In continuing my count of the One Thousand Gifts that God has blessed me with, I started to think about the things that I don't have. The things that I have never experienced are numerous indeed. Not every list is a Bucket List, a catalog of things that you want to do before you "kick the bucket". There is a list that I began to feel in my being, a Never List. A record of things that I have never gone through. And I praise God for each one.
14:: Never spent the night on a bus stop bench
15:: Never ran over my own dog
16:: Never walked the heartbreaking hallway of infertility
17:: Never went a day without food (unless it was my choice)
18:: Never opened a drawer to discover drugs in my child's room
19:: Never lost either of my parents
20:: Never had a fire in my home
21:: Never had to attend the funeral for one of my siblings
22:: Never had to deal with my parents getting divorced
23:: Never caught my husband with another woman
24:: Never spent one moment wondering where my daughter might be. Heaven is real.
It's Multitudes on Mondays, over at A Holy Experience, and as I think of the things that I have missed out on, I can't help but think of the multitudes of people who have experienced some of these trials. My heart breaks a little with the thought. But, I also know that for every single person that has experience such a heartache, such suffering, there is a way to find joy.
I know this for two reasons. The first is evidenced in the things I have gone through, my list of events that I can't add to the Never List. Because despite the ways I have been sheltered, protected from certain pain, I've experienced some heartache. I've gone through job loss, foreclosure, relocation, and even the death of a child. When I woke up on a cold January morning, and my daughter did not, there was such a desperate finality that I thought would remain. But, God proved me wrong, when over time, and through Him, I found healing.
I also know this, because I believe what I read. I believe what I read when I open my Bible. The testing develops perseverance which leads to a mature and complete person. Complete. God's design is not for us to live in bitterness and fear. The complete includes joy and peace. These trials that we live through, make us complete.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything." James 1:2-4