LIFE SUCKS? – NOT FOREVER!
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Someone famous once
said that, but I am a realist and personally do not know many folks who
follow that advice. As a matter of fact, some of the folks that I know who
have experienced a “lemony” life have made whiskey sours, lemon drop
martinis, and lemon schnapps, just to name a few! More times than one
others have even ventured to go to medical doctors and get prescription
drugs such as prozac, xanax, seroquel, zoloft, just to name a few! The
lists could go on and on, but my limited knowledge of ‘fixes’ for a
“lemony” life won’t permit it at this time.
The remedies seem to work for a time, but eventually the ingredients in any and all of these become physiological and/or psychological necessities. Thus, the tradeoff ends up being more devastating than the actual cause for the “lemony” life.
Jane (fictitious name) was a very popular, career-minded woman in her mid 40’s. She had grown children, grandchildren, and a loving husband. Jane’s mindset was one of determination, fortitude and gratitude. One day, though, her settled life of comfort in mid-life took a “lemony” turn. She received a call that her only son had been killed instantly in an automobile accident. Jane was totally devastated. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jane had been a Christian for the most part of her life. She had gone to church, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, read her Bible, and prayed for her children daily. The call was one that she could not fathom!
The days and weeks that followed this event began to take their toll on Jane. She found herself, first of all, mad with God, and blaming Him, of all people! She lashed out at her husband of almost 30 years and her two daughters. She decided that prayer and the Bible were not sufficient for her distress, so she turned to the bottle. Then, she turned to prescription pills, which she felt justified in taking. Her doctor of many years knew her anguish and pain so he prescribed her the needed antidepressants and nerve pills that he knew would help her work through her loss.
So began a series of life-changing events. Jane began to find the communication lines faltering, not only with her husband, but with her girls as well. She worked hard at her job, then came home in the evenings to find her husband either passed out or irate with her for being late. She would immediately fix herself a drink, take a pill, and tell herself that she would chill out for a while, only to find herself repeatedly going back to the bottle for ‘one more’ drink, until she herself would pass out.
One day at work a man who she knew very little about approached her and asked her to have lunch with him. Surprisingly, she accepted. As they ate lunch and talked about life, Jane shared with Tom(fictitious name) the lemons that had begun to make her life sour. He felt her pain and asked her if he might give her some comfort. Again, she accepted, and found herself in bed with him, more than once.
Guilt began to flood Jane's heart and mind as she found ways to lie to her husband about her nights of working late.
Unbeknownst to Jane, her husband had also become involved in an extramarital affair with a woman at his jobsite.
So, the accusations were strong in the heat of arguments until finally one day it was evident that a separation was the only answer.
Neither of their affairs amounted to any more than that—an affair. Jane continued to drink and take pills until one day, in desperation, she tried to overdose. She called a friend and her friend came to her rescue.
After a season in rehab, Jane came to herself. She began to have a different mindset, one where she allowed God entrance again. Jane realized that all those years of living right, doing right, and being right, outweighed the times of agony. Yes, rehab helped to a point. She found the fifth stage of grief, acceptance, and was able to come to grips with the loss of her son in a way that she had not previously been able to do.
But the incident that opened her heart and mind to God again was the fact that Jane accepted herself for who she was, now. She was a needy person. As she reflected on her past, all the years of doing right seemed minuscule in comparison to what she now deemed necessary for doing right.
Jane read Psalm 51 over and over, contemplating the depth of remorse that King David must have felt when he penned those words. As she read each verse, she began to let it personally penetrate her heart and mind. Jane cried out to God as she had not allowed herself to do in many years. Suddenly, she felt cleansing, an inner cleansing, an unexplainable cleansing, as if she were being washed inside with a warm wet cloth.
The presence of God became real to Jane again, and with that presence came new vision.
Even though Jane and her husband were not able to work out their differences, she found herself being able to work out her differences with God, which brought her an inner peace that she had not known in years.
Life sucks? Not forever! Jane moved on with life and was more active than ever before, not in religion, but in relationships. She reached out to those less fortunate, to those who had found life handed them lemons at times as well. She purposed in her heart to be a people helper, for she found that in helping others she helped herself.
D. S. Mullis, Author
Ms. Mullis is a freelance writer, and author of The “Spicer” of Life, Book of Inspirational Poetry, which can be purchased online through www.thespiceroflife.com