In moments of despair, the last thing I want to do is pick up my pen and write. And yet, here I sit, with pen in hand…not knowing, not feeling, and not thinking about that which I want to say. The human experience is like no other. But then again, I’ve only ever been a human 🙂

I know we look for meaning in our lives, in the things that happen to us day in and day out. We want things to go well; plans to turn out as planned; dreams and wishes to come true, especially when we work hard. So when things go wrong, the human spirit breaks and we question ourselves, our abilities, our judgement…even our worth. Is pain and suffering really worth the human experience?

I’ve always had difficulty understanding the point of suffering and of waiting patiently for something. But the older I get the more sense life and all that comes with it, makes. Sometimes it is only through pain and suffering that we learn the difference between knowing something and understanding it. And grasping that difference is the monumental key to understanding how character is formed. For instance, if you know the point of suffering, it doesn’t change anything much about you. But when you understand it – your perspective and attitude shifts and you gain the strength and courage to put into action that which you know and understand. Your whole life changes. It is the AHA moment of life.

Even though this principle holds true in all kinds of adversities, there are, of course, different kinds of suffering. Sometimes we suffer because things happened that were beyond our control. Other times, it’s because we are reaping the fruit of our own mistakes. There is also suffering that comes upon us because of what somebody else did. And then, there is also that pain we are forced to endure when things happen that just don’t make sense and absolutely have nothing to do with us or what we did. Now, that’s when life does seem unfair, especially because the things that happen are cloaked in mystery and have an incredibly controlling power that all we can do is…sigh.

But like I keep reminding myself, life is not the enemy here, nor is it something to be conquered. We all go through experiences that don’t make sense in the moment but in retrospect, they ALWAYS do, without fail. That’s the beauty of having a relationship with the creator of the universe – that we can be assured one hundred and fifty percent that there is no such thing as coincidence when He is involved.

So even in moments of despair and confusion, He always finds a way to remind me, to calm me down and to lovingly encourage me. Just last night, I watched August turn into September, one of my favourite months. There’s just something beautifully fresh about September. It’s a rebirth…spring, and to me, it represents grace. Eight months have gone before and every single day of those months, I was alive. I did not lack food, physical or spiritual. I had a roof over my head and a warm bed. I was safe. I received rare smiles from strangers. And my pulse quickened in those special moments. And even though I am so far away from home, I was reminded almost every day that I was being thought of and prayed for; that I was loved unconditionally.

Every one of these things, to me, is grace in action. And somehow, in my mind, it culminates in this beautiful month of September. Grace is what keeps me alive and infused with a passion to overcome the despair and reach for the stars.

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