Happy Easter, everyone! Today is the day we celebrate that CHRIST IS RISEN! He died so we could live, but He did not die so we could live without pain and suffering. That was never a promise He made, nor one that is even a possibility.
We all suffer. We all have our very own crosses we need to carry. Sometimes though, it’s easy to look around and feel as though you are the one with the heaviest cross. And maybe you are. Maybe the hand you were dealt far outweighs the suffering of others. But to say that is unfair is just, well, unfair. What would be unfair is if someone told you, “You will never suffer,” and then you did. But those words were never said to any of us. I’ve written about this before, but it’s not hard to find someone whose shoes you would not want to walk in for a mile. That, for me, is when my crosses seem a bit lighter.
Most things in life are about perspective. It’s all the cliches. Mind over matter. This too shall pass. Time will heal all wounds. Although those are pretty cliche cliches, they hold very real truths. For more years than I care to admit, I had an eating disorder that even those closest to me didn’t realize just how bad it really was. I was in the depths of hell trying to claw my way out, by myself, every single day. I was ashamed, alone, and I knew that eventually the deadly combination of an eating disorder and type 1 diabetes was going to kill me. I wasn’t making it very hard to do that, until I was.
When you hear it won’t happen overnight, I am living proof. I can’t even say how or when exactly it happened, but it did. I spent every day for the better part of 20 years on my knees begging God to help me. I just wanted to get through a day without suffering, without feeling like my life was consumed by what I saw, or didn’t see, when I looked in the mirror. I can remember so well when I thought to myself, wow, a week has gone by and I’ve felt pretty good. Then it was a month, and now it’s been over 10 years. God didn’t answer my prayers when I thought He would, but He’s not really concerned about my timing. He knew exactly what I needed when I needed it, and I can tell you without a doubt that I needed to be in the lowest part of hell to appreciate the beautiful life that was right there all along, just waiting for me. And that beautiful life includes being an unruly teenager, an eating disorder, depression, suffering, type one diabetes, and a husband who doesn’t realize he shouldn’t sing. I’m kidding, he totally realizes he shouldn’t sing, but does anyway. I just have to keep telling myself this too shall pass.
I love my life. The suffering is part of my journey. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for us, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned through living an imperfect life. I feel fortunate that I have gotten to the point in my life where every obstacle is not something I complain about but something that is going to teach me something important. It’s perspective. I’ve seen rock bottom and don’t particularly like it much. I hear people complaining about the silliest things and think they’ll get it, someday, they will get it.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out my grandfather was a recovering alcoholic. I only found out when I was an in-patient for my eating disorder and I made him a plaque with the serenity prayer on it. He told me that was the prayer they say at AA meetings, and I always felt a special bond with him because of that. I love that prayer. It’s exactly how I want to live my life, by accepting the circumstances that I can’t change but changing what I can. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at changing the circumstances that were keeping a beautiful life right out of my reach, but again, it certainly didn’t happen overnight.
Happy Easter to all of you! May God bless you and guide you through the crosses you need to carry.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
So, real quick, the singing husband thing. I have accepted this as “the things I cannot change.” Please pray for me 😉