We're all familiar with the verse from the Bible: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Today I'd like to turn this a little sideways and suggest the following: To every time there is a purpose, as well. Let me illustrate...
Quite a few years ago now, when my children were still young, I was lamenting to my mother about something I couldn't do that I wanted to, specifically because my children (and I have six) were still young. My mother - wise woman that she was - responded with the thought that I would play many different roles in my life - daughter, sister, friend, wife, etc. - and that my role at the present time was "Mother". That instantly changed my perspective, and I realized that whatever it was that I was wanting to do (which I can't even remember now) would still be available to me when my Mother role was less demanding.
Several years later I went through a divorce, which is never a happy thing, but events took several unforeseen and completely unexpected turns, and did not turn out in any way as I would have imagined or hoped. One of the outcomes was that my children lived with their father, for the most part, instead of with me. In the following years I had many experiences - some good and some truly horrific - and learned A LOT! Had my children been with me through these times, they would have had to share the horror with me, and I would not have been in a position to learn what I learned.
Now, as they are adults and going through their own "stuff", I have tools to help them and (hopefully) ease their way a bit. Even if they have to do their own "hard knock lessons", I've "been there, done that" and can have empathy and know (at least a little) the right things to say to help them through.
One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is a recovering alcoholic, and I've watched her struggles to overcome her disease. She has had many ups and downs (and the downs were really down!), and had several sponsors come and go as she worked the AA program. At this point, bless her, she is a sponsor herself! She is finding that those who come to her and ask if she will sponsor them are those who have had similar backgrounds and/or issues to the ones she dealt with. It is very validating for her to realize that the horrible experiences she had served a purpose, and she has something to offer to others as a result.
One of my most deeply-held beliefs is that THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING. Things have to go the way they go in order for us to learn what it is we need to learn to move us on to the next thing, and - hopefully - for us to help each other along the way...
Stamps: Stampin'Up! Hope Happens; Ink: SU! Chocolate Chip; Paper: SU! Purely Pomegranate, Berry Bliss dp; Accessories/tools: Sizzix Top Note die, Martha Stewart butterfly punch, dewdrops, flower from my stash
Note that my card is pretty much all diecuts and punches, which I can accomplish with one hand - for the most part - so there was limited additional damage/pain... I also need to credit Becky Roberts for the idea I used on the Top Note die.
Here's Mr. Linky for you: