How can it be that loss can turn into gain? How can it be that the marks that suffering leaves upon us can, in turn, make us gleam and glow? How is it that tears can turn into laughter? I have to ask those questions, because I have been doing a lot of reflecting upon the past. I generally tend to reassess things around the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It is one of the times each year I think most people try to figure out how they did, how life is going, and to do some goal setting for the next year. I do the same thing around other occasions: birthdays, 4th of July, and some other occasions, too. I tend to be part historian and archivist…and trend analyzer.
There have been years when my husband and I have been through a LOT of sorrow. There have been years when we have been through more than our share of joy. In both cases, we do kind of a quick run through of the year. We say “do you remember when…” about all kinds of things. The thing that strikes me is that although there were heartbreaking times in some cases, we did come through it. It is true that God brings us through so much. Throughout my life I have heard the expression “God never gives us more than you can handle”. We tend to nod and just accept that statement. We are supposed to be comforted and reassured when we handle it.
I must confess, though, that there ARE times when I really do want to say “Oh really? Why is it that He has so much confidence in me? I really don’t think I can handle what I am going through! I don’t think I can handle what I think is coming!” You may laugh at that statement. Sometimes I laugh, too. There are even times when I want to say to Him “I wish you didn’t have this much confidence in me!”
Actually, though, I am reassured. I guess it is like the little child trying to take 1st measured steps across the living room. The child sees the mom or dad across the room and takes tentative steps to reach that parent’s arms. Eventually it works…So, too, with me. I might resist the process of gracefully handling suffering and difficulty. But i also am fully aware that at some point I will have to get on with it. I will have to accept the suffering and know that God will see me through it. There will be times when I will earn ‘style points’ [like in figure skating] and finish. There will be times when I fall multiple times and stagger off of the ice at the end.
The point is that no matter which way I finish my test or difficulty, my coach (God) awaits me and will love me. He will help me prepare for the next test. He gives me people that accept me and love me…RIGHT when I need them.
So how can it be at the beginning of 2012 that despite any difficulties of 2011 I really do weigh the joys as more significant than the sorrows? Because around every corner is another joy just waiting to be found. My heart breaks and my heart heals. I lose and I win…..How can it be? How can nothing defeat me forever? I shall not be vanquished. God is with me all ways and always. His love for me makes me a perennial optimist.