Twice a year our church puts together a Women’s Bible Study Book Club; this time around the book that selected this time around was Lysa Terkeurst’s It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way: finding unexpected strength when disappointments leaves you shattered. As per usual my mom and I signed up not knowing anything about the author or the book. Honestly, we use these nights as a way to spend time together in the mists of our busy schedules. And, as per usual the book opened allowed me to really take time to reflect.
In the book Lysa shows us that life is not how we expect it. There are moments that catch us off guard and others that completely break us. We feel disappointed and begin to wonder why. But what if those disappointments are the precise appointments we need and never expected.
We all can think of at least one unexpected event in our lives that later become the “plot twist” of our story. After reading the first chapter I thought of few in my own life.
Disappointment – About a week before graduating high school we found out my grandma was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Appointment – Little did I know this would impact our family in so many ways. Not only did my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) become closer and spend a lot of quality time together; but my immediate family (parents and grandma) and I drew closer to God. In those 3 years while my Grandma putting up a fight we started doing bible studies at home, attending church regularly, and praying for everything. To this day, I am not sure how my mom and I handled my Grandma’s passing so well. If it wasn’t for our faith and understanding of His promise, we would have been a mess. All those long nights helped prepare us for one of the most difficult moments of life.
BATHROOM PANIC ATTACK
Disappointment – little did I know people could have such a outrageous sense of humor. While at work, a co-worker, who I considered a friend and welcomed into my home, gave me something that triggered the worst panic attack in my life. I locked myself in a grocery store bathroom and could clearly hear voices in my head and felt my heart was pounding out of my chest. A couple hours later I was in on an ambulance alone being criticized by the paramedics. I get it now it wasn’t something serious but at the moment my world left like it was ending.
Appointment – After this I did not return to that job; at the moment this was so heartbreaking. I didn’t feel comfortable asking my parents or boyfriend for money. I felt so useless. My parents encouraged me to focus on school and find a new job the following semester. Thanks to this, I was able to focus on attending therapy and found ways to coupe with my anxiety, be home with my Grandma when she went into hospice, and was able to start a new job that allowed me the opportunity to meet my now besties!
Disappointment – Taking a semester off on my last year of college after my dad had knee surgery, was not in any of my plans. In 2012 my dad had open heart surgery so my mom had taken off a month of work to help him get back on his feet. The following summer my mom took an additional month off when my grandma passed. Unfortunately later that year my dad had starting feeling a slight pain in his knee. After a few days of nagging him, I decided to take him to see the doctor. He was rushed to the hospital and had surgery. He spent a couple days in the hospital, then 2 weeks in a rehab facility. On the day he was discharged, we were given specific instruction on how he required an IV drip for an additional 2 weeks at home. Unfortunately at this time, my mom couldn’t take the time off work or even afford to have a nurse come daily. At that moment I became my dad’s nurse.
Appointment – During my time off from school I was able grow my relationship with my parents. It was slightly stressful but so rewarding. It felt so nice to help my parents in during this time. This experience helped me be their shoulder to lean on and definitely made me realize I would not be a good nurse !!
PARTY OF 2
Disappointment – At this age imagined I’d be a mom, own a home and picking out a cool family car. Yet, here we are still trying to do to it all.
Appointment – For the past year and a half we’ve been able to lean a lot on our faith and loved ones. Sharing our stress and anxieties has allowed us to not feel so alone. I’ve definitely had to learn to be patient and not overwhelm myself after every negative test. I am not sure what the exact “appointment” is yet but I am always learning. Whether or not we “meet” the goals we have set for ourselves at least I know I’ll always have my best friend and husband by my side.
There’s still ten more chapters in the book for self reflecting. But I know there will always be obstacles that hinder us. It’s our choice on how we react to them. We can stay stuck in the negative or look for a silver lining. What do you choose?