I was reminded of some very valuable lessons this week. Not anything you can learn in a book or from searching for "things" to fill up your life and make you happy. "Things" are nice & make you happy...or at least they do for me...but they don't provide the things that complete you as a person. You can have the best car, biggest house, most awesome clothes & hair, and still be an empty person.
It's the people in my life that make me a whole person.
There have been times in my life where I wondered why I was going through something awful. I learned long ago, from my Mom, that we don't ask, "Why me?" Not because of the old saying that asking that is only inviting more to be added to your plate. But because "why not me" is more appropriate. No one on this earth is promised an easy life or made exempt from trying times. My Mom wasn't telling me, "what makes you think you deserve better?" 'cause my Mom would hang the moon for me if she could. It's a reminder that we all have things in our lives to work through and overcome and there's reasons for it.
I have talked to some friends who, after finding out about my previous marriage, opened up to me about the troubles in their marriages. They needed what I needed at the time but I didn't know how to find it & was too proud to open to anyone because I was scared of judgement. They needed someone to listen & say, "I've been there. I understand." Sometimes when you're in a situation that you know is not good, you're so beaten down that you don't know what you're supposed to do next. Breathing & living in the moment can be difficult.
A friend who had no idea all that I'd gone through, and knew me through all of it, was surprised to hear it all. I hid the bad side of my first marriage very well. I was proud of her for being to open about her marriage. When she told me that I give her hope because I came out of it & didn't let it negatively affect me & I used it as a learning tool...I cried. That I can have that effect on someone really hit me.
It also brought us closer.
I didn't go through what I did with all sorts of abuse because I was being punished or deserved it. I didn't go through it because I'd made a bad choice somewhere in my life. I didn't go through it because I brought it on myself. All these things I'd told myself for years because I was so convinced by him that it was true.
I went through it so that I can tell others that I have scars, but those scars don't define me. I can tell others that it wasn't me that got me to where I am today. I forgave and worked hard to be who I am because God worked very hard on me. I went through all of that crap years ago so that the women who are going through it now can hear, "You are strong. You are not what he tells you are. You are a beautiful woman." And God will see you through this.
I didn't do it alone. He carried me many times when I was too weak to walk the next step.
I learned this week that people are brought into our lives exactly when we need them or they need us.
I very rarely open to anyone about my health. I don't want to bother other people, I don't want to seem needy. This week I told a friend that the pain this week has been so bad I have needed help just getting out of bed or rolling over in bed because the pain is so overwhelming it's disabling. I told her how I've slept only a few hours total this week. I have chronic insomnia, but this week I haven't slept because the pain has been so bad that as soon as I start to fall asleep I am immediately woken up. Or I wake myself up from hearing someone crying, only to realize it's me.
This friend happened to see a doctor for her own health issues, and asked him if he knew about what I have. He just so happens to have a lot of experience in actually curing it. He has gotten people off of all of the medications and helped them live normal lives again.
Someone thought to ask a doctor about me? Someone actually took time to bring me up to their doctor? That not only touched me deeply that someone did that for little ol' me, but I learned that by doing the difficult thing of telling someone what I'm going through led that person to a person who is willing to help me.
Sometimes you meet someone & you have fun & you like them & that's the end of that. But then there are the people that come into our lives & you just feel an instant connection. And until you open up & let them see the parts of you that you hide from the "just fun" friends, you won't get to see the true reason you were brought together. Or the true reason why you, or they, went through something.
Everything truly happens for a reason. We may not know the reason immediately & it may take several years, but then one day you are talking to someone & it hits you, "I went through this so that I could meet this person who needs to know she's not the only one going through this." Or "I met her because we needed each other." And that's when a true, deep friendship begins.
When I was a single Mom, working whatever jobs I could to be able to survive, I took a crappy retail job that I hated with a passion. Taking that job led me to meet another single Mom with 4 children...long story short, I ended up with a person in my life who I honestly always wished I had. She's the type of friend that I've asked several times, "Why didn't we meet sooner??" Especially since there were many opportunities where we lived in the same area, our kids went to the same schools, etc.
What I learned this week is that the timing wasn't right. The people who have come into my life came exactly when they were supposed to. Maybe we wouldn't have appreciated each other like we do now, if we'd met sooner. Maybe we each had to go through certain things to get to where we are today, to truly need each other. I can say this about so many of the people that have come into my life especially recently. The new friends and the friends who I've known a long time but have just recently really gotten to know.
It's wonderful to realize how full your life is and how truly blessed you are.