When I was a child, I used to pray every night. Feverish prays, hoping that if I could name all the worst things in the world, they wouldn’t happen to.
Dear God, please don’t let anyone in my family die. Please stop the drought. Please don’t let the cattle rustlers steal any more cattle.
Can you tell I grew up on a farm?
I kept thinking if I could stop all those very bad things from happening, then I would be happy. Then everything would be okay.
My brother died. The drought did keep going. And the cattle rustlers keep stealing.
And still, everything was okay. And still, I found happiness.
That thing – the thing you fear the most – or that you feel is the worst thing right now?
It could end up being the very best thing.
It could end up being a ginormous blessing.
It could be a gift.
Right here – in this moment – we don’t have the whole view. We can only guess that this Thing – that Very Terrible Thing – is the worst thing for us. We don’t have all the information, the knowledge and the goodness of being able to look back on it… to see it was right for us, and the best thing.
When my brother died, I thought I would never be happy again. I was wrong. I did find happiness again – a happiness that was more beautiful, richer, deeper and profound than I had known before.
When I broke up with boyfriends, and my heart felt like it was broken on the kerb and I was suffocating with sadness – I could not possibly know then that it was taking me closer to finding my true love.
When my parents were devastated to have to sell my grandmother’s cottage, they didn’t know that it gave us the dream to buy it instead, and the gift of moving back to our homelands when our baby is born. (We’re in the process of settling now!)
When a boy didn’t love me back – I was given the gift of space, and the gift of promise that one day, the right boy would. And he does. And oh, he is so very, very right in a way that first boy could only pale-into-beige mistitched comparison.
When I didn’t win that prize – my life turned out superbly anyway.
When something broke, or was lost, it gave me the gift of the future, and where I needed to be.
When something I wanted desperately to happen didn’t? I realise now I didn’t actually need it the way I thought I did.
I see now that for all the times I fought against the universe, and raged that it hadn’t given me what I wanted – that it was giving me what I truly needed all along.
It has given me medicine, healing, patience, compassion, rich spirit gifts… and it has given me myself as the woman I was born to be, and the life I was meant to lead.
This is a song for you… wherever you are… broken-hearted, lost, or embroiled in That Big Terrible Thing.
I want you to know that everything will be okay – in fact it will be utterly beautiful. And that it’s okay if you don’t believe me. I have enough faith to build a boat for all of us to float in.
What could feel like the Worst Thing In The World right now… could be the biggest miracle you’ve ever known.
I believe in you.