Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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Silent Tears

Sometimes you just hurt. Not that surface kind of hurt, but that deep-down, soul-wrenching, unexplainable hurt. That hurt that seems to invade every facet of your life until you find yourself drifting through each day, pasting on the appropriate smile, and saying just the right things. But that pain deep inside is there as a constant reminder that things really are not as they seem. I have been there. “Where is there?” you may ask. There is where you silently cry as your significant other sleeps beside you. You soak the pillow with your tears, feeling lonely even in your togetherness. As you cry, your body shakes as you try to control the sobs from breaking free and disturbing their sleep. I mean, they wouldn’t understand anyways, right? There is trying to describe to someone you love how you feel, attempting to rid yourself of this vast feeling of going nowhere and mattering to no one, and them responding, “Well, you have a good life, right?” as if that makes what you are saying and how you are feeling null and void. Yeah, they missed it. Or, maybe you search through your mind polling the many phone numbers in your phone, but not one catches your attention as someone you can call and have them talk you out of this lonely place. 

I mean, when you look at the surface, life is great, right? You have everything you need and some things you want. You have a loving partner, maybe family and friends, even some children sprinkled in there. You are the one everyone depends on to encourage them and be there for them, but sometimes you want to shout “WHAT ABOUT ME?” On the surface, you have it going on,  but no one knows you’re struggling with being a hamster running around the proverbial wheel of life, seeming to get nowhere, but running because that is what you were told to do. The days spent building up others’ dreams while you see yours collecting dust on the shelves are tough days, but you grin and bear it. You have no choice, right? Working a 9-5 you hate because your family has to eat, right? Pushing others to be great when you want to give up. Yeah, I know what “there” is. But even with all of this that no one ever sees, you manage to make life look amazing. 

That is because even with all of that, it really is. Even with the soul-searing pain, at least you can still feel. Even with the loneliness, at least you still function. Even when it seems no one on earth understands or cares, there is still One who knows just what He is doing every step of the way. Maybe you are in the place I described. It is a ROUGH place, it is, but it is not the end. You may feel like giving up. Been there. Suicide has crossed my mind several times. That is not the answer. That is only hurting others because you hurt. Next up, getting in a car and just driving…disappearing like you see in the movies. Yeah, that would not work. Eventually someone would find you or you would just get tired of running from yourself. Well, maybe if I turn my back on God who doesn’t seem to care anyway, and I just do whatever I want, that will change things. Nope. Same issues just masked by “good times” which are really camoflauging empty moments. 

Sometimes just acknowledging the feelings is the first step. Acknowledging that you are broken and hurting, feeling unnecessary and overlooked, seemingly unproductive and thinking you can be easily replaced, yeah, that is the first step. Unfortunately, this may be a journey you take alone. It may be the roughest journey you ever embark on, but in the end, if you can acknowledge it, you can beat it. So, yeah, maybe there will be a few nights, weeks, months, of tear-soaked pillows…Maybe your phone will become useless as you can’t figure out anyone to call, but in the end you win. Let the silent tears flush out the bitterness and the hurt. Allow yourself to be in the moment, and know that as long as there is a tomorrow, there is another chance for things to get better from here. It has to get better. It just does.


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Life More Beautiful

It’s been said that when “life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I agree with the statement, but what happens when you have a lot of lemons, but seemingly no other “ingredients” to assist in the making of “lemonade”? Sometimes the bitter is so bitter, and the sweet so fleeting. So, instead of using that same phrase that I have heard so many times, I came up with my own: When life give you lemons, enjoy the bitter, but look forward to the sweet. Sometimes things come at you back to back, and it seems you are drowning in despair, but that is never the end of your story. There is always more to look forward to. I say that because for a time, it seemed that so much happened to me that was bad. I looked around, and though I was told that things would look up, all I saw was the negative. Curve ball after curve ball seemed to arrive, and I wanted to curl up and cry. What I did not realize, was that in everything, there was always something I could learn out of the experience. When I changed my perspective from lamenting at being thrown lemons, to acknowledging the bitter and reveling in the moment, my life began to change. Now, there are still things that happen which may hurt, but instead of drowning in it all, I took the bitter and looked forward to the sweet. Life happens, but when you shift your perspective, life becomes more beautiful. Make your life more beautiful. Change your perspective. Take your lemons, and while dealing with the bitter, know that things are bound to become sweet.

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The Strength That Storms Built

It’s so easy to stress when we are being buffeted on every side by winds that threaten to tear down everything in our lives. Sometimes those winds do tear down some things, and we are left to pick up the pieces of broken dreams, and of broken ideals. Eventually though we rebuild and things begin to look as if nothing ever happened, until another harsh wind blows. Unfortunately, bad weather is a part of the earth, as are troubled times in our lives. The question is not whether things will happen, but it is instead what we do after the trouble. One thing I have had to realize is that trouble is sometimes necessary to produce something great in us. If we are allowed to be comfortable, and we do not experience anything that shakes up all that has settled in our lives, then no one benefits because all the great things in us cannot be seen. We can be likened to italian dressing. When the dressing is allowed to settle there is a distinction between the oil and the rest of the ingredients. To get the best taste it is advised that the dressing is shaken before using. Without being shaken first, the dressing may taste more like oil than anything else-not really a good taste. Without some things first being shaken out of our lives, we may not be as useful. We will have things that have settled in us that do not add to the special blend that makes us unique and necessary to the world. While they never feel good, storms build endurance. After each storm we learn to build up stronger in places that were easily knocked down. We fortify our foundations-discovering just who we are and what we are supposed to do. Our strength is built by discovering our weaknesses, and allowing the storms/struggles to build up our defenses making them stronger. When we see people who are seemingly strong and confident, it is usually because they have had to deal with tough times, pain, struggle, etc, to build their strength. If you are going through a tough time, know that it is because you are strong enough to handle it. You will be even stronger after it. So stand. Allow your strength to be built. The winds do not blow all the time. Eventually the sun will come out again.