The stuff that sticks

Have you ever pondered and thought and wondered why God was ‘forcing you to go through such a hard time? Maybe a crisis. To suffer. Why He would insist on teaching you a lesson in a such hard way possible sometimes? If that was even His intentions at all.

I’ve wondered how as parents we let our children fail sometimes in order to let learn from their mistakes. How much would we let them lose? How far would we let them suffer? How long would we let them hurt? How intense would we allow their pain to grow?

What if we were to tell our children, “You’re a mess! I’m going to change your life. It won’t be easy, but abundance is on the other side. Follow my advice and you’ll finally dig your way out, for good.” Would they answer, “THANK YOU! Whatever you say!” because……

“I know I’m smart enough to know that someone else needs to handle this madness.”

Lately has been trying times. Like reminders of just a few years ago of the battles my family and I endured. The events, the circumstances, the consequences have all taken their tolls on each of us in this house in our own ways. There have been other circumstance occur in our home other than my previous bipolar episode but for my loved one’s privacy I won’t mention them here.

Up until this recent episode I never looked at having bipolar as suffering. But looking back at all the troubles it has caused legally, financially, relationally, with work, educationally, etc., and how it has caused my loved ones to suffer I began to change my mind.

Some suffering is here and then it’s gone. Some suffering continues to always come back. Mine refuses to leave me alone. Sometimes with consequences.

Suffering is all around us in this fallen world. It’s just the world we live in.

I’ve come to realize from my life that the stuff that hurts are the stuff that sticks.

It’s through my pain and mistakes that I actually retain anything. I hate this but it seems to be the only place where my hardheadedness and self assured self can learn. All other learning methods are doubtful and short term in nature.

But pain is a different sort of teacher. It’s very hard to forget the lessons that she teaches. It’s hard to forget the arrogance of drinking and driving that almost landed me in prison. By God’s grace not only did I not go but I have no record. It’s hard to forget the selfishness that almost cost me my wife. It’s by God’s grace that has continued to stick by my side. All of which because of my anger and bitterness that I refused to get control of my bipolar.

Suffering is cruel and unrelenting but at least I walk away with something that has made me stronger. I do get angry. I am after all human. But I know when one suffering is over another will come. When, I don’t know, but how I spend my time in between is my choice.

The reason that with growth there is pain, with redemption there can be tearing of flesh. It hurts. Badly. God promises abundances. He promises we can, REALLY, dig our way out for good.

And I’m smart enough to know, that He needs to handle my madness. I obviously can’t.

And I can see, if only a little, that I can really make the radical choice of gratitude in my pain.

I can be grateful for the suffering.

I can feel blessed for the chance to heal.

And whether I liked the process or not, it sticks.

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