It goes without saying that to be human is to feel pain. You can’t go through life without taking a few knocks and some of them can bring you to your knees. But can those really difficult times actually be the best thing that can happen to us? Is it really a gift and we just need to wait it out and see what really can come from it?
My most painful memories come from 2016 when I was literally brought to my knees by alcohol. At the time, I was working at a job I loved and with people I loved. But my heart was ruled by fear and the only way to get through my days was to drink to excess. At the time I knew that I was drinking far too much but I would have been horrified to be described as an alcoholic. But things were about to change and it was about to happen with a bang.
There was an incident at work that made me look like a horrible person and that was the one thing that was going to crush me more than anything else in the world. I was accused of being nasty and I was told that I was in trouble. Actually I was just a scared and fragile person. I was so crushed after this incident that I ended up taking some time off work and my mental health was at an all time low.
I went for help from the doctor but I was honest about my drinking and so I was denied any help. I was terrified and alone. My work family had kicked me to the curb and the health profession were not helping. I literally thought I was going to die as I sank lower and lower.
But somewhere deep inside me there was a fighting spirit that wasn’t going to give up. I knew that the only way I was going to get back up on my feet was to quit the drinking and I knew that I couldn’t get that done alone. I had tried before and failed. So I took myself along to several different groups where people like me could sit and talk about drink and what it had done and where life could take us once we had put down the bottle.
I also took myself off to my local church. I don’t know what it was that made me get up that Sunday and go, but I did. And then it transpired that there was an Alpha course beginning the very next week so I got a crash course in what it is to be Christian right off the bat. It was as though everything was lined up for me.
I’m now almost three years sober and I was baptised earlier this year. It would be laughable to say that life is all rainbows and sunshine now, but I have remained sober and I have found something in my life that is bigger than me. This keeps me grounded and loving towards my fellow brothers and sisters here on Earth. It also means that I am much healthier and I can be a better mother and look forward to seeing my son get married and have children of his own. I would have been lucky to make it to forty before 2016 happened.
And this gift is all because of that bad thing that happened. It was the worst moment in my life to be pulled into that office at work and to have my character pulled to pieces. Whether those words were fair or not, I could never really know. But that horrific moment was the catalyst in getting me well and giving me all that have now. I needed that kick and that pain to get me started. The softly, softly approach had never worked and this was God’s way of putting me on the right path.
I would love to know if anybody else has had similar experiences, where something painful has given rise to something amazing. I feel like those awful moments are the ones that mould us and shape us so that we are ready for the good things that are coming our way. So ride it out, pray hard and remember that sunnier weather is on its way.