We hear this saying all the time and I am a firm believer, but unfortunately for most it doesn’t really make us feel better. Why is that? Of course nobody wants to hear these words muttered when something terrible happens…. In fact tell a mother who just lost her child that “everything happens for a reason” and she’s likely to strangle you. It’s a tough thing to grasp. Some prefer “God works in mysterious ways” or something of the like. Being a Pagan (and note that I do not speak for all pagans here), I believe we are the makers of our own destiny. What we do today affects every aspect of our tomorrows, we have free will and a mind that causes us to think illogically at times. We throw away all remnants of our primal instincts to do something we just WANT to do rather than what we NEED to do. Would this be in your God’s “plan”? If he did in fact, give us free will it doesn’t make sense that he would have our destinies planned out now does it? I think not. It’s hard to look back at your roughest time in life whether it be a struggle with an addiction or a series of unfortunate events like losing a child, and think hey that happened for a reason. It’s a GOOD thing that my child died, or it’s a good thing that I was a heroin addict and ruined my life because of course those aren’t good things. However lets look back on these scenarios briefly:
Jane Doe’s child has cancer at a very young age, he’s struggling to live and going through routine chemotherapy treatments. He’s gradually losing more and more weight and struggling to keep his food down. He isn’t responding to the chemo, Jane doe and her husband are at their breaking points, fighting and having full blown screaming matches in front of their son, he feels like it’s his fault they are mad at each other. He doesn’t even remember a time when he was healthy anymore and can barely get out of bed. He is just barely existing now and then the day comes when the little boy dies.
He is no longer laying there day after day feeling sicker than anyone should, his parents, too distraught over the loss of their child to fight anymore have come together in the mourning of their son. It’s a new day and yes, it hurts to lose someone especially someone you created, but there is a small glimmer of a bright side here. He died for a reason, He died so he would no longer be in pain. So, why did he get cancer? Of course this is a made-up story so there could of been a million reasons and sometimes we can’t exactly pin point them, but they are there somewhere affecting someone around us. the fact is that little boys hard times and eventual death affected those close to him. His parents came together in mourning, they drew strength from those sleepless nights and fondly looked back at their son living. No it’s not fair, but these things happen so tell me why do we dwell on it? Of course there will be a mourning period, of course it will hurt, but for how long? That’s up to us. It’s important to look at these hard times and take something from them, learn from them, not dwell on the what-ifs and what-could-be.
Okay Scenario #2
John Doe (no relation to Jane) is a great student, he graduated high school with honors, he’s a talented football player and is attending one of the best colleges on a full ride scholarship. One night his roommate talks him into going to a party to let off some steam before their big exam. After a few hours of pleading, John finally decides to go. John drinks more than he’s used to and soon the whole room is spinning, he is offered some heroin to “make him feel better” and in his drunken state, accepts it. John awakens the next morning freezing with a pounding hangover. His roommate hands him another hit and he takes it any thing to make the cold chills stop. John begins associating his heroin use with a good nights sleep and begins using regularly even though he knows it’s bad and wants to stop the withdrawals have him running right back, until he is eventually stealing from family, selling his belongings and bouncing place to place to score his next hit.
Unfortunately, for most heroin users this path of destruction leads to death, but in this case John’s worried parents enroll him in a top rehab facility and he is able to recover. This Case is different than the little boys of course. In this case John made a decision to go to the party, to drink too much, and to take his first hit of heroin which lead to his unraveling. Today John speaks in a group setting to young heroin addicts, he shares his story and helps lead them to recovery. John’s book smarts and new found street smarts have led him to become one of the most well respected speakers for heroin addicts out there and his story has saved the lives of many other users. So, Please, Tell me that this didn’t happen for a reason.
If you WERE an addict, if you have fallen on hard times, if you made a mistake, it’s important to remember that all of these things are past-tensed they do not define you today. They do, however, serve as a lesson learned and a lesson of the strength you have inside you to overcome any obstacle. Those things shape who you are today and have shaped the outcome of every situation. I myself have lost a child. Of course some would argue that it wasn’t a child because “it” was still in the womb, however that’s a whole other debate. I see now that I lost that baby for a reason. You see, the baby’s father was abusive, he was also an avid meth user, and ended up in prison after causing my miscarriage. I would never abort a pregnancy and although I did mourn the loss of my child and still wonder from time to time what it would be like to have a son or daughter today, I KNOW in my gut the life that child would have would not be the life I would have wanted for my baby. I would probably have stayed with that loser, maybe been tempted to make and sell meth with him to pay for our needs our child would have only seen his father behind bars, perhaps would have only seen me behind bars as well. S/he may have even been beaten by my ex or he could have killed me, leaving my child mother-less. You see, It hurt a LOT when I lost my baby, I was inconsolable, and now, I see it as a good thing. I would have never met my husband I would never have had the luxury of sitting on my couch at 5:30 am blogging, let alone have the means of caring for another living being. It happened for a reason and that reason is that child didn’t deserve to have that terrible man for a father.
If you want to get technical and throw down terrible things that do happen to children I can explain one of the worst for you, because I, as so many others, have gone through it. Child Molestation. Does the child deserve it? OH HELL NO OF COURSE NOT! Is it a good thing that it happens? NO. Just listen to my story.. My First memory of being molested takes place at my grandmas house. She had a big house on the lake and the whole family was there for a get-together. One of our extended family members took me to the bathroom because I had to go potty and I was going through a phase where I didn’t want to go alone. (probably because I was being molested but like I said this is the first memory I really have of it). I remember not wanting him to take me, but the adults were busy setting up tables and cooking and my mom shooed me away and told me to go with him (no, I do not blame her even in the slightest if she would have known she would have killed him) I remember exactly what I was wearing, a matching red plaid skirt and vest with a black shirt under it and no shoes (as always) he took me to the bathroom and I went pee and he asked if I wanted to play a game that boys and girls play. I remember not wanting to play the game but I did because he said he would tell my mom that I bit him. to a 4 year old being told on is a big deal so I obliged. I’ll spare you the graphic details of the encounter, however there were many more that followed. For years I dwelled on this. Why me? what sick bastard does this to a child. What if I wanted it? What if I did something to make him think I wanted it? Now, I know that isn’t true at all, except the fact that he’s a sick bastard. I still have night terrors, I still lock the door when I’m in the bathroom, I still have trouble even showering with my HUSBAND and sometimes I have trouble being intimate with him because of the thoughts that will creep up in my head brought on by something he says. There is a bright side to this story. I’m a strong woman, I’ll be damned if anyone is going to touch me without my permission. I’ll be damned if someone is going to try to touch my child, because I never got the “stranger danger” talk, let alone the relatives or people you might know talk. I didn’t know that was wrong and my kids WILL know. They WILL know they will NEVER get in any trouble by coming to me and telling me something isn’t right, and they will never go into a bathroom with anyone else. Without that happening to me personally, I would be in a “that kind of stuff wouldn’t happen in MY family” state that most of you are probably in. You would probably trust your nephew or cousin to take your child to the restroom or play with them out of eyesight alone. I never will, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. They will know what happened to me and they will know what to do, I know the signs now and I’m stronger because of it. It happened for a reason, and that reason is to protect my future children and to have a voice and be strong enough to fight anyone who tries to hurt me or my family in anyway. I don’t want any child to have to go through that, but if we as adults to not come together and learn the signs and stop caring about people thinking we are over-protective, this kind of thing is going to continue to happen and unfortunately these children are going to grow up coming to the same realization I have the hard way.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s true in it’s entirety, everything does most certainly happen for a reason.