Then, of course, there are the things you may never know, ever.
The traffic light that somebody in front of you made you miss, causing you to run behind? You never knew that had you made the light, you would have crossed the wrong intersection at the wrong time. There would have been a crash. The seatbelt you forgot to put on wouldn’t have saved you. You couldn’t know. You never knew. As you silently, or even not so silently cursed the car in front of you for missing the light, you never knew that it would save your life.
What you never knew, is that some of life’s major inconveniences, setbacks, mistakes, and the no’s were saving you from more pain, were setting you up for major comebacks, were preparing the right path for you.
The traffic. The missed promotion. The mounting bills. The failed relationship. The years of negative pregnancy tests that led to the final positive, that ended with the one that was meant to be. The one precious jewel in your arms that you waited so long for.
What you never knew, is that the plotting of the devil, the plotting of the haters, the negative vibes, the lies, the hate, would all be turned around for your good. What you never knew, is that these painful experiences would make your comeback, your testimonial, all the more sweet. What you never knew is that nothing anyone could say or do would prevent God’s plan for you. Ever.
What if you finally realized that those bad days saved, changed, and prepared you for the best, and what was meant to be? What if we began to look at our current difficulties as a pathway to success? If we learned to celebrate our problems? Our weaknesses? Our shortcomings? God tells us to do just that. He tells us to praise Him through the good and the bad. To trust. To allow Him to change us, shape us, and to lift us. Which leads me to the best story.
The story of a man who was beaten, bruised, ridiculed, and killed. What they never knew, is that the pain of Jesus, the suffering of Jesus, the unconditional love of Jesus, would absolutely change and bless the lives of so many people. How His horrible sacrifice would turn into the most beautiful gift ever. Death for life. Good from bad. Abundant blessings from such a significant tragedy. Who knew? They never knew how so much beauty could come from such ugliness. How so much light could come from the deepest dark. What they never knew, is how love, even when undeserved and unreciprocated, would save the entire world.
So maybe, the next time you fall on harder times, or you’re threatened by life’s seemingly unfair mishaps, you should rejoice. Maybe you can learn to smile through the tears, the inconveniences, the troubles. Maybe, just maybe, you could learn to see your setbacks for what they truly are. A plan. A method. A test, a trial, a preparation for some of the most amazing moments and blessings of your life.
So smile. Keep marching along. Keep your head up and your heart open. Trust the process. Trust the Lord. Someday, maybe sooner than you think, you may finally know what you never knew.
May God bless you and keep you,
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For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord .
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
2 Corinthians 13:6
Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
1 Peter 1:6
1 Thessalonians 5:16