If you have ever had a migraine (or any really bad headache, I guess), I think you will agree with me that the best feeling in the world is the moment of reprieve after it fades, the moment when you realize that, right now, you do NOT have a headache.
As the Facebook reflections have been coming in, I’ve tried to look back as well. And what I realized is that this year was a “not having a headache” year. In other words, it was a year that didn’t totally suck, that wasn’t filled with non-stop pain and the inability to focus on anything outside of that pain. This was a year in which I could breathe, and could appreciate the small joys and blessings because I wasn’t going through hell.
As a Christian, I don’t believe that we are meant to have it easy in life. And I like the *idea* of karma, but I don’t “believe” in it. My theology tells me that life on this earth is not meant to go well all the time, that sometimes the bad guy DOES win, and that some people who don’t seem to “deserve” it will have good things come to them and a life of ease. In other words, I know that there is no guarantee that the year ahead will be an “easy” or “happy” one for me. I also know that focusing more on my blessings and less on my troubles does seem to help; maybe part of it is that I’m in my forties now and trying to be okay with who I am, even the things I can’t stand about myself. Maybe, just maybe, all that therapy is starting to pay off or maybe I just realize that I have people who love me, and that is enough.
I am thankful to God for the year behind me, and for the years behind it, even though they held so much difficulty and loss and sadness. Just as it’s impossible to understand how amazing it is to be free of a migraine unless you’ve actually HAD a migraine, the good moments are not as rich for someone who has never been through a deep and seemingly endless valley as they are for those of us who have.
I am blessed. Blessed when things are going well, and blessed when they are not. The older I get, the more I understand the lyrics to “It is well with my soul“, and the more I am able to accept the fact that storms will come.
Of course, I don’t want any more storms…not for myself, not for the people I love…but I’ve been through them before…I know they end, sometimes sooner, sometimes far later than we care for. For now, I will give thanks every day for this time of reprieve, and will trust that whatever comes next, I will be okay, okay because I still have people who love me and a God who has never given up on me. At the end of the day, that is all that any of us really need.