Not a fan of this saying, it invites doom. I heard it the other day in conversation with a friend who was excited about what she and her family were embarking on, however by the end of our chat, her mood soured. Pessimism hung in the air. It was a sudden reversal because, as she said, she was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. How sad, looking at a blessing and being skeptical of it! I used to be very afraid of good things when they happened in my life. I was afraid to be happy, I didn’t trust it. I was fearful something would happen to jettison me out of this good place. Guess what? It usually did. Thankfully that was many years ago. I don’t even recognize that person anymore, she was full of fear, and at times terrified what the next day would bring.
How did I pass through this stage in life? I turned to faith. I was accustomed to praying when times, got tough. And there’s the problem. Turning to my faith only when times were bad, instead of when life was at full tilt. I started to incorporate the practice of “being thankful,” I had no idea what being thankful was. I had taken a doomsday approach to my faith rather than expecting God to deliver the good, and sustain me there. We all know life is not going to be smooth sailing, but I was living in fear and waiting for the other shoe to drop, all the time. Looking for the bad in life is never good, because you know what they say…you go looking, you will find it.
I was sailing through life up to this point, then a family loss, a chronic illness and financial challenges, took hold. My happy outlook was sucked right out of me and I now lived in fear. I was a young mother and wife, terrified, wearing my problems like a heavy oversized coat, dragging me down, trudging along. My problems out there for the world to see. Hoping, just hoping there was some relief coming my way. I didn’t know how to find the answers for myself, so the answers found me. That’s the power of God, when you least expect it.
Here’s how my outlook turned around. I have a dear friend who is very passionate about the Lord, she is an amazing prayer warrior, and God put her in my path and I am so happy He did. I was in a dark place, and she knew it. We became quick friends. She sensed my sadness almost immediately, and knew what to do. She was a God-send. We’d have endless conversations, while walking, about her faith, the faith that lifts sadness away and delivers a life we were meant to experience. Really? I needed to know more. I learned that God wants a relationship with us, and wants us to count on him during the good times, not just the bad. What I had was a part-time relationship, only turning to Him when I was in the trenches. I was the driver of my life, but my vehicle had no wheels. This was no way to get on the road to recovery. I was grinding to a stop before I left the driveway. I was not celebrating or recognizing any of the good things going on around me.
Where I stood, I was ill-equipped to embrace the happiness in life, I didn’t trust or appreciate it, because of fear. I was looking around the corner for that damn shoe to just kick me back into the abyss. I needed to trust that while happiness is what we strive for, Grace is what gets us through the bad patches. As I think back to the conversation I had, I will check-in with my friend and share with her that good times don’t need to fade into sadness, cast away the fear that dampens your enthusiasm. Instead establish a good faith base as a friend once recommended. I have relied on it ever since and its real power. It sustains me.