If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that my father has been experiencing cancer for many years. Some months are better than others. Some are not. Each time my father is stable I wonder when the next downturn will be. Every time he trends downward, I wonder if he will pull out of it. It has been an emotional and exhausting roller coaster ride.
But something happened recently to make me truly see the roller coaster as a blessing.
My parent’s neighbors have been so helpful. They brought over food, shoveled snow when we couldn’t, and just stopped by to say hi. Every time I saw them they asked about my father. They are caring, giving, wonderful people. Then one of them suddenly passed away.
He was a healthy man in his upper 60’s. He acted young and was very vibrant. Then one morning he just didn’t wake up. Shock rippled through everyone who knew him. His wife and those close to him were devastated.
After my shock wore off, I realized what a blessing my family and I have been given. I realized in being caught up in the roller coaster, we weren’t realizing the gifts we were receiving. We have had three years with my father to say the unsaid and clear up old misunderstandings. We realize the significance of each holiday and make each one special. We have been gifted with time to spend with him – time that I would not have taken off from my normal routine if I didn’t understand how precious it was.
When we are in the midst of painful and difficult situations, it may be hard to see how they are truly a blessing for us. How they may be helping us put those things aside which appear to be important, for those things that truly are. They may be challenging us to help us accept and utilize a part of ourselves that we may not otherwise use without a gentle, or a not so gentle, nudge. They may just be reminders to be grateful for all that we truly have.
What is aggravating you right now? What is a hassle? What is truly a burden? What is stressing you out? What is putting you through that emotional roller coaster?
Look at your answers to the questions above. Now look at those situations and identify how they are truly a blessing for you.
What have they given you that you would not have otherwise taken time for? What lessons are you learning? What have you discovered by having your normal routine disrupted? What have you been able to give up or take on that you never dreamed you could? How is this situation perfect for you? How is it helping you grow?
Sometimes breaking out of the pain to see the blessing, can help us cherish even the most difficult times.