Countless songs, poems and novels have been written about heartache. It is one of those universal life experiences to which nearly everyone can relate. A broken heart, a betrayed friendship, a dream lost. The pain of brokenness is one of those feelings that seem like it will never end, until it does.
I have learned to embrace the heartaches in my life, because they always seem to lead to something better. That lover who shattered my heart into a million pieces taught me how to forgive. That friend who betrayed my trust taught me discernment. That teenage child with sometimes incredible lapses of judgment taught me unconditional love. I would rather have learned to forgive, to discern and to love without condition than to have avoided the pain that led to these truths.
I believe that I am much stronger and more grounded today because of my past hurts. Looking forward through the eyes of forgiveness, discernment and love is a joy much sweeter than the loves and friendships that broke my heart. I have learned to rely on, and trust God undeniably and unconditionally, for which I am eternally grateful. So, I thank You for the heartache, because it has brought me closer to the person I was created to be.
My brother called me last evening to invite my son and me for Thanksgiving dinner later this month. As is typical with my conversations with my older sibling (that occur regrettably infrequently), he asked “what’s new?” My response: “Just workin. It’s all good.” Reflecting on that comment in these pre-dawn hours, it struck me that “it’s all good” was a truth that seemed to slip out of my soul and form into words before I could even think about them. To most, the concept of “just workin” and “it’s all good” typically do not go hand in hand. And my response to my brother did not necessarily connect the two. I realize that my life does not consist of “just workin.” Do I love my job? I would have to say ‘no,’ but the important thing to me is that it is a job, nothing more. I have learned that my life is so much more that what I do to earn a paycheck. I have been with my current employer nearly 19 years, and, while not as lucrative a position as most would assume, it has kept a roof over my head, food on the table for my son and me, and the bills paid. The important thing is that I am content. Not content in a passive “it is what it is” way; content in knowing that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. As I look deeper into myself and learn more about the Infinite Source who loves me, guides me and protects me, I can joyfully arrive at work each day open to new possibilities of personal growth and awareness. I am not at this job to be a lawyer. I am at this job to be a soul ready to experience and engage in relationships that God is placing in my path to help me get to the place that He wants me to be. With this perspective, I can honestly say “it’s all good.”
Have you ever felt as though God does not hear your prayers? Jesus says “ask and it shall be given to you.” So why do some prayers seemingly go unanswered? Well, they don’t. God answers each and every prayer and petition, it just may be that the answer is “no,” or “not just yet.” The more I get to know God, the more I know that He wants more for us than we could ever fathom in our own minds.
A parent will tell a child “no” in order to protect the child and keep him or her safe. The parent knows that a child crossing a busy street is a recipe for disaster. The child wants to cross the street; the child thinks he or she can cross the street; the child will even fuss and scream because they want to cross the street, but the parent knows that the child shouldn’t cross the street. In much the same way, God says “no” to us. I may think I want a certain thing, or person, or situation in my life. I may ever fuss and scream because I want it to happen so badly. But God knows better. I have come to trust Him without fail, and you know what? my life has become so much more peaceful as a result. No longer do I fight against the “no’s” or “not yets.” I trust in God’s perfect timing, and look forward to the time when I can look over the landscape of my life and clearly see how those answered prayers guided me through life and to the place I will call my forever home.