“I will never get divorced!” Yet, everyday I meet the people who would “never get divorced.”
“I will never be abused or battered!” Yet, with bruises on their face I meet them.
“I will never be arrested and/or my child will never be arrested!” Yet, again, I meet the “never get arrested” and their parents.
“My child will never get addicted to drugs!” But there are those parents in my office, admitting that their child has an addiction.
Everyone faces adversity at times, and ends up in situations or circumstances they thought were impossible only a short time ago. Good people get divorced. Good people make mistakes and get arrested. Good people get addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, none of these things were part of their original plan in life.
I meet with a lot of children, and not one time have they expressed, “When I grow up I want to be divorced!” or “When I grow up I want to go to jail!” or “When I grow up I want to be a drug or alcohol addict!” If bad things never happened to good people, I wouldn’t have a job. The truth is many bad things happen to good people. Good people make bad choices and decisions. WE ALL DO! So, since everyone makes bad decisions sometimes, does that make us all bad?
I think we can agree not all people are bad. In fact I would say that most people have a lot of good in them. When people are getting divorced, you hear all the bad about the other party. However, if that soon to be ex-spouse had no redeeming qualities, why were you with them? At some point, you saw good in the other person, and at a point in the future you may see the good in them, again. If you have children, you will see those good qualities of each other, and enjoy them, again. Even though you said, “I will never get divorced.” You did.
Even an abuser has redeeming qualities, that is how they suck the victim back in – charm. When used for good, charm is a powerful thing. The abused hold out hope for more of the “good” moments. Rarely do I hear every moment of a marriage or relationship was abusive and dreadful. The moments of “good” can hold you in place, patiently waiting. Your friends and loved ones waiting less patiently for you to “figure it out” and “get out.” Saying all along, “The abuse should never have happened, she/he deserves better!” True, but it did.
Now consider the parents of children facing addiction and/or arrest. You likely know some parents with children who have faced struggles or faced the struggles yourself. When the one struggling is a friend or relative, we make many excuses for their behaviors because we KNOW a good kid or person made a bad decision. You hear, “They had good parents and such a good kid with so much potential, this should not have happened.” But it did.
We will all face situations we never expected ourselves and with those that we love. We will love each other and support each other because we know that each is “good.” Mistakes and bad choices happen, and there are consequences to be faced. We will support those we love through the consequences because we know and believe beneath it all they are good and worthy. This struggle should “never” have happened to our loved one. But it did.
Nearly every person facing the struggle of something that should “never” have happened has friends and families who love them. I have rarely had a client who had no support system at all. Even the ones called “bad” or “evil” or “no good” have people who love them and support them. Those family and friends that have the never fading memories of happier times. People who share memories of the “good.” People who pray that the “good” will return. People who thought the mountain they are facing would “never” happen. But it did.
It is both humbling and inspiring to walk with others through “never” situations. It is in those moments that you see true love, strength and compassion. You see the beauty of love and loyalty. So, maybe our “never” moments are the very moments meant to teach us humility, grace and forgiveness. Maybe they are the moments when we learn to “let go” of something or someone. Maybe they are the moments God gets our attention and straightens our path.
I know for certain that my own “never” moments (and they are numerous!) have been my greatest lessons, even when they have brought my greatest heartaches. Which is probably why this quote by an unknown author is one of my favorites:
EVERY TRUE STRENGTH IS GAINED THROUGH STRUGGLE.
May whatever struggle you face bring you great strength!