More and more lately, I am hearing people say a common phrase in a dejected kind of way…”It is what it is.” I understand what they are trying to communicate, and many times they are correct in their assessment of a situation they are engulfed in.
Whenever I hear that phrase, it just doesn’t sit right with my spirit. Because I know in my soul, the truth really is “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.”
You see, I have learned many lessons throughout my life, many of which took more years than I want to admit. There have been countless times that my life seemed hopeless, and it seemed as though I was in a dark hole with no way to escape. My personal reality during those dark times was filled with seemingly hopeless situations that I allowed to rob my joy, and a life permeated with helplessness, confusion, pain, guilt, shame and no sense of self at all. After the many times I tried to employ the “self help” teachings I learned about, and even made some progress, I eventually sunk back into the familiar black pit.
Looking back, I can see clearly when the changes started happening, although while I was living those years I did not “see” it. When my oldest son was a year old, my husband and I had been married for three years. We were going through trauma in our marriage, and at that time I was really sinking fast. I loved my son, and my husband, but I was miserable. Yes, the situation “was what it was”, but my eyes and heart were blinded to the miracles that were happening in the unseen.
While I was swirling around in the darkness, I was guided to attend a Renewal Weekend with my best friend at our Church. I did not fully understand the concept of totally accepting Jesus into my heart and life on that weekend. What I did understand was that God loved me and wanted the best for me. All weekend I prayed only for my marriage. I remember that I prayed that God would help my husband to love me even half as much as I loved him.
A simple prayer.
After the Renewal Weekend, our marriage and my life did not seem to change much. I often questioned why God wasn’t answering my prayers. However, there were more little “miracles” that peeled layer upon layer of gunk from both of our hearts. I was led to another Catholic Renewal Weekend, about 10 years later than my first one, and this time my heart and soul was touched in a way that is indescribable. I understood what my stumbling block was from listening to the testimony of one witness. My whole wall that I had built up around my heart was shaken when I heard one sentence that she spoke…
“I forgive you, daddy.”
These words tore into me so hard that I ran out of the room, and was not only crying, but heaving and releasing pain from deep within my being.
That weekend started a new journey of healing and trust in God, and the decision that my husband and I made to dedicate our marriage to the Lord. We made the decision to trust him to guide us, and teach us to be happy in our marriage…for neither of us had a clue how to be happy, and did not understand what the sacrament of marriage truly was.
This April, Joe and I will be married 37 years. We have a marriage and relationship that I never even could have imagined or comprehended. The Lord blessed me with a husband that is loving, kind, patient, trustworthy, and lots of fun. We are best friends, and although enjoy spending time with our family and friends, our favorite place to be is with each other. Our marriage is the crowing glory of our lives…it is our vocation and an important part of our ministry to share Christ’s love.
Now I look back and know that all through the years, the Lord was working all the stuff and gunk in our lives into good…totally in the “unseen.” He was weaving a beautiful tapestry from the tiny little scraps we were able to offer him. Because he loves us THAT much.
He loves YOU that much too!
Always remember, “It is what it is…except when it isn’t.” For the Lord works all toward good for those who love him…even when you can’t “see” it.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16;
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28