Have you ever asked these questions:
Why am I here or why was I born?
Why is there so much suffering or why do bad things happen to good people?
or What is the meaning or purpose of life?
When I was 18 years old, the car I was driving hit the back of a tractor trailer. Since I wasn’t wearing a seat belt, my throat hit the steering column and crushed my throat. At the time, I suffered from depression and didn’t think I really wanted to live, but as I fought for every breath I took for the next hour and a half until a tracheotomy tube to breath through could be inserted, I realized how much I wanted to live. Over the next five to six years, I had 36+ operations. Now at 61, I still have effects from this injury, though I am very thankful, I was able to have the tracheotomy tube removed at the end of that period.
In my 20’s, I started taking Tae Kwon Do. My younger brother gave me a precious gift of six months to try it out. By the end of that time, I was hooked and worked out hard and later competed. As someone who joined track in high school and usually came in last, I never thought I was good at sports. Tae Kwon Do turned out to be a good fit for me and with lots of effort, I was able to do well in that. It taught me humility and gave me confidence, along with so many other things. I later lost this brother to suicide.
The one thing that has been hardest for me was asking for help when I needed it. For years, I struggled with alcoholism. I finally found the solution to that when I asked for help and walked through the 12 steps with others. Now I see how the 12 steps are tools everyone should have. WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH THINGS! The steps gave me what I needed to change and heal and to continue to live life on life’s terms which often isn’t easy for any of us.
Just like you, I’ve had many more events in my life that have shaped me. At the time those things were happening, I didn’t see the meaning. Looking back, I can see how all these things have shaped me into who I am today and given me wisdom to help others.
Growing up in a home where “God” was more of something said out of anger, I didn’t have a good example of faith. Today, my faith is what carries me through the hard times. I can see God’s hand in everything, like how a sheriff’s deputy “happened” to come up the road right after the accident and help came quickly, or how I was given strength from God to endure hard times in my life and the perfect person has always comes along at the time I needed them. Recently, I lost my older brother in a fiery car accident, but by God’s grace, someone was there with a fire extinguisher and was able to rescue my nephew -whose hair and beard had started to catch fire, but the fire on him was put out on him before it burned him- from that vehicle. While I’ve seen lots of suffering, I’ve also seen many miracles and beautiful acts of kindness. Through each adversity we face, we grow. If you’re going through a hard time, my prayer for you is that you seek God, and find strength and rest in Him