Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stuff Happens


We've all heard the expression, I've just anesthetized it for blogging purposes.

But it doesn't change that stuff happens.

No one who has lived 38 years (or 58 or 28 or even 18) can claim that nothing bad has ever happened to them; that they've never encountered turbulent times, rough waters or any of the other cliches used to express periods in our life that generally stink.

But what really defines us is not WHAT happened, but HOW we react to it.

Lots of bad things can happen TO us.

We are even a party to some of it, or most of it, depending on the situation and how you view it.

But BAD THINGS don't have to define us. 

I've had what a lot of people would consider bad things happen in my life.

Within a four-year period, my firstborn was diagnosed with autism, we carried two mortgages (two separate times), we had two houses (and one car) smashed by trees felled during natural disasters; lost both of my in-laws in painful ways, fought secondary infertility (and lost), stood by as two brothers-in-law battled cancer and we moved four times. And there were other bad things - really bad things - that had happened before that which will not be discussed on this blog.

But here I am. And, I think, a stronger person from all of that. I get so tired of hearing behavior excused with "they've been through a lot."

We all have.

My "bad things" might not be nearly as bad as your "bad things." That's not my place to judge. You never know someone's full story or the intricacies of the hand they've been dealt in life. But you do know, that if they've lived longer than about two minutes, they've been through something hard. 

Just as long as that something doesn't define you.

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
   do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." - Isiah 41:10


  1. So true, Amy. Really good post. We all have our struggles, but we learn and grow from them with God's help. Without it, we wallow in them and become miserable, and I do know people like that. Sad. But thank goodness "we have overcome." :)

  2. Very true. You're always in charge of your own story and how it ends, no matter how much bad stuff happens.