Monday, April 09, 2012

The Growth Chart of Life

When we are younger, or perhaps I should say, when I was younger, I saw life as a sort of growth chart, in which the natural progression was for things to get bigger and better.  What was difficult today would be easier tomorrow.  The latter part of life was supposed to be the "Golden Years" where a lot of the struggles of daily existence were finally at rest.

The last couple of years of my life have pretty much wrecked that operating theory. I never, even in my most driven nightmares, could have imagined that I would be experiencing the kind of challenges at this point in my life. It has been, without exaggeration, the very worst years of my entire life.  In fact, if you put the "worst-ness" of these past few years on a scale against all the rest of my life combined, these years would tip the balance.

To be brutally honest, I don't much like it.  A friend said today that God must love me very much and think I'm very strong to give me so many challenges.  I didn't say it, but I thought, "I'd just as soon he didn't love quite so much, thank you very much."

The hardest thing about the challenges...and they have ranged from the long journey to the end of my mother's life to a major betrayal that I'll talk about once the criminal aspect is made public (and it will be soon) to finances to health and a whole lot else is that the accumulative aspect makes it hard to have hope for the future. And that's what my mental concept of the "growth chart of life" had been about--the idea that even when things were static or negative, it would get better.

Now I find myself wondering if things will ever get better. And fearful that they just might get worse instead.

I've read (and written) enough inspirational material to know that this is the place where I'm supposed to  give some uplifting anecdote about how God has answered a prayer recently and hope has risen up in my soul.  Yes, God has answered prayers for me, but the darkness is still thick and the struggles have not abated.  I'm still in the Dark Night and there are no streaks of light that indicate dawn anytime soon.

Perhaps, in a few weeks, months or years, I will be able to look back and say, "There was growth after all.  And things really did get better."

Until then, all I can do is take a deep breath and be grateful for "One more day. Just one more day."

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