They say that everything happens for a reason, and when we struggle with accepting this, it’s because we’re not ready to truly see what that reason may be.
We often use this phrase when marriages end, when pregnancies are lost, or when there are tragedies that we just can’t explain. It’s used in an effort to make us feel better and to encourage us to find peace even within all of the unanswered questions.
No one goes through life unscathed; we all suffer in one way or another.
I grew up with a single mom because my biological father is schizophrenic. It wasn’t always an easy childhood, and I still have memories that can almost bring tears to my eyes, but even though it wasn’t apparent at the time—it did happen for a reason.
I wouldn’t have been drawn into counseling or working with children if I had both parents healthy and present for me. The entire purpose of my life would have been different, so yes, that had to happen so that I could grow in the ways that I did and make a difference in the lives of those I’ve been lucky enough to touch.
But then a few years ago, I lost a pregnancy.
It was a blow that I never anticipated to experience, as I had already successfully carried and delivered a healthy baby. I used to wonder what caused it: was it the car accident, the fall off the ladder, or something else? But in retrospect, the reason didn’t matter. All that did matter was those weekly appointments in which I got to see my baby slowly die and shrink on the screen, until I was told that it had died completely. Because of complications, I ended up having an emergency D & C (Dilation and curettage), but I still remember the way that the blood poured from me, leaving a trail of red across the white linoleum floor of the hospital.
In my pain, I could have lashed out and blamed anyone or everything, including God, but I didn’t.
I was in pain, but I also truly knew that everything happens for a reason, and whether it was that the baby was unhealthy or that I simply was meant to experience a miscarriage, I knew that it had happened for a purpose.
And the same was true when my marriage fell apart.
I never wanted to be divorced. I never wanted to be a single mom figuring out life with her two little sidekicks, but now with the gift of time, I see exactly why that life had to end. I see now that, had I stayed married, I would never have stepped into the life where I was able to actually fulfill my purpose in this life.
Everything happens for a reason; sometimes we just aren’t ready to see what that is.
Sometimes it seems that maybe we are just unwilling to accept it. Things will always happen that challenge us, and we will always get our hearts broken. Sometimes things won’t go as planned, and we will lose people that mean the world to us—but even the painful aspects of life have a way of directing us further on our journey.
To have true faith is to know that things are always as they are meant to be.
It doesn’t matter if we still struggle with the weight of the whys, or the pain of not having what we most desire, because this life isn’t a fairy tale where everything always goes according to plan. Instead, it’s about still getting in line for the crazy roller coaster we all experience, knowing that it wouldn’t be the same without the hairpin turns or the dramatic drops that leave us feeling sick.
It’s all part of the ride.
Yet, just because things happen for a reason doesn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to grieve. We are allowed to let ourselves experience everything that we do in this life and to feel the gravity of choices that we make—and those that are made for us. But, we do owe it to ourselves to not get stuck at the bottom, to not believe that we know all the answers.
Had my second pregnancy been successful, I never would have had my youngest daughter. The spit fire of a little girl who challenges me every day and who I know has an amazing gift that this world is in desperate need of. I didn’t have two children how I had wanted or expected to, but I did end up with precisely the life that I was meant to live.
If we find ourselves struggling with the search for a reason for something, we may just need to let go finding out why. Oftentimes, in order to understand why things had to happen a certain way, all we really need to do is just simply let go, and let life unfold.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, that’s our job to do—but it does have a way of making the lessons more clear.
The reality that we struggle with is that sometimes we need to experience those most painful moments to bring us to our most wonderful ones.
We need to experience heartbreak in order to know love, and we need to let ourselves be formed into the people that we are meant to be—all the while holding onto the belief that there are no accidents, but only redirection.
It may not always make sense, and it may not happen how we wished that it would, but the bottom line is everything does happen for a reason, even if we wished it wasn’t the lesson we had been hoping to learn.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Instagram/Kate Rose
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren