Everyone has a story, if you want to call it that. Personally, I have tried to ignore my story for many years but it always seems to come creeping back up to remind me where I came from and why I don’t deserve to be happy. No, I’m not holding a pity party because I definitely don’t feel sorry for myself, I look back at what I’ve been through and see how God protected me from horror, how He led me through difficult circumstances and how He has given me stability in my life even in the midst of turmoil.
I look at my life and realize how much worse everything could have been. I’m fortunate because I wasn’t kidnapped, sold as a slave, trapped into drug addiction, prostitution, gambling, alcoholism, pornography or murdered before I had a chance to live. What I have now is perspective. I can see how others are dealing with difficult issues in their lives, even if it doesn’t seem to be catastrophic compared to someone else’s. We are all different and we all have to deal with different things that affect our lives dramatically. Pregnancy at 14 because your stepfather thought you were pretty? Watching your best friend gunned down because he lives in the wrong neighborhood? Being surrounded by people who are so full of hate and selfishness that they use anything they can as an excuse to vent the violence brewing in their hearts.
What I find amazing is how we somehow justify our actions of revenge. I’m talking about Christians. Christians who quote “An eye for an eye” without even know where it is in the Bible. These are the ones who certainly couldn’t tell you where Jesus told us “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)
Nowhere does it give us permission to cast judgement on other people even when they are committing the most heinous crimes. Jesus corrected others with love. He demonstrated deference to God when it came to doling out punishment to others and when He was accused, He took the punishment that was given to Him without trying to run from it. His demonstration of love for us is still the standard to which all of us fall short.
Yes, we’ve been through some tough times. God’s love for us has never changed, though. We have just chosen to focus on our own feelings instead of really focusing on Jesus’ life and death. That in itself should be enough inspiration for each one of us to endure whatever we need to and still be content knowing the power of His love. That is indeed stability in the midst of turmoil.