Stretching can be uncomfortable and down right painful if we don't relax into it.
Right now, a friend of mine is being stretched. Sadly, she is fighting it, and it hurts. This morning she found out another thing she wanted is not happening, and she is angry "with the powers that be".
I am not terribly sympathetic.
First of all, I have grown weary of the spoiled brat mentality that the world--and God--is supposed to give us what we want, how we want it, and when we want it. Since when is it about us? I have yet to read anywhere in the Bible where we are promised cushy lives filled with all that makes us happy. On the contrary, Jesus says in this world we'll have trouble, but don't worry because He's overcome the world. In other words, life won't always be what you want, but He can turn it into what you need! It may feel like hell and leave you on your knees gasping for air, and He's still going to make something amazing out of it. This is not about us having it easy. It's about His being faithful.
My friend said she shouldn't be dealing with the situation she is. My question is simple: why not?
In her circumstnace, she made choices, and this is where those choices have led. This is not something personal against her. It's LIFE.
Life has its moments and seasons that are all warm fuzzy, and life has its seasons that are hard and hellish. BUT, even in those, LIFE flourishes. It all is life, and no one gets out without going through all of the above. Everyone is entitled to love and lose, to rejoice wildly and to hurt like hell.
A good life, a flourishing life is one that embraces all the wonder and the war, the joy and the pain, the hope and the disappointement, and trusts God to do great things even when it isn't what you would have chosen.
And if I sound like I am being unsympathetic, I'm not. I know it is hard, and a person has every right to feel like it is hard, but I don't do the "I don't deserve this" or "this shouldn't be happening to me". There are people dealing with disease, death, war, and prosperity that did nothing to deserve those things. Life is not about what we deserve. It's about life just being life.
People ask how I can walk through the separation from my husband and my mom's diagnosis of terminal cancer with such joy and excitement for life. It's simple--I choose to. I choose not to play victim, and I choose not to have pity parties. I accept the hard moments, and I accept that I cry and hurt so bad I can't breathe. I also accept that there are amazing people who do kind things every single day, and I refuse to let those kindnesses go unnoticed or unappreciated. I refuse to let the joy of their giving be lost to either them or me. I can choose to wallow in the pain or look up and move forward. I choose to look up and keep moving.
I know our society and even Christianity as a faith teaches that we are entitled to daisies and chocolate. It's a lie. Life is hard. It'll make you so high that you dance wildly and knock you to your knees in the next moment. You can fight it, but it won't stop it. It just makes it impossible to enjoy it.
And if I am going to be on this adventure, I plan to enjoy every second. Why shouldn't I? After all, it's my life.