“Look at your glass as half full, not half empty. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, When one door closes, another will open…”
You’ve heard these lame excuses for encouragement. We all have said them, hoped to believe them. Hoped they might help someone look on the brighter side of things. We were trying to help because we didn’t know what else to say or what hope there really was to offer a really dismal and bleak situation.
But deep down, we all know that sometimes the dumb glass is just half empty. We hate lemonade, have no time to make it anyway, and the door was just slammed in our face. Sometimes life is just painful and hard and we just want everyone and their trite sayings to go away and let us sulk the day away.
In times like these, I am encouraged by those who encourage me to move beyond what is trite, and on to what is holy. I’m encouraged by those who encourage me to THRIVE despite my circumstances. In the matter of a few months time, our whole lives have been shaken and stirred. Just to name a few of the more obvious tough circumstances:
Rob resigned his job with Granger Community Church, after serving with them for 21 years.
Two days later, I fell down one step, yes. ONE step. I tore my calf muscle, sprained my knee and ankle, and tore my ankle tendon 90%. I had surgery, a cast, have been almost completely immobile for 4 months.
A few weeks after I fell, Rob’s dad passed away. His death devastated our family. Our girls have never known real grief. Walking them through this new grief was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever done as parents.
In the middle of all these life-changes, I have discovered a few things to be true:
- We are family. And that is enough. Who we are when no one is looking has turned out to be my favorite “us” there is. I’m a housebound wife. A shut-in, a person who can’t walk in the park to rejuvenate my soul. My husband, a temporarily unemployed pastor. We are just us. Just Rob and Michelle and Madeline and Whitney and Isabelle. They are not pastorskids and I am not a pastorswife.
- Who we are when no one else is around is what counts. We are discovering our inner uniqueness, apart from the blaring lights and noise, the applause of men and women–Good, kind, true men and women. There’s nothing wrong with being a pastor or a pastor’s wife or a pastors kid, but these things do not bring us value or worth or importance. Who we are is who we are being made to be, day by day.
- I can make my life better just by sitting here. I started practicing Zentangle doodles and have found myself and my soul a new creative outlet. I spent several of the hours laying in my bed recovering from my surgery praying for every tween and teen girl that had been to our house to visit our girls that signed my cast. Their names blared up at me in bold neon letters, praying for them by name was a gift.
- I’ve realized more than ever that every minute I have with my family counts. Losing a family member so dear has caused us all to hold each other closer–Every day. Every minute is special. In the chaos of our day to day, I have found myself hugging my husband more, speaking words of light and light into each of my girls, making our time together matter by taking the time to notice them, really, really notice.
Many times during these past few months, I have asked Jesus to end this what feels like to be never-ending series of trials. I’ve asked Him To make everything better, to take away the pain, both the physical aspect and the heartache.
However, I am starting to see the deeper lessons of deeper living, of what it means to THRIVE through trials and hard times.…I think it’s been worth it for all of us–Actually, I know it has been.
We are as a family learning to linger over love longer, to talk deeper, to live fuller…
They way God has orchestrated our circumstances is certainly not how I would have, but He has taught me to THRIVE despite anything that comes my way:
That in anything,
- He has the power to give me strength.
- That HE is all about me living life abundantly. He said that’s what He came for.
- Jesus is teaching me how to live– In anything, for anything, through anything.
Wherever you are, whatever your mess is, your sadness, your grief, or just your ordinary day to day living. Thrive from where you are. Ask God. Ask yourself. “How can I live better? How can my life be richer? How can I feel stronger?”
I can promise you He will show you. He promised us in the Bible, John 10:10 to be exact: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. ”
Trust Him. Ask Him. Wait and see and THRIVE.
“This post was inspired by Casting Crowns new album “Thrive” available