Your Life Will Be Different…But It Will Be Amazing

KevinUpUpMy niece Livi drew this picture for her daddy the other day, and it moved me so much, I wanted to share it with all of you. The deep wells of wisdom that little one holds in her 8-year-old soul! As those of you who have been keeping up with my blog over the past couple of weeks know, my brother-in-law Kevin was in a near-fatal car wreck two weeks ago today and lost his leg as a result. And now Kevin finds himself at a Ground Zero of sorts in his life, learning to do everything all over again. Even things as simple as putting on his clothes and getting himself to the restroom have to be relearned. And you know what? He has kept a positive spirit and a great attitude throughout the entire process. It’s been such an inspiration for us all to witness.

It got me thinking about how a lot of us are at some form of Ground Zero in our lives, myself included. I’m currently in the midst of my own Ground Zero, career-wise and even on a personal level. I am trying to break free from my publisher (for many reasons that I hope to be able to share with you someday) and do my own thing. It’s funny, because most writers self-publish while longing for a publisher…while I have a publisher but am longing to self-publish. I’m trying to focus less on “branding” and more on just being real. Being myself. Being Mandy. I don’t want to build a brand anymore. I want to build a body of writing that matters…that makes a difference…that meets people right where they’re at. Personally, I’m trying to figure out how I can best add value to the world and positively impact the lives of others. Whether that takes shape in the form of becoming a foster parent or a child advocate or starting a non-profit (I have a really awesome idea I’ve been toying with) or volunteering or whatever…I don’t know yet. But I’m no longer satisfied to just live life in my own little bubble, shielded from the needs of the people I love and care about and the world as a whole. I want to be out there, on the front lines…not spending all my time talking about helping people but getting out there and actually doing it.

I’m also really, really ready for my “person” to arrive. My “lobster,” as Phoebe said of Ross and Rachel on Friends. I’m ready to be a wife and mother. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but it’s true. Being with my nieces almost every day for the past two weeks has shown much I’m ready for my own little family. It’s also shown me how I can step up to the plate and even surprise myself when it comes to multi-tasking and nurturing and mothering. It’s been a very nice realization to come from a very difficult time.

So now I want to talk to you in the midst of your Ground Zero…whatever it may be. It doesn’t have to be something as monumental as losing a limb or almost losing a family member to be life-altering. Perhaps you’re going through a breakup. The person you thought was your forever walked away with no explanation and now you’re left picking up the pieces. Perhaps you lost your job and have no idea where next month’s rent is coming from. Maybe a lifelong dream of yours has recently been snuffed out, leaving you questioning everything about your path and your purpose. Maybe you haven’t heard from God in a really long time and you’re starting to wonder if He cares…or if He even exists.

Here is what I want you to know. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to ask questions. To yell and scream and feel and even cuss if you need to. It’s okay to be right where you’re at, without trying to frantically search for the purpose that will come from your pain or the message that will come from your mess. I’m finding that some pain doesn’t serve a purpose. Sometimes pain is just pain…and we can let it be just that. We can feel it without trying to heal it. We can bring our fist down hard on all the feel-good, sing-song, empty platitudes and send the pieces scattering right along with the shattered pieces of our hearts. WE CAN. Society has taught us that when we find ourselves at Ground Zero, we have to immediately pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and start searching for the silver lining…but I’m here to tell you: It doesn’t have to be that way. Life is hard and we can let it be. We have to let it be. It’s the only way to reach a place of acceptance with our new situation, our new set of circumstances, our new LIFE.

“Your life will be different…but it will be amazing.”

Your life WILL be different. Whatever you lost: A person, a love, a job, a limb, a dream, your way…it will be different. There’s no minimizing that. But accepting that there’s no minimizing that and choosing to keep putting one foot in front of the other anyway…THAT’S when the amazing part is going to kick in. Realizing that the worst has happened, or at least the very bad has happened, and you SURVIVED. You survived and you felt and you lived it and you didn’t run from it or try and turn it into some glittery “aha!” moment…BUT YOU ENDURED AND YOU PREVAILED.

If that isn’t amazing, I don’t know what is.

God never promised we wouldn’t know pain. He isn’t the author of it, but He isn’t the bodyguard blocking it from us, either. Jesus Himself knew intense, agonizing pain. The worst kind, as a matter of fact. Betrayal. False accusations. A humiliating death on a cross for a crime He didn’t commit. No, God never promised us we wouldn’t know pain. That we wouldn’t know Ground Zero moments and dark nights of the soul. What He DID promise was to be with us in the midst of our pain. To help shoulder our burdens. To bring beauty from ashes. To help us accept the different so we can get to the amazing.

…Now “up, up, up, and away!” to the next chapter of our lives and whatever it may hold.


18 Responses to “ Your Life Will Be Different…But It Will Be Amazing ”

  1. Gladys
    March 21, 2016

    yes, I can relate, we all have circumstances and pains and hardships, no one escapes them none.

    Though I did NOT have to go thru the pain of singlessness for i got married at 21 and have been happily married for 19 years. I have suffered most painful sorrowfull circumstances the last 6 years that i would not wish on my worst enemy. My sister is a drug addict and completely lost. These circumstances have not improved and will most likely get worse, but I thank the God that he is good despite our circumstances.

    So though i have been happily married for 19 years, the sorrow and pain i have suffered with my sister has been almost unbearable, and I have no control over what will happen.

    So i have come to the realization that life is inherently unfair and that we all have crosses to bear, life will never be perfect and their will always be something we mourn or suffer.

  2. Eunice
    March 22, 2016

    “God never promised we wouldn’t know pain. He isn’t the author of it, but He isn’t the bodyguard blocking it from us, either.” I was literally *just* talking to my sister about some stuff in our lives and we were saying that we feel like God is blocking good things from coming to us and then I find your post sitting in my email. Thank you for the reminder that we can cry and cuss and feel upset and not have to remain in a “happy” state because it’s expected from us.
    Thank you for always being such a light and inspiration.

  3. Stacy
    March 22, 2016

    I can’t begin to tell you how perfect this blog was for me to read this morning. Everything you’ve said was exactly what I needed to hear. For two years now, I’ve been at my own ground zero. I’ve felt like God has given up on me. That there are more important things in the world than what I so desperately want. My anxieties have been in overdrive and I feel like I’m alone in this whole process…. Then, I read this blog. And it was a glimmer of hope. It reminded me that there are others out there suffering and looking for the same things I am. I’m not alone in wanting a family or changing my life path. That it’s ok to be mad and cry and maybe throw a mini (big) temper tantrum when I’m hurting and drowning in life’s nastiness. . I just need to remember that God is with me, even when I can’t see or feel it because they devil has beaten me down. It’s hard to not let the self pity and self doubt ruin everything, but I’m ready to get to the amazing part. Even though I know it will be hard… I do have an Almighty Father leading the charge. I just need to remember that.

    Thank you Mandy for making my morning!!!

    • Regina
      March 24, 2016

      Thank you for writing this!! You said everything that I was thinking and feeling. This blog came at the right time and it renewed my spirit that everything will work out in the end.

  4. Neeka
    March 22, 2016

    I was talking to my mom on the phone about most of the points in this posting in the wee hours of the morning (just a few hours ago), as life has been continuously challenging for us. I am starting to get angry at God, and that’s not a good place to be. I feel like He’s not there and He allows certain things to happen, which I don’t understand. I love your perspective on “some pain doesn’t serve a purpose”. That is actually healing to me as there are times when I go through stuff, and I am trying to find the meaning and I just couldn’t or can’t. Like when my best friend of 10 years died in a car accident at 20 years old, or when a wonderful guy she introduced me to had died four months before that, or even after I give my best and all, I am still left standing alone…I am just not sure of the meaning…but “sometimes pain is just pain”.

    • Gladys
      March 22, 2016

      YES, i agree, their is so much pain in disapointment in this life. Having a sister that is addicted to drugs, is so painful almost unbearable, with no end in sight.

      I just have to believe that God is good despite all of this, i choose to believe that God is good.

  5. Dana
    March 22, 2016

    I have learned in the past year that you have to open your mind and your heart to God. Just take time to just listen to what He has to say. I can honestly say that in my listening I have been shown His love and grace. I thank Him every day for revealing not only the love I had buried for myself but also for showing me that I was ready for the love of my life!!

  6. March 22, 2016

    This is a beautiful post, Mandy! God bless you.

  7. Amanda
    March 22, 2016

    You totally speak my life and I am so grateful to know that I am not the only one feeling such things! I pray for you and me and all of us who are feeling these things and I hope God continues to help us to be strong one step at a time!!!

  8. Laura
    March 22, 2016

    God NEVER promised amazing, happy or our dreams fulfilled….here. We’re just passing through, Mandy. This is not our home. Like you, I had a family member that had a near-fatal auto accident that took his leg. This was my son…my only child. His car went through a guard rail on a highway. The guardrail cut through the driver’side side door and severed his leg. Like your brother-in-law, he was positive and upbeat after it happened. However, it gets tougher for amputees as time goes by. Prosthetics don’t fit right, and the’right ones’ are reserved for military heroes. The pain, including phantom pain, is intense. My only child, my blessing from God, passed into His arms 14 months after the accident due to an accidental overdose of painkillers. Mandy, I prayed EVER day for all my son’s life for a good father for him and husband for me. I raised my son as a single Mom. God NEVER gave me what I desired. Not only that, but He took my only child. I’m 47 years old, will never have another child or any grandchikdren. My point? I still trust that God had a better plan fir me than I thought I did for myself. I trust He knows MUCH more and better than I ever will. Please don’t be so caught up on what YOU want and desire that you lose God’s will and best plan for YOU and His GRAND plan for all of creation. Either we trust God or we don’t. It’s a choice. It still hurts, though. ..every, freaking single day.

    • missc
      March 22, 2016

      Just sending love your way Laura.

  9. March 23, 2016

    Do we always know when we are ready for something? I, too feel that I am ready to love and be loved but it is not coming my way. My job is hanging in the balance and I do not know where to stand. This point in my life is ground zero for me. No steady job, no love, no someone to share my dreams, thoughts and disappointments with. I am weary of going it alone.

  10. Sharon Gray
    March 23, 2016

    My life is definitely different right now I just recently lost a job, and moved my mother into assisted living. Oh and I have to make some changes with my diet and start exercising otherwise I will be on medication. I was not happy at my job so besides a paycheck there’s no other loss. I’m finally at a point where I want to find something where I can make a difference. I love helping people and have a passion for it. I’ve worked in administrative for most my life and trying to change directions with only life experience and not work experience is challenging. The up side is that my boys are 20 and off on their own journey. There is no immediate rush. I know God will provide a new amazing life I don’t know how. I just need direction right now I’m so scattered.

  11. March 24, 2016

    I have been at ground zero for so many years. It is not that I am doing bad, but I am not where I want to be. There is nothing wrong with you wanting to be a wife and a mother. I sure that God would not have put the desire in your heart if it was not meant to be so. Sharing a post like this makes us all realize that we are not alone and even as believers our life is not perfect and we all struggle with something.

  12. Tammy
    March 24, 2016

    I was thinking on the same line as Sophia about God puts desire in our hearts. I don’t have a desire in my heart to me a mom. I do wonder what it would be like sometimes. But I would be fine with having a partner and we can do charity work, travel the world, etc. My fiance and I broke up for some reasons, but one of them is because he wants kids for sure and I don’t know. I wouldn’t have kid if I am not 100% ready. I do feel lile I am at Ground Zero in term of relationship. Reading your post makes me feel like I am not alone. I do wish anf pray that God will send someone into your life so you can fulfill your heart desires.

  13. veronica
    March 24, 2016

    3 years ago was my ground zero when my dad went to heaven. It shattered my life even though i knew it was coming. The next day a wednesday i just continued with my routine i just wanted to make it thru the week n then went home for a week to b with my family. The number of people who asked why i was at work or volunteering nearly did me in. I needed my routine otherwise i do not think i would have been able to continue. I withdrew from church n socialising as it seemed that they just didnt care or knew what to do with me. It was weird how the people at my work were able to deal with my new reality than my ‘church group.’ But i have recently started attending church n socialising again. Traveling overseas has become something that offers hope in my life but was recently rocked by the traumatic events in europe.

  14. Laura
    March 24, 2016

    Thank you SO much, missc. Love back atcha. 🙂

  15. April 21, 2016

    Saved the picture to my phone! It will make great wallpaper on my phone and a great conversation piece. Hope to share this story of pain, loss and hope!

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Life doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
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Something wonderful is on the horizon
Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
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*US shipping only