I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog The cycle of life sometimes painful

For many, many years a high percentage of Americans have lived comfortable lives. Most have food to eat, work that earns a paycheck and a roof overhead.

Then along comes an unexpected tragedy, illness, death and we’re completely blindsided. We’re good people. How can this happen to me, to my good friend, family, neighbor? Growing up, I was the healthiest one of our family. I never got sick, never contracted the usual childhood illnesses. My father was a minister and my mother played the piano and was very active in the church. Both of my parents reached out to others. Our faith was real. Yet when I was thirteen, I contracted a severe case of Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis that was not easy to diagnose because back then it was very uncommon for someone my age.

I was in great pain and ended up in a wheelchair for ten years along with lifelong limitations. For years, I asked why. Why my family, why me? I discovered my questions were not new. Even in Bible times, individuals asked why bad things happen. In John chapter 9, Jesus’ disciples asked about a blind man, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” Jesus said neither one and He healed the man. In our culture, we bought into that same concept.

When bad things happen, our beliefs about ourselves and our faith take a hit. There have been numerous books published trying to explain why bad things happen to good people. We don’t need those books. Truth is, life brings good and bad things. Yes, we make choices and, yes, our choices have consequences either good or bad. However, though we tend to want to blame someone when something bad happens, sometimes an accident is simply an accident. When you drive for twenty, thirty, fifty years, odds are an accident will happen. Illness and death come to good and bad alike. It is the cycle of life.

Sad are those who wallow in the past when horrible things happen–especially to a loved one. Parents nourish hatred. They may. leave bedrooms untouched, Marriages fall apart because instead of grieving together and lifting each other up, couples pull apart in hurt and anger. Yet bad things will happen. Sometimes unimaginably awful things might happen. Those bad things will touch our lives in various ways. It isn’t that bad things won’t happen, the answer is in how we deal with life when bad things happen.

Faith matters and gives us a place to turn. Counseling can help. A listening ear is critical to healing, but again, we choose how to react to painful things in our lives. Complaining and blaming only prolongs healing. Real healing starts not with hanging on, but in moving forward one step at a time, recognizing bad as well as good will happen. Reaching out will help us as well as others heal. Life is a cycle and is not always comfortable. But our lives can be good, not because of a lifestyle, but because we have a realistic view of the cycle of life that provides inner strength no matter what.

By Carolyn R Scheidies
Published in Kearney Hub 10/7/2019

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