This Didn’t Have to Happen . . . But It Did . . . Now What?

Ever notice how sometimes your life has to adjust to other people’s actions? Dreams are ripped apart, family bonds break and friendships dissolve over what usually is a selfish act that didn’t need to happen.

A wife who was in a mix of friends who happened to be wealthy and “had their life all together” watched as one by one the friends were tweaked, nipped and tucked into perfection. Over and over her husband verbally admired her, loved on her and tried to reassure her insecurities of worth that was related to body image. On the guise of a girl’s week, she drained their bank account, headed south and had major plastic surgery performed. Meanwhile back home the automatic payment of their house and auto was denied. As the husband discovered the lack of funds, his health insurance called to say they hadn’t received their monthly payment for four months.

When the wife returned home later in the week she was physically miserable and didn’t see the results she had hoped for. Her husband who had been blindsided by the whole deal was trying to keep his balance.

A friend who farms with their sons had seen one by one the sons leave for other professions.  As she and her husband approached the later years where retirement needed to be planned for, one of their sons came back to the family farm to help. She was filled with joy that the family farm that started with her husband’s father would continue on another generation. Four years before this, her father-in-law passed and did not have an updated will. What they didn’t know was that a sister-in-law had a will drawn up naming her as the only person inheriting. That sister basically is holding them hostage by demanding a higher than fair price for the farm. Yes, they can walk away, but it’s not just a farm, it’s their life.

A mother took one last look and walked away from the cemetery. She left behind her daughter and unborn grandchild. She didn’t know if it was a granddaughter or grandson. “What difference does it make now?” she thought.

A teenager six miles away lay in bed unable to sleep for four days. She never wants to pick up a phone again.

We all have those “this didn’t have to happen . . . but did” moments. They suck. They hurt and many times they are life changing. There is one thing all the moments have. A choice. All these moments are faced with a choice of “what now.”

The “what now” moments can be a turning point – it can pivot us to the dark side and give up or to the dig in side. Stand up and move forward.

I’ve stood at the “what now” mark in life more times than I wanted and will probably again some time. After going through a few, I am determining ahead of time that my move will be forward. Some of our “didn’t have to happen” events take a lot to get over. It sucks our live right out of us, knocks our knees out from under us and hangs a heavy cloud over us. Even then, we have a choice.

What has worked for me is to find a place to grieve. Be it crying your eyes out, screaming into a pillow, writing a letter to the offender and then ripping it up – just let the pain out.  Then wait. Your emotions are raw, your body is tired and your brain is swollen with facts, emotions, dreams, truths – all mixed together to the point you may not be able to divide.

If you believe in the power of prayer, then use it. There are times when you need to call in reinforcements to pray for you and over you. Reach out and ask for help.

If the offending person is in your life and you have no choice of removing that person from your day to day experiences then distance yourself for a time. You need time to forgive that person. You don’t have to forget. In fact, if it’s a repeating offender it is wise to remember and move forward with protection in place for another “event” to take place. But, you HAVE to forgive them. Jesus said “Seventy times seven.”

So, if you are in a “what now” place of life, make the choice.

Praise God anyway.

One step at a time.

Move forward.

Don’t stop now.

Do the next thing.

Purpose to overcome.

Don’t let ANYONE take hostage of your life.