Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Everything happens for a reason.

I don’t know how many times I pulled that mantra out of my hat. Whenever someone I knew experienced the pain of disappointment or the ache of loss, those words freely flowed from my mouth. And when I said it, I meant it, because I truly wanted…needed… to believe that God had a plan and it was a whole lot more intricate than what I could possibly understand.

I desperately held onto that hope for a long time. I needed to be able to make sense out of the world. I needed there to be some sort of “fairness”. Why should it be that some people coast through life while others are constantly burdened? Why do some struggle to maintain the status quo while others seemingly haven’t a care in the world?

I guess the reality is, we can never be sure of the burdens others carry. Some burdens are out there for all the world to see. Others are well disguised. And yet others are secreted away.

And how can you possibly compare pain?  Who is to say whose burden is heaviest?

As much as it angers me, I am beginning to accept that God didn’t intend for life to be fair.

That’s what I  mulled over this summer.

Maybe it wasn’t about everything happening for a reason. Maybe the bigger picture was that yes, bad things happen to people all the time. They are faced with a diagnosis. They experience the death of a loved one. Perhaps a job is lost, or a team is not made.

Maybe it’s not really about what happens to you; maybe it’s about how you react to it.

As I see it, there are three types of people in this world. There are people like my husband who see adversity as an opportunity. When misfortune strikes, he immediately figures out how to right the ship. He hits an override button, preventing him from wasting time and energy on an emotional response. At times, I find this extremely irritating.

Then there are people like me. When faced with adversity, my immediate reaction is to wallow in self pity. My mind races, but words remain unspoken. (Others of course, may rant and rave…that’s just not my MO.) But at some point, I come to terms with the situation, deal with it the best I can, and move on.

Finally, there are people who hold on tightly to their pain and grow more bitter and resentful as time goes by. They stop living in the present, because they can’t let go of the past.

So perhaps it’s not that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps it’s that life happens to everyone, and it’s how you choose to react to that life that is most important.

Because maybe it’s not just about you. Maybe there is a bigger picture. Maybe the adversity that you face will provide an opportunity for you to become an inspiration to others.

There is no better example of this than the life of Michelle Grinsel. Her journey is a true inspiration to others…a reminder to make the most out of each moment and to live life to its fullest each and every day.  Please take the time to watch her documentary. It is life changing.

One Way-A Journey to this Moment