Feels like the world is closing on me
Feels like my dreams will never come to be
I keep on slippin’ deeper into myself
And I’m scared, so scared
If you’re troubled
You just gotta let it go
If you’re worried baby
You just gotta let it go
All your hustles ain’t for nothing
You just gotta take it slow- Alicia Keys “Troubles”
We’ve all heard the age-old idiom “When it rains, it pours”. I can definitely characterize last week as a “rainy” one. By Friday night, I had just about enough. I walked into my house at 12:15am, only to find that my precocious two-year-old dog had broken out of her makeshift barrier in the kitchen, which was still intact and peed on my beautiful yellow couch. In a dramatic display, I fell to my knees, shaking my fists in the air, asking God “WHHYYYYYYYY”!!!!!!! All I could do was cry. Actually I wept like Cuba Gooding Jr. in the scene from “Boyz in the Hood” after Ricky got shot. I didn’t go as far as he did, fighting the air, but you get the picture.
Have you ever had a time in your life when everything seems to be falling down around you? I like to call these moments “a series of unfortunate events”, uncontrollable instances that are totally out of your hands that occur in a snowball effect. It’s like Hell Week for the Navy Seals, or as if I was being hazed by the mean sorority girls of life. Let’s recap my crazy week…
Last Saturday May 28th, I woke up sweating massive bullets. I grabbed my blackberry to check the weather, and to my surprise it was already 83 degrees at 9 am. “I guess it’s time to breakdown and turn on the A/C”. So I closed my windows, cranked up the A/C, and headed out for a walk with the magic puppy (who later in the week lived up to her name smh). Hours later, my house was still blazing. Sunday evening, I got into an unnecessary “disagreement” with a close friend, that trickled over into Monday, my day off. Still wiping the sweat from my brow, I sat in my house trying to figure out why my brand new A/C unit was not functioning properly. Tuesday comes. I go to work, it’s 90+ degrees, and my sister rescues my hot dog (pun intended) from my house. I head over to my weekly weigh-in, only to discover I’ve gained 3.8 pounds in a WEEK! (Darn those Memorial Day burgers *tears*) Defeated by the scale, I arrive home that evening to find a note from my neighbor in the mailbox. He informs me while mowing my grass, his brother ran over a piece of my A/C unit in the backyard, and is quite certain it caused some serious damage. While very thankful for his honesty and integrity, my level of frustration escalated. He assured me he would cover the cost, but now I had to get an estimate. I packed a bag and spent the night my sister’s house. Wednesday, the HVAC tech gave me an estimate of $750, and as I was pondering if my neighbor could come up with that amount of money that quick, my uncle informed me that the massive bush growing in my backyard is poison ivy. You’re kidding me right…smh.
Thursday I headed out to Baltimore to work for the day, only to hear my car shreeking like a wild banshee. WHAT IS GOING ON?!? Low and behold, I need brakes. Again. I just got them last September. Friday brought along more disappointment, this time in the form of feeling emotionally let down. As much as I tried to be understanding and mature, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So by Friday evening, I was extremely fatigued, emotionally, mentally and physically. All I wanted to do was crawl in bed, and wake up 6 hours later to celebrate my victory over cancer at The Race for the Cure. But the puddle of dog pee on my couch almost pushed me over the ledge. I looked at Lily with disbelief!! “Et tu Brutus”!!! SIGH…
Saturday turned out to be a beautiful occasion. Internally, I was feeling a wide range of emotions. Though it was a celebration, it was also a reminder of the fact that I had faced this disease, twice. This time last year I was starting chemo, so unaware of what the future would hold. It’s hard sometimes to celebrate when you see so many posters and t-shirts who unfortunately passed away from the same disease. Some people call it “Survivor’s guilt”. Overall, I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Grateful to God for healing me, and for giving me the best support system I could ever imagine. By the end of that day, I felt like Hell Week was coming to an end.
Sometimes, life can really get you down. Things fall apart, the ones closest to you will hurt you, cars break down, things stop working, your money runs low or things change and you can’t do anything about it. Trouble comes. Jesus even warned us about it: “In this world you will have trouble. BUT take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). That made me leap for joy! Even if trouble comes a’knocking, the Greater One who lives inside of us has already overcome it! And that means we have too!!! 🙂 James 1:2 tells us “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (NLT). It may sound crazy but its truth. Just reading that made me feel better instantly. And it helped me to let go of the disappointments of the week. Sure, were my feelings hurt? Indeed. But I know for a fact I’ve hurt those close to me before as well, so I forgave in my heart. I even forgave Lily. And does my A/C and car still need to be fixed? Absolutely. But thank God for an emergency fund, referrals and coupons lol. If you continue to focus on your troubles, they seem to get worse. So change your focus and look at the bright side. There’s another age-old idiom that you can follow: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade! 🙂
1 Peter 4:12-19
The Message (MSG)
12-13Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner…So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.