Giving up always seems like the easy way out of a bad situation. All my life, when things got hard, I wanted to quit. When I hurt and was lonely, and it seemed that nobody cared whether I lived or died, then it was easy to say I didn't care, either.
But my perception of the situation was always wrong. When I was lonely, it was because of my own actions. Because I pushed people away. When I was hurting, it was because I'd let people into my life that I knew would hurt me, or because I'd hurt them first. It was almost always my own doing. I'd complain about failing again and again, when I wasn't doing anything to fix my problems. I would complain, and turn right around and bury myself in a pity party.
I was my own worst enemy.
Not surprisingly after years of this, I ended up in a very dark place. I filled my mind with negativity, hatred, anger, and bitterness. I had no hope of ever living a happy life. I tried to convince myself it was justified, that I was the victim, but in reality I was killing myself slowly. Inexorably pushing myself towards a cliff that I couldn't see, and any day, I would have fallen clean off of it. I'm ashamed to say I contemplated suicide more than once.
I can't believe it's been two years. It seems like much longer, considering.
Two years since what?
Two years since I had my life turned upside down, through no fault of my own, and ended up laid out in a hospital room with my femur shattered in about 8 pieces, indebted to the hospital for $100,000.
It's kind of a bittersweet remembrance. Of course, there are parts of it I wish I could forget, like the feeling of being slammed into a car's windshield. I wish I could forget when they installed a traction pin through my knee with a cordless drill. I wish I could forget screaming at the top of my lungs when they moved me from table to table to table in order to get MRI scans. I wish I could remember everything that happened in the hospitals, the people who visited me, the things people told me about when I wasn't strung out on painkillers.
But it's not just about what I do and don't remember. If life were just a series of random events, then all we'd have to do is wait for it to be over. Instead, I've chosen to look and actively see what God is trying to show me. Sometimes it's obvious, and sometimes it's not.
It's not about what I do and don't remember from the last two years that gets me. When I look back and try to remember the things I learned about myself, and about God, it reminds me that there is so much more to life than just waiting out your time.
I learned that God is extremely patient- to a point. Eventually He will get your attention.
I learned that no matter how strong you are, there are always situations that can and will break you.
No matter how broken you are, God still loves you, and He will bring you through it if you let Him.
It's easier to hear God when you're immobilized in a hospital bed with nowhere to go and nothing else to do but listen.
Sometimes listening to God is hard. Sometimes it's painful, but necessary (like surgery). Sometimes it's like a breath of fresh air. It always puts me at peace.
I learned that nothing in life is more important than spending time with God. Nothing. Without that, everything else kind of falls apart.
I learned that I could speak honestly with people, and more often, if I shared my hardships with them. People don't want to listen to advice from someone who's never been through hardship.
Hardships are well, hard. Sometimes unbearably hard. That's okay, sometimes. You just have to lean on God.
There are many other things I learned while I healed, and I'm trying every day to remember them and live them out. Once your life has been turned around by God, you begin to understand how He works, and how He works through the rough times. He's there.
Some days I wish I didn't have a messed up leg. Every time it rains, my whole leg aches. It itches. It twinges and aches when I exercise, it hurts even more when I don't. It's a constant reminder of how I could have died... but didn't. It reminds me that God is with me, every day, in every circumstance.
I wouldn't trade it for the world.