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Friday, September 10, 2010

Everything Happens For A Reason

My post today will be different than usual. I want to share an article my 17-year-old daughter wrote for her English class (with her permission). I'm sharing it to offer encouragement for difficult days.

As the article suggests, we don't always understand why things are happening at the time. What God allows may not make sense. But if we trust His plan and His purpose, we will find peace.

                                              Understanding Why

I believe everything happens for a reason.

Ten years ago Arkansas was not my home. At seven years old, moving away from your best friend felt like the end of the world. I was not concerned about the fact that my step-father’s work was slowly but surely going out of business and he would soon be without a job. No, that meant nothing to me. All I could think about was starting a new school, in a new town, with new people. Over the years I tried to keep in touch with friends from Texas but of course lives change and we all drifted. I always wondered what my life would be like if I had grown up there, if I would be different from the person I am today.

It wasn’t until recently that it all clicked. I understood why God moved us here. Not only was I 300 miles away from my best friend, but I was also 300 miles away from my alcoholic dad. This meant no more staring out that apartment window, hiding the fear of daddy not returning. This meant no more funny smells, no more fighting, no more car wrecks. But this also meant secrets. Secrets about what was going on in Texas as my sister and I grew up in Arkansas sheltered from it all.

Daddy always called from weird numbers at random times. He never told us he was in jail, or in rehab, or in the hospital for fighting. He didn’t admit until after he was off the streets that he had been homeless for two years. We somehow pried it out of mom though. We wanted to know what was going on, why he never kept his promises to visit.

At 17 years old it was scary to see this man for the first time in five years. He wasn’t my daddy anymore, he was a stranger. I felt seven again, telling my sister everything would be okay, as we attempted to snap daddy out of the seizures. I felt helpless again, babysitting the ones that should’ve been babysitting me.

But I believe this all happened for a reason. I believe God was protecting my heart from the pain, disappointment, and fear that I would have lived in everyday. I believe he used my screwed up dad to make me rely on Him as a heavenly father. I believe that man daddy hit, was killed to teach me the consequences of drinking and driving. I believe I have learned to love the people that hurt me the most and forgive, when they mess up once again.

Tragic things will happen in life, without a doubt. So instead of dwelling on them I look for the reason why, for I believe there is always a reason. Lousy circumstances no longer control my outlook on life. They simply flourish the good parts of it.



At September 10, 2010 at 5:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm crying my eyes out right now. I too know what it feels like to be the daughter of an alcoholic father. The fear,rejection and mostly the pain. When I was a young girl and taking dance lessons every 2 yrs we received a medal and had to have someone walk us down the isle. The other fathers would always show up with a bouquet of roses for their daughters. I watched and waited at the doors of the auditorium for my dad to show up late, and of course be stumbling and reaking of alcohol, or not even show up at all. My uncle would always wait in the wings dressed in a suit to walk me down and he always had roses for me. That's why on my wedding day I didn't even invite my father, my brother-in-law walked me down the isle instead. God moved me in my adult years to heal me from the pain and feelings of rejection, that I carried from my childhood. Gayla, both of your daughters are the most incredible, kind, and beautiful young ladies that I've ever met and they have been such a witness to me. I thank God everyday for putting your family in my life and setting such awesome examples of Christ's love for my children. Jamie and I are blessed to have had two of the best babysitters in the entire world!! Thanks for sharing this story it means more to me then you know :-)

At September 11, 2010 at 7:35 AM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Hope, thank you for your comments. It's been an emotional journey and I'm proud of my girls that they've been able to put the past behind them and work through their disappointments with their father. It's taught all of us how to rely on the Lord and trust His plan during difficult times.


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