“Don’t try to make life a mathematics problem with yourself in the center and everything coming out equal. When you’re good, bad things can still happen. And if you’re bad, you can still be lucky.” – Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
Life is completely utterly unassumingly blazingly unfair. I know that this statement is not a shocker to anyone, but sometimes it just needs to be said. It’s like I just want to stomp my foot, cross my arms and give life the “stink eye” because it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I mean, children are orphaned, people are victimized, health is compromised, and opportunities don’t present themselves to everyone. And, it’s just not right.
But, for some reason, we are continually bewildered at this simple fact. When life hands us our portion of unfairness we stand there totally confused about how this could have happened to us. To US??!?! Bad things happen to other people, right? WRONG!
When my ex-husband and I were going through our divorce, I was in an absolute state of…well; I was in a lot of different “states.” I was in a state of shock, denial, and depression (not to mention the state of Tennessee… just had to throw that in there! Ha!) to name a few. There were so many layers to my divorce I felt that I was peeling back an onion. I would discover something, and begin to accept it, but then I would peel back another layer of deceit, and discover something else. Each new discovery felt like my heart would just stop beating. The blood would rush to my head, and I would relive the pain all over again. And, it seemed like the layers would never end! Some big onion!!! And, in my case, it happened fast, I didn’t have a lot of time to get used to the fact that I was going to be a single mom.
One day, I was sitting in my parent’s house (which little did I know I would end up having to move in there) and I was having a little pity party. And, to be honest, I was enjoying it a bit. I was letting the victim mentality spill all over me. And why shouldn’t I?? I had such a terrible time! I was a victim! It wasn’t fair! I looked over at my father who was sitting in his comfy recliner chair, and I asked, “ Why me, dad? Why did this have to happen to me?” I was hoping he would fill my bruised and battered ego and defend me. But, my manipulation didn’t work. He looked directly at me, shrugged his shoulders and said, “ Why not you?”
Whoa…wait what? Did he just totally ignore my plea for self-pity?? Why, yes he did!
I got so frustrated (it happens when we get challenged, doesn’t it?). “What the heck does that mean?” I asked. Now, what he said next may seem harsh, but it is real truth. He proceeded to tell me that just because I am a believer that does not make me exempt to the underbelly of life’s harshest times. Plus, wouldn’t I rather something like this happen to me because I have the Lord and family to lean into? There are people out there that are alone and going through this. They don’t have any faith or hope. They face their obstacles on their own.
It was like his words slapped me in the face. I truly had nothing to say. I literally sat there in silence just so I could let it all sink in. He was speaking life into me instead of allowing me to swim in the “it’s unfair” pool. No longer could I see myself as a victim, or someone who had been given a bad hand in the marriage game. I had to accept my lot, and see it as a way for the Lord to change and grow me. And, boy oh boy, did He. Now that I’m on the other side of that terrible moment, I can truly say with 100% honesty that my divorce was one of the most God centered points of my life. My faith was tested, and I can tell you this: the Lord promises are true.
The “Why Not Me” philosophy can translate into any aspect of life: marriage, sickness, death, love, parenting, infertility, ANYTHING! It allows us to accept our circumstances at face value and meet our challenges head on instead of being distracted with the fact that life’s unfair. It gives us a teachable heart ready to learn from our situations instead of a bitter heart full of frustration that you have found yourself in a tough spot. I know what you are thinking, you are thinking your situation is way worse than anyone could ever imagine. But, find hope. Each day brings new promises and opportunities. Each day brings a new perspective.
If you are in a time where you are asking the question, “Why me?” Turn it around! Ask “Why not me?” You will soon discover that you are quite equipped to handle the situation at hand , and the Lord is there to carry you through.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12