My husband rolls his eyes every time I say “It is what it is”, and he consistently replies with “of course it is”. It has become a little inside joke between the two of us, I say it quite often and he rolls his eyes equally as often. We get a good laugh every time. I can see his point – because if you are just looking at the surface of that statement – he is right. But if, like me, you dig deeper than needed into every word, phrase, and tonality of a situation, you know that I mean; “It is what it is” has a much deeper meaning. What the phrase means to me is… I was in the right place at the right time to hear or see whatever caused me to use the phrase in the first place… and because of that divine timing – I am always looking for the life lesson in almost every situation I experience.
“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.”
– Angel Flonis Harefa
My husband reacts more seriously and with better understanding when he hears me say “Everything happens for a reason”. I can’t (or don’t want to) really see or understand any other viewpoint, although I have had many a conversation with people who do not believe this – they simply believe lots of “stuff” happens for no good reason – but that is subject for another day.
In this post I want to share with you a great experience I had a few weeks ago. My family and I were visiting some friends in north Georgia – it was a beautiful, yet cold December day and our friend decided to take us out for a spin. We loaded into his 4 wheeled, off road beauty called a “Gator”. Yes, it is made by John Deere, and it is green (thank you Jason Aldean, Joe Diffie and others for reminding us of the importance and fun a big green machine can bring to our lives). We were off on our annual great exploration of Mother Nature’s updates since our last visit. We rode around bundled up tightly, our hair blowing in the cold wind, cheeks red with cold and windburn, but breathing in the vast natural beauty of majestic mountain views from some of the highest points we could find. We adventured around for nearly an hour and as we were headed back, our friend wanted to show us one more place. A place he didn’t normally always venture toward being that it was a quite a bit off the beaten path. There was a long, winding gravel road – inclines and declines – it was a crazy ride to get all the way back there, but we enjoyed every bump and scare! As we were approaching the driveway to this cabin and property that were for sale, we realized there was a car at the bottom of the hill – someone else looking at the property. We were just looking for fun, so we didn’t think much about it until we drove up right beside the vehicle and a husband and wife got out of the car. They were somewhat composed, but we could clearly see they were concerned about something. I wouldn’t say they were panicked, at least they didn’t appear that way, but they were out of sorts to say the least. We quickly learned that they had followed their realtor to this property and after looking inside and out, their realtor left with a heavy foot on the gas pedal, worried she wouldn’t make it up the steep gravel hill. She did, and apparently she never looked back. Her clients were at the bottom of the hill and were STUCK!
We had come upon a husband, his wife and their 3 year old child in a vehicle at the bottom of this valley property, surrounded by impassible terrain, a thriving rolling creek, and a steep hill their vehicle couldn’t successfully climb. Add to this scary situation the fact that there is no cell service in this particular part of this mountain area. They did not know what to do. It was late afternoon, darkness would be upon them soon, they had no communication, no ability to call a tow truck, and before we came into sight, they were contemplating what to do next. Can you imagine? They didn’t even know exactly where they were. They could start walking, but they didn’t know if they had a 15 minute walk or hours to walk to cell service or help. (Turns out they would have had to walk about 45 minutes, at the least, for either of those things).
“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.”
— Oprah Winfrey
After we talked for a few moments, the husband said something that made my heart smile – HUGE smile! He explained how they had already unsuccessfully tried to get up the hill a couple of times. With each attempt they slid down the gravel with unforgiving cliffs on both sides of them. They weren’t excited at the prospect of trying that again, so the wife, sitting behind the steering wheel, bowed her head and prayed. She prayed for safety for her family, for divine intervention, and she prayed that God would send help. She said, “Amen”, lifted her head and there we were, driving down the gravel drive in our big green Gator, waving like friendly mountain folks do (I am just guessing here…but that sounds about right).
Long story short, we were able to help them. My friend was able to take them out of the valley into an area with cell service and just as it was turning too dark to see anything, the tow truck arrived and pulled them to safety.
I tell this story because no one really did anything remarkable, we were just in the right place, at the right time. I am certainly not the hero of the story (my friend who drove us there is the closest to a hero, for sure!), but I don’t ever want to lose that wonderful, positive ability to look at a situation and know that it happened for a reason. For me, this situation gave me the opportunity to show compassion and love to a family in need. I was able to share with all around me that day that my faith and my love for God (and His for me) can and does get me through EVERY situation! I was able to share why I’m honored and proud to be a Christian, and that I believed whole heartedly – without a doubt – that my new friend’s prayers were heard and answered by a God that will use extreme measures to show His love. I don’t believe we showed up by chance. I know that God wanted to get someone’s attention that cold afternoon, and He did! I don’t claim to know this family’s story or current situation, but I know in that moment, they experienced and received God’s grace through the power of prayer! It was an opportunity for my family to be spiritually strengthened, my friends to experience a situation where it is difficult for any onlooker to say that was just a fluke – or a chance happening. I believe lives were changed that day. I know mine was. I hope to keep in touch with this family and one day hear and share how much this experience impacted them, because I’m certain it was profound!
Life Lessons Learned:
1. There is life changing opportunity in every situation. Look for a “What could this mean?” and “Why am I here to experience it?”
2. You can be the catalyst to making that positive difference in someone’s life – it could be your own! Determine what you learned and ask yourself, “Why did this happen and how can I use this experience for something positive?”
3. Take ACTION! When given an opportunity to add value in any way, shape or form – DO IT!
4. Everything really does happen for a reason!
“Do you believe that there are no coincidences in life? Everything happens for a reason. Every person we meet has a roll in our life, either it is big or small. Some will hurt, betray and make us cry. Some will teach us a lesson, not to change us, but to make us to be a better person.”
— Cynthia Rusli
Until next time friends, spend every moment you can building yourself, adjusting your habits and actions until you are truly experiencing consistent joy and happiness. Plant seeds of positivity into others, and do it often. Life is much too short to be wasted on anything else! Work toward figuring out your purpose on this earth for the short time you are here, and if you don’t yet know your purpose, keep walking, keep building, keep planting seeds of greatness until you do.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.