Sometimes life takes turns you do not see coming. That is my story. I have had this crazy amazing life, sprinkled with situations that are heartbreaking. I could have given up or become bitter. Self-pity might have taken a strong hold. Instead I find myself grateful for all that has been. That does not mean there are not holes in my heart or a longing to rearrange parts of my past. Simply put, I could not be me without everything that has happened to me. God’s grace has helped transform me into a strong, devoted creature. I could have chosen differently.
As I face another challenge, I am positive and trusting. I know that God is with me. I pray that I may have the grace I need to walk through the fire that is soon coming. I sense this journey may be the hardest one yet. Then again, I was only 20 when I was told I might never walk again. Six months of not walking on my own two feet ended with stepping out and proving doctors had healed me. That was a pretty trying and taxing experience. When my sister died suddenly, my world collapsed into a dark abyss. Twelve other people died that year. I kept putting one foot in front of the other as I gasped for air, believing that the madness had to eventually stop. Who could forget getting caught in Eastern Congo in a riot? I should have been horribly traumatized but instead the father of my host family in Bujumbura’s question about whether I had never been shot at before was a reality check. I had not lived through a genocide or civil war. I had survived less than 24 hours of an uprising in which there were no fatalities.
Here is this new hole in life that I stand before. I do not know the outcome of it. The best case is where I am keeping my eyes–a successful surgery, an uneventful recovery, and a continuation of a life that I hopefully will never take for granted. I will fill that hole with the prayers and blessings of all the people–loved ones and strangers alike–who have carried me through when I have been too tired. I will caress the battle wounds and appreciate the balm brought to me along the way. I will wait for the treasure that this box of darkness holds for me.
We have choices in life. I have always tried to seek the Light in the darkness because I know that the Light wins. I have always believed that the dark is not the absence of Light. Light shines in the darkness if we are paying attention….the stars, the moon, the Son….they all illuminate our paths. If I look for the shimmers of Light, I will find them–and sometimes, better yet, they will find me. I cannot let the holes be filled with darkness. I pour peace and love into them instead. From those holes will spring forth something new, something that holds promise. I choose goodness and hope. Some things in life are just not an option for me.