Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Bad Things, Good People

The other day I was chatting on the phone with my mom about all this pregnancy hoopla and she, understandably, was not too thrilled about the prospect of her own baby being away from her babies followed by the not-born-yet baby potentially getting off to a rough start at the end of the whole thing.  I mean, the poo-ness of all this started when?  At 9 weeks or something?  So crazy scariness for over ten weeks already leading up to more scariness for maybe even MORE than then more additional weeks.  It just seems so sucky and....unfair.

"You're such a good mama and a good person and this kind of stuff just...."

My poor mom.  It must really, really suck to be thousands of miles away from your child, especially when they're going through something like this.  But I couldn't let her finish that thought.  It's easy to wonder why bad things happen to good people, you know?  As if bad things are nothing but a punishment for bad deeds.  But I dumped that philosophy the day I said yes to the Church, and I'm still clinging to that yes real hard.

The other day it hit me.  Is anyone friends with any "bad" people?  With the kind of people they would label "bad"?  If someone is a friend of yours, I'm willing to bet they're pretty good- that's why you're friends with them!  So when you hear about bad stuff happening, it's probably always going to be happening to a good person.  You don't hang out with jerks, after all.  But I can promise you that bad things are happening to bad people, too.  You know why?  Because bad things happen to everybody.  This is a fallen world.  It's full of struggles and challenges and disappointment.  None of us is immune.

What I am striving to see in this badness, instead of a punishment for some wrongdoing as I may have seen in the past, is opportunity.  An opportunity to grow spiritually and emotionally.  An opportunity to model for my children the kind of spouses and parents I would hope for them to be.  An opportunity to BE the kind of spouse and parent I OUGHT to be.  An opportunity to think and rethink my life, to learn to live in the moment, to learn to really trust in God's will for our family.  An opportunity for me let go of the idea that control equals happiness.  I've got a lot of shortcomings.  I needed a big ol' opportunity.

Bad things happen to every kind of person.  But even the bad can be used for good if we so choose.



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33 comments :

  1. Your honesty and trust as you share all this with us has been such an encouragement to me! Continuing to pray for you and baby Nicholas and the whole family!

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  2. Once (actually, more than once I'm sure) I was struggling with the bad things/good people issue and someone told me something similar to your last thought above. They explained "bad" things are just things, it is the emphasis we give them and the power to destroy that let's them be labeled as "bad". If you choose to take the "bad" thing and learn, grown and rejoice in the triumph in the face of adversary, then you will be stronger and smarter for it and each "bad" thing will be just a thing. You will worry less about bumps in the road and enjoy life more. The amount of anxiety this has reduced for me was monumental.
    We are still praying for you and yours, sending love downstate and waiting and hoping to rejoice with you and baby Nicolas when this big and serious "thing" has passed and your and his strengths have triumphed! :)

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  3. I give in far too easily to complaining and frustration when thinking about the bad things that have happened to me. Thank you very much for this perspective; the word "inspiring" is greatly overused, in my opinion, but your faith and trust in God throughout these pregnancy struggles have truly inspired me. God bless you, baby Nicholas, and your whole family! Praying for you.

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  4. This is beautiful. I admire your faith and courage, and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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  5. Awesome. And so true. Every "bad" thing that has ever happened to someone I know, has always happened to GOOD people. I once had someone tell me (when asked the question about why God makes "bad" things happen) that God never MAKES bad things happen, because He only wishes good for us. But sometimes He ALLOWS bad things to happen because He sees the greater good. His plan is for eternity and sometimes we have no idea how this "thing" in our lives, or someone else's life, is going to impact God's plan for us, or even for the whole world. It's the ripple in the pond effect. And I see that here - your faith, and your witness at this time in your life is impacting people all over. Look at the laundry room situation! You gave all those people that opportunity to be generous - even those of us who have never met you. Your situation with baby Nicholas is making this huge community of prayer warriors who are united in their efforts to ask God for a miracle for you and that sweet baby inside of you. So even this thing that is bad and horrible on the surface has already so much good in it, not the least of which is the example of your faith and trust in God.

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  6. My last pregnancy was rough on me, the baby was okay, but I had a rare condition where my skin was attacking itself and I had large open sores and was constantly in excruciating pain. I felt really low during that time and while I have always considered my faith strong, man, I was in a bad place. I spent days crying and being mad and wondering why this was happening.

    But somewhere along the line, I realized this was my cross to bear, and while I didn't know why, it was happening for a reason. I still don't know why, but I can tell you that I feel so blessed that it did happen to us and we are a stronger family as a result.

    Lots of big hugs and boatloads of prayers, Dweej! Don't get down if you do get in that bad spot, it will help you grow. You have a beautiful attitude and will pull through this. We're behind you every step of the way.

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  7. Such a good reminder to all of us who are experiencing struggles right now. Thank you for the right words to help put me back into a better frame of mind.

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  8. I was literally just thinking about this the other day...you must have read my mind from across the country! :)

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  9. I don´t even know what to say, Dweej :) But I know that this poo-ness has become a wonderfulness of good things, the laundry room thing, so much caring and praying, and you writing wisdomy posts for us and making us think so much about life, and control, and happiness and joy. Hugs :)

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  10. Dwija - when we lost our baby last month it took me a while to see it as anything but having something taken away from me. Now I see that perhaps God knew that things were about to get rough financially for us (darn car!) and wanted to give us a something for trusting him (since we got pregnant in our first month of "trusting" God with our family planning). Now I see, instead of a baby taken away, that God intrusted our family with one of his beloved souls in heaven - a soul that can be with our family constantly and one whom we'll never have to worry about being in pain or fear.

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  11. I'd not thought of it in this way before ... I love your clarity! Of course I'm not friends with bad people. And I should have realized that bad things happen to everybody. Duh!
    My favorite line in your post, " ... An opportunity for me let go of the idea that control equals happiness."
    Wham! I thought that way too ... control = happiness.
    I need to change my way of thinking. Thank you!

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  12. We lost a baby two weeks ago and the thought that carried me was that even though I couldn't understand WHY this would happen I KNOW that God loves me. His love, to carry, to console, to lift us- is something to cling to during hard times. God bless you and your sweet baby.

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  13. Suffering can really help us grow in faith. Or it can make us angry and bitter. It's our choice, and it is sometimes difficult to see how one can choose not to be angry and bitter. I'm so glad that you understand that, Dwija!

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  14. Ahhhh you're so smart! This is what I've been writing about lately - today is round about the day my first child would've been born. It's heartbreaking, but you're right - it can all be used for Good. He's good at that.

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  15. You said this so well-- the next time I get into the whole "why bad things happen to good people" debate with someone, I think I'll just refer them to this blog post! God is mysterious, but always present. Thank you, and blessings to you and the growing baby B.

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  16. Amen. A million times amen. Our family has been through many trials and tribulations this past year since my husband was involved in a new fatal accident that he is still recovering from. We have mourned and grieved and gone through every emotion. One night we were discussing the whole concept of "Why me?". It's pretty silly to think that way, really, because if not us, then who? Who on this earth deserves our suffering any more than us? This cross is OUR cross to bear, we were chosen to experience this so that others may see our journey, so that we can grow from it, for so many reasons. God has a plan for us all and we are all good people. I continue to pray for you and your family daily!!

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  17. I know tons of bad people. Seems like everyone in my city is a big jerk.

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  18. Amen! Stuff happens, and some of that stuff royally sucks, but God is there in the midst of all of it. Thanks for sharing it; and that is an awesome picture at the end!

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  19. You are such a good person and I love this post. It's so true...bad things do happen to everybody. God has called you to this moment in time, to suffer, to hurt, to love, to bring good from it however He sees fit. I know I'm not the final judge on these things, but I think you're doing absolutely wonderful.

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  20. So true, and I needed the reminder today, big time. Continuing to pray for you and baby!

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  21. You rock! :) Blessed perspective, blessed momma. Praying for Nicholas!!!

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  22. This is such a beautiful post.

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  23. This is a beautiful reminder, thank you. The book The Shack really addressed this concept well. The older I get, the more I see things happening that I just don't understand, and I've concluded that not everything happens for a reason, but everything can be used for His purpose.

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  24. Such a great perspective. Us good people (and aren't we all?) are called to suffer in the hopes that we use our suffering for good. Perhaps we are suffering for a greater cause that we may never know. I think so.

    And, when you suffer, you allow others the opportunity to serve ;)

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  25. Goodness you amaze me. You are a beautiful person. Dweej! You just really, really, are!

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  26. Completely right, Dwija - when we let ourselves be overwhelmed by despair, the Enemy wins.

    I is so hard to surrender control - that is my greatest struggle, and I have no where near the challenges you are facing.

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  27. Thank you. I really needed to read this.

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  28. All the best, Tom, and thank you for maintaining the site so brilliantly Thanks so much, Tom. Very, very glad to hear it's staying up as an archive.
    Dentist Website Design

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  29. Oh my goodness, after becoming Catholic, the idea of redemptive suffering was so mind blowing to me. The fact that we can do good with the bad in our lives. Wow, what a help to make it through life when things go wrong! I am praying for you and your baby from Washington state! God bless you and your family.

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  30. Wow this post is form over two years ago! Even so, it struck a chord with me when I read it tonight. I was the victim of a trauma when I was 18 (which was only a few years ago...) and it has been really hard for me to heal from it. I used to be so angry and confused with God, not knowing what terrible, unforgivable thing I had done to deserve such a long and painful road to healing. I'm not done healing, but what you wrote is so very true. Bad things happen, they just do. We have to move on through our lives even when the lingering effects try to drag us down. I am so grateful for a merciful Lord who loves us unconditionally though we sometimes act so questionably.

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