Choosing to See the Reason in "Sh*T Happens for a Reason"
Do you ever have a moment where you stop and think, "How the 'BLEEP' did I end up here?" This was me 3 years ago. Let me explain…
You see I'd built my life around a 'strong independent woman' identity, who didn't even allow a man to help her carry a suitcase (another story for another day!). But by God's grace, I unexpectedly met a man who I could trust with my vulnerabilities and we ended up tying the knot.
We'd just celebrated one year of marriage - a year in which I attempted my CFA level one exam. If you don't know anything about the profession, let's just say that any last shred of hope for a normal and active life during studies is but a dream. But I made it through the exam and scraped myself through in pieces. My marriage also had the bruises and bumps to show for it. But before we could celebrate or take a breather, we also found out Justin needed a second hip replacement at the age of 40. He was born with an impossible case of hip dysplasia (no hip sockets), to the point that most experienced surgeons wouldn’t touch him, and today he is one of the most influential and respected tennis coaches in the Western Cape (I’m biased, I know).
Not only was this operation traumatic for him and me emotionally, but the effects physically and financially were devastating. Luckily we had the unwavering support of his clients, my colleagues and family at the time. So all in all you could say that the first year of marriage was pretty traumatic for us both and truthfully made us both sit back and ask: "How the *&% did we end up here...?"
From chaos to growth and purpose
During this chaotic period, we stumbled across life coaching as a second career option for Justin. When I attended the open evening with him, I was the one who was hooked instead. Working as an accountant at the time, the discovery of a means to change your habits, limiting beliefs and perspectives was something I’d never heard of or thought about. I’d always just accepted, and been taught that we are who we are, and there is nothing we can do about it. These limiting beliefs sound something like this:
- "You're either talented or not",
- "Amart or not", and
- "The world's opinion of you is the only one that matters"
In life coaching I couldn’t get enough of learning how we are created as a spirit, with a powerful mind, inside a body, or that our brains can physically change and become healthier by consciously choosing to improve our thoughts. That we are each born with a unique blueprint of personality traits, strengths and story. All of it honestly blew my mind! On top of that, I'd never truthfully experienced what it felt like to feel really heard and valued. This can't be blamed on family or anyone else, it just is how we are taught to function as human beings. We don't listen with the intention to really hear someone, we listen to be able to have our opinion heard. The impact real listening had on me literally changed me from the inside out.
How? You might wonder
In my marriage, I started taking charge of the negative beliefs I had about marriage itself, and the views and perspectives I had on men in general. And as I mentioned, in our first year of marriage there was plenty of trauma, but being able to use reflection and find deeper meaning and purpose in it now, I've walked away with some real life lessons I would never have learnt in a book. And if I had chosen to run away instead of sticking through it, who knows where I would be now, but I do know that I would be even more broken than I was before: lonely and without purpose, growth and the maturation that was necessary in this process.
Three years later, I can look back in appreciation of these tough times, understanding how I've been changed by them. Sticking it out through these challenges taught me the life lessons of perseverance and faithfulness which I see now is much more valuable than fun, feeling good and my own version of happiness I had planned in my own head.
So today, I stand here proudly with my Diploma in Life Coaching and my brave husband, ready and willing to make a real impact in the world. Something I wasn't ready for 3 years ago. One thing I've learnt is that God wants to use these moments to shape us and mould us for deeper love and connection.
So, can we all find purpose in "the sh*t that happens"?
I think we choose whether we do or not.
We can choose to allow a tough situation to break, or we can choose to be broken in order to be built back up with even more strength and resilience to handle whatever else life might throw at us along the way!
Someone once told me to speak my truth and let my voice be heard because someone out there needs desperately to hear it. My hope that my story brings you hope and encouragement.
Question to you:
Is there something that happened to you that at first glance seems pretty fearful and negative? How has it impacted your character growth as a person?