Friday, July 21, 2017

All my trials

God does not give trials.
Sometimes we have the misconception that a divine being is sitting up in the clouds handing out afflictions based on people’s needs or misdeeds. And of course we never receive anything greater than we can cope with. I call BS on that idea. My idea of a loving God is not one who inflicts such horrendous pain and suffering upon his kids like some kind of disgusting medicine. Can you imagine doing that to your own kids!? “Hey JJ I love you to pieces but I know what’s best for you and here’s what the doctor ordered...heartbreaking agony!”

I sure hope not!
JJ's first southwest trip
Sharry in 2013


Here’s what I have learned from a year of suffering and from others much wiser than myself.
God does not give us trials. Life can be magical, joyous and full of light but it can also be miserable and full of absolute difficulty and suffering. And there is no rhyme or reason to it except that sooner or later we all will face be knocked down by some inevitable pain, trial or heartbreak.

I believe God can help us find support, strength and meaning from life’s very unfortunate storms. In a year where I have missed my beloved Shar more than I ever imagined possible and have shed innumerable tears I have been incredibly supported. Family, friends and strangers have been God’s hands and voice in my life as they have reached out with compassion and love. I am amazed that I have survived this year with strength I didn’t know I had. There were many nights where I longed to be dead and with Shar whether that be in a paradisiacal afterlife or simply in the dirt. Those nights now come further and further apart. I have found much meaning in my new life in diverse forms. JJ, our baby boy, gives me a reason to live and live well. My suffering has been a seed for great compassion to grow in my heart which I can use in my job as a counselor and generally as a human being toward all living things. Sharry’s life and legacy also bring extraordinary meaning to my life as I want to be more like her, cross off her bucket list and live life to the fullest (x2) for both of us.

Here is a poem that has touched me deeply about finding meaning from sorrow
Kindness by NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

In closing who do you think JJ looks more like...at one year?


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