So today (as I am writing this), my younger sister and I were on our way to our older sister’s house.
We stopped at our favorite bakery to pick up lunch and amazingly perfect baked goods like ones you see in a movie. This bakery is so rustic and homey, but it has a pretty young vibe to it. They serve the occasional gluten free baked good, so it’s one of my Mom’s and I’s favorite places to go!
It’s the type of bakery that you could just take your computer and smash out hours upon hours of work. Unless your like me, of course, and prefer the scenes of nature instead.
I got a Caesar Salad with no croutons. They lady behind the counter said that their computer system crashed every time they had specified “no croutons” that day, and unknown to her, that made me nervous. If it had gluten on it I would have to send it back, and I honestly feel like a pain in the butt doing that, but it’s 100% not worth a gluten reaction over.
To both of our surprises, it actually worked with no issues! We both smiled, mine being a little bit more relieved then she knew, and proceeded to order our baked goods. Two Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons, and two Morning Glory Gluten Free Muffins for breakfast the next day.
We were on our way to my sister’s to carpool up to my Mom’s campground. They rented us a small cabin so us and the kids (my niece and nephew), could stay for a few days with them. Usually we just do a day trip and head home the same day.
So this was a special treat and we were all super excited! We used to love going camping, but it became unreasonable for me once I got sick. I needed my space and lots and lots of sleep. Between the lack of privacy in their camper, and the snoring that came from their bedroom, I was a miserable mess.
But this was a good solution because my sisters are very considerate with my illness and I have improved a bit since then anyways. Also, none of them snore.
So after we got lunch and baked goodies, we were driving the half a mile it took to get from Elm Street Bakery to my sister’s. Lucky!
My younger sister was sitting in the passenger’s seat. I always make her bring a hoodie when I drive. I have to have the cold air on blast to help from not passing out. Don’t worry, I made an agreement with my doctor that I would only drive on roads that I can easily pull over on.
I can’t remember how we got on the subject, but I just remember her all of a sudden saying, “Okay, I just have to be sappy for a minute.”
It definitely intrigued me but also made me a little nervous. I am an Enneagram 3 and an INTJ Myer’s Briggs type. For those who don’t know what that means, I am a motivated achiever with a brain like Sherlock Holmes without the sociopathic tendencies.
I am not a fan of being doted on. But, I do appreciate recognition, especially of hard things. Totally an enigma.
So I turned to her and cautiously said “Alright…”
She started saying, “I am just really proud of you for all you have accomplished. Life hasn’t been easy and it just keeps throwing you curve ball after curve ball and you just keep getting up and being successful despite it.”
At first I just said “aww thanks,” and gently brushed it off. But then, I started thinking.
“What if life isn’t out to get me. I try to make the best of any situation, but what if these curve balls and crappy things that happen aren’t meant to try and down us. What if they are to mold us into the person we are supposed to be. The best versions of our self?”
What if every time we get bad news or every time something doesn’t work out the way we want it to, or even when something traumatic happens, we become our greatest selves by rising to the occasion. Instead of sinking from it or being shattered by it, we let it build us, inform us, change us.
And what if that change is for a purpose. What if when we are changed by one thing, that prepares us for the next. Whether that’s another difficult situation to come and mold you into an even better person, or whether it’s to support and uplift someone going through their own challenge.
What if what we learn from this trial, makes our next one easier. Or what if it teaches us just the right thing so when a big opportunity comes along, we know exactly what to do. Or, what not to do.
What if each thing is a piece of this huge puzzle. One that connects all the pieces of your life together, and one that connects our pieces to each other.
What if at the end, when we show up to those challenges with grace, wisdom, faith, and purpose, everything just makes sense. Everything had a purpose. And all of it was for our good.
This thought process actually came at an important time for me. Sometimes… okay, all the time, I expect all of my hard work to pay off all at once. Success isn’t one moment, it’s a string of them. And sometimes I truly forget that.
Then when that immediate result doesn’t happen, I get really discouraged and go to war with hope.
But what if this immediate success if actually for my good. To teach me something and prepare me for the next step and next stage of life. What if I took my eyes off the immediate, off of me, for just a moment, and stood back to look at the big picture.
I may be more patient. More kind. More confident. Less untrusting of hope.
And don’t get me wrong here. I am not some naive girl in her 20s who still has yet to even begin her life.
I was diagnosed at 14, a full year after my symptoms started.
I have advocated for my own health and been called psychotic by many many doctors.
I have had to make very uncomfortable choices.
I have had dreams of having a successful career being dashed.
I have been walked out on by many many people.
I know what it’s like to not be loved by the few people that are tasked with that responsibility.
I have been taken advantage of by men in my teen years.
I have tried and failed at many things.
I have changed what I thought my purpose was many times over, mostly based on health. I have been in a wheelchair and on bed rest.
I deal with SADs in the winter.
I have had many friends, then none at all.
I know deep disappointment, grief, and heartbreak.
I have questioned my faith. I have had life experience.
But I have also known what it’s like to have a 2 year old babble, “I love you Auntie,” and my heart explode with love.
I have known real companionship by my family.
I have had wounds healed by grace.
I have had support from people I thought would walk out on me.
I have discovered community from my doterra business and other’s with POT Syndrome.
I have had seasons of success and growth.
I have worked my way from not being able to walk at all to going on walks with my family and teaching beginners yoga.
I have started my own businesses.
I have been adventurous.
And all of those season have been intermixed with trials.
So, as I sit here at 9pm, writing in the faint darkness on the porch of the cabin, I have this peace.
Peace from the thought of:
“What if life isn’t out to get me?”