Ever had those “duh” moments when you finally catch on to a lesson that is being taught? You almost laugh at your ignorance that the answer was right in front of you and then you almost cry at the pain you went through searching for an answer.
It’s that moment when you realize that everything and everybody around you seems to be saying the same thing. It’s all leading up to the same conclusion. It’s almost like you were listening to the same song over and over and all of a sudden the words made sense.
Ever since the years of abuse, the divorce and ultimately Dan’s death; I’ve been walking around with the heavy question, “For what purpose?”
Songs I listen to, movies that come on and finally a church service yesterday morning have all been pointing to one truth.
(Lyrics for Live For Today – Natalie Grant)
I’m gonna live for today
I’m gonna follow in your way
I’m gonna let my little light shine
Like there’s no tomorrow
I won’t worry about the past
I know my future is intact
So I’ll choose to live my life one way
I’m gonna live it for today
You told me not to worry
About what lies ahead
So I am gonna focus on today instead
Making every moment count and counting
Every single blessing
I’m gonna set my mind on the
Here and the Now
This is what I want my life to be about
The line that kicks me in the pants every time is “I won’t worry about the past; I know my future is intact”
How on Earth am I supposed to look at my past trials and blunders and believe that my future is intact?
Then I saw a movie clip…
A mother who had a horrible relationship with a real jerk was patronized by her son and the comment was made to her “well you married dad so I can’t trust your judgement.”
Her response was that she’d do it all over again if it meant she got her son out of it.
After days of hearing the same message, I started to get that little heart tickle that I should be getting something out of all this. The zinger came through the lines of another Natalie Grant song “Will Not Be Moved” and the words of a preacher.
Bitterness has plagued my heart
Many times before
My life has been like broken glass
And I have kept the score
Of all my shattered dreams and though it seemed
That I was far too gone
My brokenness helped me to see
It’s grace I’m standing on
The pastor talked about how sometimes our blessings are disguised as trials and rather than falling into darkness we should let our light shine.
I flash back to that moment in the hospital. That moment when I held onto a little insane hope that perhaps the medical staff had been able to save him although common sense told me he was dead. Within the course of about 30 minutes I went from explosive anger where I hit a chair with fists while my parents tried to comfort me to standing in front of the woman in charge of organ donation begging her to let his death mean something. Dan’s family tried to convince me that he would have been against donating his organs, but he had never discussed it with me. When the woman told me of the countless people who could continue life or have a better life…I chose for his life to mean something. He selfishly chose to take his life from his daughters; I chose to give his life that he stole to someone who would make it count.
I’ve spent the better part of a decade hiding the darkness. Never letting anyone know about my heartaches. I was standing at the counter at a store trying hurry through some purchases to move onto something else and the woman behind the counter said something that pricked my heart. She didn’t reveal anything major, but I heard a familiar pain in her voice. Taking a deep breath I revealed a little of my past. We ended up talking for about 15 minutes. In those 15 minutes I discovered that she was in a painful relationship and was losing sense of self. I gave her my phone number and email and we are on a fast track to helping her find some solutions.
Using my brokenness to let my light shine.
I’m not saying that God designed all this pain in my life, but I am believing that those painful moments can be used for good if I allow myself to shine. Like the mother in that movie clip; I look at my daughters and realize that if I hadn’t been through what I had; I wouldn’t have them. I look at the emails that come from women in abusive relationships and realize that had I not lost all hope; I wouldn’t be able to help them find their hope.
Regardless of what happened or what is to happen; I now know its not up to me to find the purpose. The purpose has already been designed. It’s up to me to stay open and flexible. It’s up to me to chose not to live in my past and let it define me; but rather to live for today and allow every moment to count. I am choosing that moment similar to the organ donation in my own life where I am now looking to God and saying “use what you can of me…I want my life to count.”