It's frustrating beyond measure when something you've been hoping and dreaming for is always a little out of reach, far beyond your means in that moment. It causes me to question and rethink everything. Why I am where I am in that moment. Why is ______ (fill in the blank) so, so hard? Why aren't the cards falling in my favor? Why isn't anything easy? Why are my dreams so unattainable? Why, why, WHY?
Sometimes when I'm questioning where I am in my life, I get angry. I allow myself to get angry. Angry at myself, at family and friends, at God. At everything. Because everyone has a hand in why I am where I am, stuck in the rut that I am, or why I'm unable to attain my goals, right? I look around and see how easy it is for so many people that are happily dating, getting married, buying houses, having babies, climbing the corporate ladder in their careers, etc. I see friends and family obtaining the things I want in my life. How could they be reaching these things and not me? Why was my world so turned upside down? And then I wallow. Life has me beat again. Again and again and again, that's the way it goes for me, right?
But then, God.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
In my darkest days, I doubted God. I couldn't even begin to wrap my head around what I was going through. I questioned why He'd allow such a terrifying, gut-wrenching, awful event to happen to me. What had I done to deserve it? Why was I being punished? It turns out, I wasn't.
Looking back now, I can see God's hand in all of it. Even though my divorce was the worst time in my entire life, I made it. I survived and am on the other side of it. And I'm THANKFUL. I'm thankful for the divorce for so many reasons (maybe a story for another day), but mostly I'm thankful for it because it's taught me more about myself than I ever imagined possible. It's allowed me to reach new heights and have new dreams. To dream bigger and better than before and not limit myself or my God. I became stronger and was able to show myself that strength, most importantly. I was able to witness (in more ways than one) just what I was capable of doing - just how far I could be stretched, looked down on, broken, questioned, torn apart, turned upside down, challenged, and felt sorry for, only to come out of the flames with my head held high, dusting off the remnants of the hurt, smiling, and eager to learn from it and truly find happiness.
I'm not the same person that I was only a short year ago when I was single/dating, divorce pending. My eyes have been opened to the realities of life, the difficulties, the hardships, but also to the happiness, the adventures, and the endless amount of possibilities that are out there. My life isn't what I expected it to be. I haven't been "settled" for a long, long while now, and there aren't any guarantees in life. So, where does that leave me?
I'll tell you where. It leaves me in a weird "in between" phase in my life. It's a phase that some people never reach and one that some live in for extended periods of time. It's a place in which I've experienced unimaginable heartbreak and turmoil, life plans completely broken, but standing firmly on two feet. It's a place with a future as a question mark, with the vast expanse of the world in front of me, challenging me, asking me where I'm going and what I'm doing, asking me WHO I AM. And it's not comfortable, believe me! It's scary and unknown - two things I don't deal with very well. But I know that something glorious and absolutely amazing is going to come of all of this. This "in between" stage is temporary, I know that. It's temporary and uncomfortable, but it's necessary. God is in control and I know that His will and plan for my life far exceeds any expectations I could even fathom.