I have found that the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned come from life’s experience. As I have traversed those rocky roads I would pray for it to be over. My prayers were not answered.
In “90 Minutes in Heaven” Don Piper was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident and 90 minutes later was very much alive. His subsequent excruciating recovery had him praying to die and go back to the peace that he found in heaven. His prayers were not answered.
When you pray and you don’t experience the relief that you seek then either you accept that there is a blessing or a lesson to learn or you question your faith. What kind of God would allow this suffering? In Don’s case his unrelenting pain pushed him into a deep depression.
We’ve been talking for the last couple of weeks about how to pull out of those dark places. As I read Don’s story I believe a lesson that I needed to learn became clear.
I withdrew from college last week…something that I had been excited about for months. When I realized what would not happen if I continued (I couldn’t obtain licenses in the states that I wanted to practice in) I was very depressed. It seemed to be one more strike against me. (Unemployment, no job prospects, my Dad’s death, business failures, living away from “home.”) I turned 55 and my life appeared to be on a downward slide. I hit my limit.
As I read “90 Minutes in Heaven” I was hoping to find peace in my Dad’s passing. I found that almost immediately. What I didn’t expect was my reaction to Don’s recovery process.
I hate to see anyone in pain and his seemed to be tortuous. He was connected to something called a Ilizarov frame that lengthened bones in his leg. Pins were turned daily causing additional pain. He describes being in constant pain…never abating. Yet what he discovered was his healing experience gave him the credibility to help others dealing with the same type of recovery.
What I came to understand in my life after reading this is that I am meant to help others as they go through the same situations that I am. I am not a psychologist or counselor…I am a real life, down to earth, living example that we can survive anything that life throws at us. And in the end we are in a better place then before…if we pay attention to the lessons.
When I put my goals together before college fell through…college was 4th on my list however was going to dominate my time. Everything else that was more important was going to be pushed to the back of the schedule to accommodate studying. With it now off my list I can dedicate the time to accomplishing the goals that are most important to me: 1)Moving back to the Pacific Northwest 2)Generating income 3)Getting fit & healthy. (My goals are in more detail than this…but you get the idea.)
It took me reading a book to help me see the lesson in my life. That book “called” me to read it. Here are some other Simple Steps that might help you if you are looking for answers:
- Practice being “still.” Whether you enjoy meditation or want to “Have a Conversation with You” (Simple Step #2 from the book) the idea here is to quiet your mind and let the answers come to you.
- Talk to your pastor, minister or priest. An outside opinion from someone you trust and who shares your faith helps provide some perspective to your very personal experience.
- Keep a journal or diary. Record a little every day. Whether you see the events of the day as big or small, record them. When you re-read them after a week or more you start to see the trends. What are they pointing to?
Whatever you choose to do start immediately. A Simple Step may actually be a bold step for you and in that forward movement you begin your journey to recovery. I know that I have.
With love & peace,