“How did an unwanted circumstance in your life change you for the better in the long run?”
This past Monday, August 10th marked 5 years since my son Ezekiel was born & passed away. Definitely THE unwanted circumstance of my life. As I spent some time reflecting on these last 5 years, I acknowledge that I was affected in ways I don’t really like… mostly getting out of shape from turning to junk food for coping… which I guess isn’t that terrible of coping mechanism amongst the variety out there! But I’ve also changed for the better in ways I never would have without that terrible life experience.
We had some brave souls who shared openly on this tough topic this past week.
People sharing everything from death to divorce and unemployment to unfulfilled dreams. But also great stories of hope & healing. Here’s some of the wisdom we got this week:
Losing my Dad—it forced me to change. Change my circumstances, change my perspective. It was hard and I wish it didn’t happen and that that change could’ve come some other way. But it made me appreciate life more, pursue my family more...We are alive, we are still here, and there is great beauty & purpose in that.
Sometimes the unwanted may or may not be of God’s doing, but I feel he can certainly then use those events to work his purposes and for greater things.
I think people consciously and unconsciously choose how to be changed by any circumstance. We decide, to an extent, how we will be shaped by joy and sorrow.
I was so angry. This was the plan, my calling, what I was supposed do with my life and now it was falling apart in front of me. But that circumstance was the best thing that could have possibly happened. I grew personally, I grew professionally, I met my wife, I made lifetime friends, and I can honestly say I am a different person because of it.
Even before losing Ezekiel, I had a saying that I truly believed: “Your wounds have a chance to be your deepest wells.” The places of our deepest pain & disappointment also carry the potential to be the source of life & healing we provide to others.
Of course it takes time.
No one is offering healing to others when they’re dealing with their own fresh wounds. But as honesty, perspective, community, counseling, and other sources of love clean out & heal the wound over time, it can become the source of deep empathy & understanding that may be the life raft for someone else.
But you know what? It’s okay if that wound hasn’t healed yet. It’s just fine if you’re still just getting by keeping yourself afloat. There’s no deadline here. Nobody casually looking at their watch saying, “When is he just gonna get it together?”
Take your time. The unwanted can be more than just unwanted. It can be crushing. And just clearing the ground for a new start can take a long time.
Embrace wherever you’re at. Explore what the future could look like. Endure what tomorrow brings.
You’ve got this.