I have had a rough few weeks. This morning, as I was sitting in church, it hit me that I was focusing on the wrong picture. Here's the thing, I know that in the pursuit of finding some peace in the past year and 8 months I have actually taken some of that away from myself. I was looking at the things that I don't have, the things I can't do, and the people that I have lost. Today God reminded me of something far more important. Today He reminded me that we are each unique. We are each going through something and that, yes, though it hurts it is the person at the end of it that He is trying to form. I know it may seem weird, but I found comfort in that, and in so doing realized that even with all the don'ts and can'ts I have a beautiful list of do's and have's.
1. I am divorced = I do not have a husband. This is true, I don't. But I did have the honor once of being a bride and a wife. Many do not get this, for whatever reason. Even now, when it is something that I miss and long for, I know that God has the perfect man for my future and while He is working in me, He is also working in him. (Not to mention I do have a super sweet, incredibly handsome, and heartwarmingly thoughtful and caring boyfriend!)
2. I have an injured knee = I cannot run. People, me, I CAN. NOT. RUN! I'm dying here for this simple reason. While it is true that until I know what is wrong (just had an MRI) I have to lay off on the running, I do have something amazing to show for it. I ran a marathon. I ran, with an injury, 26.2 miles. Yes, for fun. And, even though I didn't get the time that I had been training for, I ran across that finish line. I completed the race and received my medal. I am now a marathoner. NO ONE can take that away from me. NO ONE.
3. I lost my grandma = Heaven got an amazing woman. Almost a year ago she went home to sing to Jesus; yes, even in her severely off-key voice! I miss her more and more each of these passing days. These days when I wish I had an older woman, who I know would never once judge me, but lovingly listen and only offer advice if I actually asked, to talk to. I miss the sound of her voice and the way she used to call just to say "I love you." I really need her advice. I really need her. But, instead, I have the privilege to say I got nearly 35 years with her in my life. I will forever be her Mandy-maw. And no matter what she will always be the best grandma a girl could ever ask for. God was so good to me by giving her to me.
4. I have gained 20 pounds = I am getting fat y'all! Seriously. This lack of running and increased eating for all the training I was doing in the many months leading up to my marathon have left me, well, looking horrific. However, what I do know is that I know how to fix it. I know what to do to get my health back on track. And even though I have gained 20 pounds I am STILL 42 pounds lighter than I was this time 2 years ago! It is really all in the way I look at it. I can get there again.
This list could go on and on. There are so many things that have really gotten to me as of late, but each time they have come to my mind today I couldn't for the life of me think of a reason to let them tear me down. In each of the things, I had a blessing. Whether it be because something good came of it, or because something better is still yet to come. I know that God loves me and that He always knows what is best for my life. That just because there is a lot of hurt and pain and frustration, a lot of confusion, longing, and tears, does not mean that He isn't making the best Mandy out of me.
I'd like to tell you that this lesson isn't one he would need to revisit, because I am totally sure it is, but for today, Pentecost Sunday, I find that the Lord has given me so much more than a simple lesson reminder. He has given me a smile, a full heart, and the reassurance of His love.
May you all have a blessed week.