Saturday, August 22, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons...

...make lemonade.

Easier said then done if you ask me!

I have been thinking a lot recently. Thinking be a good thing for me or a bad thing. But recently, it's been a good thing - or at least I would like to believe it has been. I have been thinking a lot about things in my life that have shaped me into who I am today. My life has been far from easy and while I don't remember much from when I was young, I can remember the first moment I realized life is so not fair all the time.

Easter 1998 -
Oh man, I remember this like it was yesterday. i walked into to church that morning to a very somber and sad mood. I was met at the door by one of our elders, who went on to tell me that Pastor Danny has passed away suddenly that morning while preparing to get into costume for our sunrise service. I remember my heart sinking into my chest - Pastor Danny and his wife Marilyn were like another set of parents to me. I had promised Pastor Danny that I would be going to church camp that summer with him and others from church as a jr. counselor. I couldn't understand why this had happened - as far as I knew, he was perfectly healthy and was rather young - but God needed him. I can remember feeling so cheated when he passed away. But looking back I have learned a lot from that experience - I never once took another person for granted. I attempt to live my life to make Danny proud - I want him to be looking down on me saying, "Denise, I am so proud of you!" Of course I want to make family and friends proud too, but for some reason, his approval is so important to me. Also, I got a lot closer to Marilyn after his death. Because I really struggled with it and turned to her a lot to just talk...that closeness would be the reason why I got through so many other hard things in my life.

2000 -
My parents divorced in 2000. I won't go into all the messy details, but lets just say it was an incredibly hard time for my family. My mom made some lousy decisions - which lead to the separation - which lead to my dad becoming very depressed and making the decision to try suicide. When that happened - I went and stayed with Marilyn for a while. I was angry at my mom, scared for my dad and did not want to be at home at all. Marilyn really helped me through that time - she became like a mom to me. I felt like I could only talk to her - my anger towards my mom and the hurt over my dad just was too much to talk to them. Both my parents are remarried now and happy - and I have rebuilt my relationship with my mom - but I can definitely understand what I learned out of this - I will not get divorced. I will not repeat any poor decisions made by either of my parents, I will enjoy my marriage, be open, honest and communicate. I feel like my marriage is as strong as it is because of what I learned from my parents divorce. I also believe it is strong because God is the center of our marriage and church and following Him is a top priority.

Oct. 6 2001 -
Where do I even begin with this one? Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes and my heart just sank in my chest. This was the day that I lost my best friend and to this day, I still hurt about it. *Tay (name changed for certain reasons) did not have the easiest of lives. She moved to Warsaw to live with a family in my church - her foster parents. I don't remember us really hitting it off, though we may have, but I do remember that we did end up with an amazing friendship. This girl was seriously one of my best friends. I could tell her anything, we had so many inside jokes that even today I chuckle at times thinking about how she would respond. She really helped my though my parent's divorce too, she was there for me to talk to and enjoy time with. But then she started dating someone and I got mad, jealous and in my stupid high school mind decided it would be good to pick a fight - STUPID idea. We stopped talking, avoided each other - for well over 6 months. Some how - and I still don't remember how - we started talking again. The summer of 01 before I went to college, we served at church camp as counselors together for 4th grade week and we were mostly back to our old ways. We didn't talk much, college had me busy and her schedule at school was pretty busy as well. I went home on Oct. 5 for a quick overnight trip and has just gotten back to college when a call came from Marilyn (she worked at the college I attended) telling me to call her immediately. I called her and she came to my dorm and met me in the common room to give me the news. Tay had been in a car accident - and had went to be with our Lord. To say I was devastated would be a complete understatement. She was only 17, just started her senior year - it was SO UNFAIR. We had finally gotten our friendship back and she was gone. I miss her, so much, she'd love Parker. Through all of that though, I learned to enjoy my friendships even more. I have never picked a fight again - I'd like to think of Tay as a guardian angel. She is one of two pictures I have on my visor in my car - the other - my miracle boy.

May 29, 2008 -
Well, we all know what happened here.

I guess I share this with you to tell you that I have learned a lot. My faith in God has grown in the past 11 years - and while there are many things I have left out, I can honestly say that I have learned so much and I do my best to live life to the fullest and fully rely on God. Lessons I have learned through just these 4 incidents I shared and many more I haven't, I have done my best to grow out of them.

I feel strong and loved and like I have so much to offer.

So, when life hands you lemons (whatever they are) do your best to grow out of those lemons. Make lemonade - or lemon shake ups. God knows what he's doing, even if we don't get it. It's not really our place to get it, God asks us to trust and have faith and we should do that.

God's good, even in all the hard stuff.


Marla Taviano said...

That is such a blessing when you can look back on hard times and see what God was doing. He is so good, even when we can't see it.

Hugs to you, friend!

Ali said...

You make the best lemonade!

Carrie said...

Wow, thanks for sharing all this with us! What a great reminder that all things truly do "work together for good" - Rom. 8:28! Can't wait to meet you in a couple weeks!!!

Heatherlyn said...

That was a really good post. I think that people who survive difficult moments in life actually do create a better life for themselves.

My daughter just saw a picture of Parker on your blog and said, "Who is that Mommy? He's the cutest baby ever!"