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Archive for October, 2017

Mess Into A Message

Monday, October 9th, 2017

The other day after my workout session, I decided to take a few moments and relax in the sauna. Usually the sauna is empty with only one or two people lounging around. There is an unspoken rule to keep the chatter down or chit chat to minimum. This day, when I entered the room, an older woman by the name of Sharon who usually attends the morning session was sitting in the sauna quietly chatting with another young woman about her first job. I have to admit, I was not in the mood for talking and I was trying to maintain somewhat of a distant demeanor. However, there was something about this woman, her sincerity and genuine kind spirit, that I could not help but to soften up and be receptive to the conversation. I am not exactly sure how she began to share her story with me but somehow the conversation turned to when she got married. She had gotten married young, had children but unlike many women of her generation, she was the breadwinner of the family. Her husband stayed home with the kids, and Carolyn ran the families’ three convenience stores in the area. In essence the roles were reversed and Carolyn and her husband believed this was best, for both the marriage and their family. Their desire for a house in the mountains and away from the hustle and bustle, led them to the outskirts of Virginia, purchasing a beautiful house on the hill, overlooking breathtaking views of the mountains. It was there Carolyn set up shop, prepared the house for when the children got of school for the summer at which time, her husband and the kids would join her. That was the plan. Like everything else in life, plans change. Carolyn’s husband at the time, began an affair with her best friend, filed for divorce, and wind up gaining custody of the kids. Sadly, Carolyn was left to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage, heart, and life. As I sat there listening to her share her story, I wondered how she got through it. Mind you, I have been through a divorce and it was not easy. A person can only take so many blows to the heart, but she seemed to be a silent force of strength, inner joy, and resolve. I asked her how she managed to get through it, she turned to me and said “The one thing I have learned in life is that nothing is guaranteed, except God and Jesus. You can hold onto something but it can be taken away just like that. I just focused on God and thanked him for all that was in my life”. We never know what life is going to throw at us, the only thing that we can do is move forward and do the very best that we can. All too often, we have heard of women being emotionally, financially, and physically bankrupt after a divorce, breakup, or loss of a loved one.  Often, women are often left with an invisible scarlet letter on our chest, that never seems to quite go away. We are left to pick up the pieces, all the while still carrying the torch. I do not know how we do it, but it gets done. Through all the twists, turns, ups, and downs, the road leads to God.

As I sat there, I began to thank God for her testimony and for her courage to share this intimate part of her life with me. We never know what another person has gone through, to get to where they are in life. We need to lift up our sisters, mothers, aunts, friends, AND strangers.  Their journey may not be exactly like ours, but it’s their journey, struggle, triumph, and victory that can teach us how to be better and do better as people.

“Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory” Unknown.


 
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