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Dealing with the chapters in our personal book of life

POSTED: July 2, 2012 7:00 p.m.

When we were younger, most everything was good.

We made it out of high school and went to college, trade school, the military or the work force. Many married and settled down, perhaps bought a home and raised a family. Many of us moved far away, while others stayed nearby, close to family.

We were young and inexperienced. Most of us had not yet encountered disappointment, sorrow, disease, career changes, the birth of children or the loss of someone close to us. We were gullible and believed that life would always be happy and mostly carefree. We thought we knew most of the answers before we lived out the questions.

But everyone who lives long enough will experience difficulties that are not easy to understand. At those times, the pieces simply will not fit. Even to those who are believers, God simply won’t make sense. Most of us are inclined to think at those moments, “Why me, why now?” We find out that “Why?” is often left unanswered for years or perhaps a lifetime.

I have always thought of milestone events and crossroads as chapters in my book of life. Sounds like a daytime serial, doesn’t it? But I am confident the chronology of our lives is woven together and spells out our travels in compartmentalized form. Some chapters are brief, while others span a lifetime of continuous struggles with good and bad.

Even for believers entangled in life’s crises, it is common to feel frustration with God. We keep asking “Why?” Even Jesus asked it from the cross. Whether we are believers or not, many of us feel abandoned and even betrayed when things go wrong and we just don’t understand. When the hurt is deep enough, such as losing a loved one, we are often told that it was God’s will or that they are in a better place. Many of us will nod as if we understand, but the “better place” for our loved one is by our side, and that we want God’s will to not have taken them from us. We may have known that one day that wonderful chapter of our life would come to a close, but never wanted to think about it. Now that the time had come, it was much too soon for many of us.

Many of us find it easy to deal with the successes of life, but most of us have a difficult time dealing with life’s disappointments and tragedies. Even those of solid faith are many times left with confusion, disillusionment, non-understanding, sorrow and difficulties.

Stephen ministers are trained in the belief that caring changes lives. They are here to nurture the faith of the wounded, confused, downhearted and disillusioned. They can help make a difference for those who are asking how they deal with this huge chapter in their lives.

If you or someone you know needs help finding answers, a concerned caregiver is a phone call away. A Stephen minister will walk with you to find answers to your questions and help you find strength in handling your needs. Stephen Ministry is confidential, free of charge and gender sensitive. We can help you to find closure and comfort through faith-based values.

Call 320-7840 for an appointment. Learn more at stephenministry.org.

Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.

 

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