As kids, we dreamed about becoming a cowgirl/cowboy, nurse, doctor, astronaut, movie star, rock star, inventor, race car driver or flight attendant. We dreamed about being beautiful, happy, and influential. We dreamed about traveling, building, and buying.
Nothing is impossible in a child’s dream world.
Graduation mottos told us, “If you dream it, you can achieve it.” We were told there was no limit to what we could accomplish. No was dream too high, no ambition out of our reach.
We approached adulthood and our dreams were tempered by reality, but the future was still exciting. We planned our careers, our weddings, our families and our homes.
Reality exploded unexpectedly under our feet when we stumbled into adulthood.
We painfully learned there are factors that limit our dreams, like our health, finances, families, our talents and abilities, and God’s will for our lives.
Adulthood surprised us, and in some ways, disappointed us. I pictured adulthood as eating my desert first, staying up late reading every night, and spending my money on camera equipment and books. I never dreamed about thyroid cancer, funerals, a miscarriage, false accusations by Christians, or watching an Innocent Man sentenced to jail for eight years. I have friends who didn’t plan on being single, barren, divorced or dying at a young age.
Unexpected suffering infiltrates our lives and can make it hard to appreciate all the other blessings.
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We’re walking around wounded by shrapnel from situations out of our control.
It doesn’t take too long to end up being battle-scarred and weary.
Do you often wish you could take your words back? Are you sharp, impatient, or cynical? Are your words unintentional swords? Hurting people hurt others.
Is there someone that you don’t hate only because you’re a Christian? I’ve heard people say “The Lord tells me I have to love them, but I don’t like them.” Yea, I know what they did, I have those people in my life, too, but we can’t allow them to keep damaging us by reliving their wrongs.
What gives you nightmares? What can’t you forgive? What can’t your forget? What can’t you accept?
Remember how you used to run and show your Mommy your owies? It’s time to run to your Daddy – your Heavenly Father. Show Him where it hurts.
Speak freely to Him in prayer. He knows the words before they’re on your tongue, so you might as well say it to His face, and not behind His back. Bring your brokenness and your tears to Him.
Have you even felt that loving compassion when a hurting child runs crying into your arms? You do anything to soothe and help them. You never want them to leave your embrace.
Your Heavenly Father has His arms are outstretched and He’s longing for you to come to Him so He can hold you and make your owies all better.
Don’t go it alone. Find other people who have suffered in a similar way and have learned to endure with hope and joy. They will provide the encouragement, wisdom, and the accountability you need.
The best thing a dear older brother said to me was, “Girl, you gotta’ get over it!” He loved me enough to point out I was picking a wound that needed to heal.
There are radio programs, books, blogs, and magazines. Christian ministries are devoted to very specific problems that prove you aren’t alone in your pain.
Some shrapnel can be removed. Apologies can be made, medicine can be taken, counseling can be received. I avoid women who gossip. I found a few that can be trusted. I made changes to improve my health.
I was surprised to learn that most physical shrapnel is left in by the doctors, because removing it can cause more damage to organs and nerves. The body naturally forms a casing of protection around it.
If a situation can’t be removed or changed, it still can be healed. We can’t make people apologize for the damage they’ve caused. We can’t bring the dead back to life. Some diseases can’t be healed and we suffer the side-effects from the disease and/or treatment. You have to accept this and move on in your healing.
The shrapnel should be surrounded by prayer, not just yours. The Word of God will also soften those shards of life exploding in pain around you. Turn TO Him, not AWAY.
Not many of us are living the lives we planned, but that doesn’t mean we can’t life a fulfilled and purpose-filled live. Happiness is a choice, not a circumstance.
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Circumstances bring us to a place where the Lord wanted us. A move 1400 miles away brought me four blocks from a Christian writers group and great medical facilities – two things I didn’t know I’d need.
Cancer taught me much about my suffering Savior and gave me a great understanding and compassion for others. I don’t regret what the Lord allowed in my life.
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Happiness is letting Him heal your emotional shrapnel.