Life is hard. It is unfair. Things happen unexpectedly. I remember my mother telling me this as a child, which most likely incited pouting. As an adult, I sometimes feel as if my only option is to drop to my knees and cry. Or pray. Preferably the latter, but for me the former occurs all too often and usually before it.
According to my granddaddy, when I was a very little girl, I woke up one morning and began parading through the house, repeating “It’s not fair, it’s not fair,” over and over again. No one ever really understood what initiated that declaration, but over the years, Granddaddy has used it to support the fact that I’ve always been intuitively aware of and ultra-sensitive to the world’s injustices.
I contemplate life’s inequalities practically every day and want to dedicate my life’s work to confronting them. I always figured Granddaddy’s was as good an explanation as any for my outburst as a little girl, but I never really recognized life’s unfairness on a personal level. Recently, on days when I feel it affecting me more intimately than it has in the past (and more personally than my overarching belief that we are all interconnected and one person’s struggle belongs, really, to us all), I remember still that I am beyond blessed. I love my life and everyone in it. And, while I cannot control the actions or thoughts of others, I can choose my own and will strive to do so with love and grace.
My dear friend whom I love so much, Celesta, sent me a reminder of the fruits of such hard times tonight. Interestingly, verses 2-8 in the 1st chapter of James have reappeared countless times in different ways throughout my life since January. It makes sense, especially because I started my job search then, which has so far proven to be very frustrating and sometimes disheartening. James says:
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
I am thankful today for the love of friends, and for reminders that our struggles are not in vain, even on the days when we wake up thinking, “It’s not fair, it’s not fair.”