When It’s Not About You

(This post was originally written on August 21, 2016, and has been awaiting publication.)

What do you do with anger and hurt when something happens, or you’re in a situation and you have to be part of it, but it’s hard? You become aware it’s not about you, but you have to live in it.

That hit me in the face yesterday.

The plan was to come to the cabin, just Mark and I, for an overnight time to cut wood for the winter and just be together. It’s been a few weeks of long days and crazy schedules with little time to cross paths, have dinner together or even talk about bills or anything else. So having a little time alone was going to be a welcome treat.

As we were loading the Jeep and getting the wood trailer ready to go, our son arrived home from football practice. It was our understanding he was picking up his clothes, dropping off his gear, and going with his friend for the weekend. The unraveling of deceit and lies that ensured over the next 20 minutes was unfortunately not a surprise, and left us angry, and not mildly.

As the anger hit, disappointment soared. We needed this time alone.

Mark sent our son to pack some things; he would be coming with us.

During my final trip into the house before leaving I stood in my bedroom, tears coming down my face. “What is this about, God? What?!”

INAY4The words came quickly, “It’s not about you. This is not anything about you.”

Smack! Great. OK, fine.

My mind realizes that apparently this is about my son coming face to face with his deceit and lies, which goes so much deeper than just this one instance, this one weekend.

But I’m still angry and it hurts. And I’ve been so low on fuel the light has come on and I don’t know how many miles are left in the tank. I needed this time.

This is such a familiar place, this “it’s not about you” place. But it has been too frequent for my liking. Not that I’m usually a selfish person really, at least I’d like to think I’m not, but the situations through which I have been reminded “it’s not about you” are hard! And there’s been a lot of them in the past several years. And much of the time they bring anger…and pain.

I am reminded that there is a story far greater than my own desires or ideas that is working in and around every situation for every person. There is a plan. True, we don’t see it. True, there are many who believe it’s all “fate” or how good or bad we are and what we do. But for me, I need to be reminded that “it’s not about you” (me) more often than I want to admit. I need to be reminded that I am not the one in control of it all. Our stories were put in place long ago by Someone far greater and wiser. When I remember that, I have something to hold onto and know that all this has some kind of meaning and it’s not all just spinning in some form of chance.

So it’s not about me. Yep. Got it.

But I’m still angry, and it still hurts. So now what? I live in the middle of it all, it’s not going away, and it’s hard. I don’t have answer. I persevere. What else can I do when it’s not about me?

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