Have you ever felt like you were in the wrong place at the wrong time? I’ve had a lot of those moments over the years, but the biggest one was the day my car was hit by a man who was in a hurry to get to an appointment. His poor decision smashed my car together like an empty soda can and required the Jaws of Life to rescue me. It was an honest-to-goodness “pee in your pants” moment of my life!
But I wasn’t laughing.
Several years of intensive spinal therapy and over a decade of chronic pain has followed. That accident literally changed the course of my life. I went from a bubbly gal who ran 50 miles a week, climbed mountains and jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, to an angry woman crippled with chronic pain, thankful she could get up and walk the 20 steps necessary to get to the bathroom.
Bubbly was not part of my recovery demeanor. Lack of exercise and a sluggish metabolism quickly banished skinny from my vocabulary and my wardrobe as well.
It’s amazing how one single moment can turn your life upside down, shake the very foundation you stand on and send you into a tailwind of chaos and self-doubt that rocks the foundation of your faith, if you let it.
We have to find joy in the “Why me God?” moments of life or they will destroy us.
Did you catch that part? You have a choice to make when the hard times come.
Have you ever spent time wondering “Why Me God?”
The car accident was my second major “Why me God?” moment of my adult life.
My first big adult “Why me God?” moment was when I was almost raped in a third world country by a “close friend” of one of my (former) besties. I later found out he sat next to her in one of her grad school classes and she thought he was super cute, but she barely knew him. She said he was a safe person for me to connect with while I was traveling overseas. I’m beyond thankful God showed up that night and gave me a supernatural power to fight the date rape drug he had slipped into my drink. It was a terrifying experience, but God rescued me and I caused some serious momentary pain to a certain someone’s “down under” parts, thank you very much. Ahem, #sorrynotsorry!
Our “Why me God?” moments will destroy us unless we cling to Jesus!
My third major “Why me God?” moment was when I found out we couldn’t have kids. Infertility and grief hung around for years in our marriage, as month after month I peed on a stick and the hope was pulled out from under me one tinkle at a time. (Ha! I can now find humor in something that devastates me, that’s all thanks to our God!)
My fourth “Why me God?” moment was when I discovered they had severed one of my vocal chords when they removed my thyroid cancer. Hooray for no more cancer, praise the Lord for that gift. But a serious boohoo, woes me moment for the girl who loves to sing, believes she would be happier living in a musical, and lost her ability to speak words for over 3 months while the surviving vocal chords learned how to readjust and heal. (In fact, I still struggle. My mind and my voice don’t always get on the same page!)
The fifth, devastating “Why me God?” moment was a little over a year ago when the dream of our forever family (three siblings ages 2, 4 & 6) died after a wonderful year and a half of precious time together.
There have sadly been a few more major “Why me God?” moments since the loss of our forever family. But they’re too painful to discuss. Plus, God and I are currently trying to work out those pains together. I’m so thankful He’s given me some gifted, loving people to support me along the way.We all have major (and minor) “Why me God?” moments in life. It's what we choose to do after they come that defines us. Click To Tweet
We get to choose how to respond each time those “Why me God?” moments threaten to take over our lives. I hope we choose well!
- We can lean on God and trust in Him, even when we literally have no idea what’s going on, or
- We can take a step away from the Lord and lean on ourselves to get through the crazy instead.
I’ve done a little bit of both throughout my major “Why me God?” moments, the minor ones too. I bet you have as well. But I can certainly tell you that when I choose to lean on me, I usually wind up messing it all up! You too? I usually feel burnt out, anxious, exhausted and like I’m spinning on a hamster wheel of life when I try to do it all in my own power.
Lean on God in the disappointments of life.
When I choose to lean on God and draw closer to Him during my disappointments, I am filled with a calm and peace that surpasses all understanding.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
I can rest in the fact that even though I have no clue what’s coming next, I trust that He does.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
This life is filled with pain and circumstances out of our control, but we can still choose to seek joy.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” James 1:2
We allow tough circumstances to draw us closer to Jesus or drive us further away.
It really is a choice, friend. Whether you want to admit that or not. And let’s get real for a moment, our happiness is fleeting, it comes and goes, sometimes by the moment or the hour.
But our joy in Jesus is long lasting.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19
Through our pain and suffering we can find true and lasting joy in Jesus!
We need to surround ourselves daily with God’s Truth.
- This world is our temporary home. (Hebrews 13:14, 1 Peter 2:11)
- Each day we can rejoice that we have another day to live for the King. (Psalm 118:24)
- Life is filled with hard stuff. (John 16:33)
- When life gets tough, we can choose to find joy in our trials. (James 1:2-4)
- We can live victoriously and rejoice in the blessings of being a child of the King! (1 Cor. 15:57, 2 Cor. 6:18, Gal. 3:26, Romans 8:14, Gal. 4:7)
Choose to live in the victory of Christ over your own selfishness. Choose to find joy in the King!
The Salt & Light featured blogger is…
I read this wonderful post from Joy on seeking the light in our pain. It made me giggle. Not because I was happy for her pain, but because I totally relate to what she’s gone through. I feel like I have been there hundreds of times over the years and I love her wisdom “…let’s cling to the lamp and the light. It’s the surest way to find hope for the heart and joy to the soul.”
I am a co-host of the weekly Salt & Light Linkup for Christian bloggers. Come join us for some prayer, encouragement and a weekly linkup in our Facebook group. One blogger is highlighted in social media and on our blogs each week!