I saw a quote today and it stopped me in my tracks.
“The most difficult thing but an essential one – is to love life, to love it even while one suffers, because life is all, life is God and to love life means to love God.” War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy.
As I sit here now, I am still struggling with this . . . because I am struggling with God. Struggling with my faith. Struggling with life.
When I was first found and saved it was a miracle, a time filled with joy and awe. I was stunned by the Grace of God and I let it fill me, consume me. I believed that this was the answer to all my problems in life, that it was the magical answer to everything. In some senses it was and as usual His timing was perfect.
Not long after I asked for redemption, for Christ to save me, I discovered I was pregnant. A surprise pregnancy, my 4th child, only it was not to be straight forward. They discovered that my baby had a chromosomal condition and I was told it was “incompatible with life”. These are words every parent dreads. My ex husband and I reached out for help and our church family responded lifting us up in prayer. It worked. This week, my boy will be 10.
Life is very different now. I am no longer married. I have raised 4 children who are rapidly leaving the nest and I have been seeking my own way. My own way in more ways than one. I decided that I needed to stand on my own two feet, that I would need to be able to provide for my future and that of my son, so I went back to school. Now four years later, I am nearing the end of my degree and I still feel lost, alone and scared.
Is that the problem? That I went my own way? I know life is not meant to be easy and I know that God will not just hand us things on a plate because we desire them. He has a plan and His plan is perfect. But why does it have to be so difficult...
God is Life
One Saturday afternoon I watched the 1956 film version of War and Peace. I love old movies and I particularly enjoyed this. As the story came to its’ close, all the loose ends were neatly tied up as the quote from Tolstoy appeared on the screen:
Life is ALL.
God IS life.
To love life is to love God. To LOVE life is to LOVE God. Because God is life!
Let that sink in, I mean let that really, really sink in. Even while we suffer, love life because life is all we have.
I am not where I want to be in my life. I struggle financially. I struggle with parenting. I struggle being alone. I struggle with my own deep fears of inadequacy, of a lack of self-worth. I have made stupid, stupid choices in desperately seeking love and all the things that I think I need. I struggle because I still believe in the fairy-tale. But the thing is ‘Life itself is the most wonderful fairy-tale’ (Hans Christian Andersen).
Every bump in the road is just that, a bump. A chance to learn. A chance to lean in to Christ because he has always been with me, waiting for me to stop and turn around and say “I need you, help.” I struggle with this because I want Him to make it right . . . I want it to be easier . . . I want things to go my way for once.
Even while we suffer . . . Do I really suffer, I mean really suffer? Or are the curve balls that head my way teaching me things?
I don’t have the answer and I am beginning to see that. I am beginning to see the beauty in the small things. I am beginning to understand that difficulty I have reconciling my faith with my life is all just a part of the journey.
I need to accept that I am loved, that I am worthy and that even if I can’t see whole picture, HE can and does.
Take heart, know that you are loved and that we all travel the bumpy road. And in doing it together, with love, we will get to where we are meant to be and need to be.
Aby is a nutty, outgoing, single mum of 4. The eldest child is married and the youngest is 10 and has Down Syndrome. Aby is his full time carer. She is also studying a Degree in Primary Teaching at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Aby loves to work away the days' stress with a quick boxing session.
See all previous articles by Aby Wright