Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thankful Thursday: Blessings Amid The Chaos

You know that old saying, "find the silver lining?"

Yeah, that saying used to be one of the (many) things that would instantly smash down on my rage button. I hated when people said that to me - "You just have to look for the silver lining." Ugh ... honestly, it still makes me a little mad.

The truth is, sometimes there is no silver lining. If your dog gets hit by a car and dies, there isn't a silver lining. "He's in a better place now" is not helpful to think of. It just isn't. And the fact is, it generally doesn't make the person hearing it actually feel any better. Because sometimes there is no silver lining, and something that sucks is just exactly what it is - something that sucks.

But sometimes ... sometimes there is a silver lining.


My life in the last few years has been so cram-packed with chaos that I'm honestly not really sure how I've survived it all as intact as I still am. I've lost friendships, I've lost autonomy, I've lost income, I've lost love. I've lost trust. I've lost the sense of "home." I've lost hope, more times than I care to count.

But slipped in between the many losses ... there have been undeniable gains.

I lost a relationship - but I regained a sense of independence.

I lost friends I had thought would be with me for a lifetime - but I gained new ones who more truly fit with who I am, friends who back me up and support me, who call me out when I'm being ridiculous, who call me up when they know I'm in need, who hear me out and offer encouragement because they believe in me and what I stand for.

I lost the sense of "home" I had before, lost the family I thought I had found - but I gained the chance to build a new home full of hope and laughter, strengthened by the solidity of the family that developed out of nothingness.

In the midst of so much chaos, I gained more courage, developed more strength, nurtured more confidence, and found a stronger faith in God. In the midst of almost constant crisis, much of which I have not shared here, I learned to turn dreams into plans. I learned to turn hope into goals. And I found a more secure sense of self than I could ever have imagined.

I am not untouched by the tidal wave that has washed over my life in the last few years. I'm soaked in insecurity now, covered in fear and shame and loss, and much of my mental health has eroded under the onslaught.

And yet, I find myself taking steps ... tiny little baby steps ... into a future I'm beginning to believe in again. I'm reaching out, I'm opening my heart, I'm embracing possibility, and I'm resting in faith. Little by little, I believe the flood of constant crisis will pull away just as surely as a stormy tide, leaving behind the fresh-washed terrain of a life ready for new beginnings. Empty sands, yes - but empty sands of promise, with a seemingly endless view into a beautiful horizon.

Life is full of crisis, rowdy with chaos, bursting with challenges. But in each crisis hides a lesson, in each round of chaos lies a chance to learn trust, and in each challenge blooms the opportunity for growth.

I hope that in the months to come, my family's changes will inspire you to grow too, to embrace your own resilience, to find your own battle cry, to strive to bring life to your own dreams. To become more confident, more secure, more productive. And together, we'll show the world what it means to be "undaunted."


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