This May Be One of The Best Things that Ever Happened to You Upon hearing that statement from Rick one day, I about reached over hit him. I was stunned. “How Rick?” After I’ve caused so much damage and so much hurt and pain to both my wife Samantha and many other caught in the crosshairs, how can you say that this might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me? With a whole lot more control, grace and wisdom, Rick simply replied “Think about how much more of an idiot you’d become if God didn’t reach into your life and save you from what you had created….how much more chaos and pain and hurt could have been caused if you weren’t exposed?” He was right. After 7 plus years, I have learned that I have indeed been rescued. The most painful, agonizing experience of my life, though caused by me and not anyone else, was the very thing that saved me and has helped to reshape me as a man, son, father, husband and friend. I know. I know. This seems like a “turn lemons into lemonade” blog. But it’s not. As I’ve said many times before “we learn more through our failures than we ever learn through our successes.” I have come to appreciate and understand grace and mercy through my failure. I’ve learned how valuable family is through my selfishness and self absorption. I have learned we all are going through fire and flame, hell and pain, or at the very least, are on our way to dealing with loss. I’ve never been as compassionate and understanding as I am now, and it sure wasn’t due to theology, seminary, mere-life experiences alone, or top notch sales training. It was due to me living through colossal failure, tear filled eyes, sleepless nights, great uncertainty, and choosing hope when all looked hopeless. This monumental failure was the very way my life was changed for the better, and everyone who is still in my life has reaped the benefit of it. Not better income financially, and not better social status or past reputation, but last time I checked those weren’t the essence of life. Where you sit right now, it may seem hopeless and absolutely miserable. It probably is, to be honest. But we live not for the now friends. We live for what is to come. We live for hope. Not solely for the hope that our marriage will be saved, but for the hope that this whole experience will shape me for the better, regardless of the outcome. One day you will speak with much for compassion, eloquence and zeal. One day many will look into your eyes, or hear your voice and say “yep, he/she get’s it. There is something different about them.” And you’ll have only gotten it through pain, sorrow, and choosing to go forward despite the uncertainty and pain you’ve had to walk through. Just make sure and keep going ‘through.’ Today eludes me, tomorrow disappoints me. Hope has surely left. Quitting seems just, yet emptier. To forge ahead is uncertain and ever so long….. Perhaps that’s what He, the great counselor, has wanted all along. For my eyes to truly see: my heart to truly break: my soul to truly grieve. It’s only through his grace One can ever believe.