This time of year I am dogged by this question which refuses to go away. Perhaps you are plagued by similar feelings as you glance at the lives others are living this season.
The holidays lead us to inevitably compare our lot against that of others. Comparison leads me to look to Heaven with those profound two emotion-charged words. The sentiment birthing them: “so what did I do to deserve this?”
I am certain that I did precious little to warrant this life I lead. I had virtually no hand in determining who my parents would be. That they would unconditionally loved each other and me was an unwarranted gift.
My Father was sweet, kind and hilarious. My Mom was and is honest, loving and affirming. Neither one of them descended from such functional homes. The odds were stacked against me growing up with invincible optimism, confidence and joy.
Despite my gender, I was not abandoned. I was not tasked with fetching water which would preclude my receiving an education. I was not married off or sold into slavery at 13 as is the horrific reality of others.
I graduated from High School and thankfully was accepted to a university for which my parents shouldered the total expense. My parents persevered through my academic mediocrity, held their breath and prayed me through to graduation. Then instead of admonishing me to quit while I was ahead, they even encouraged me to attend seminary.
I married a good person, something you cannot truly know until months or years after the cake is cut. He is my polar opposite as anyone who is even a passing acquaintance of ours will recognize. I was engaged to someone else as was he and we both called things off two years before dating in seminary.
We had no trouble conceiving unlike so many thousands of couples do. Our daughter was born with no defects.
Nearly two years later our son was born in perfect health. Although the missionary salary John received would have qualified us for government cheese, we eventually paid off the medical bills for both of our children.
I have been blessed with the rarest of friends and family, those whom I always hunched would go to the mat for me. I hate that I know how unshakable God’s love through them is.
Unlike so many I have met whose support system evaporated in the darkness, mine pressed in closer to remind me of the light inside when I felt it was forever extinguished. Whispering gently and patiently that I was beloved of God even if my life was indeed upended.
I am still a wife and a mother, two of my most favorite roles. I sit here this Saturday listening to Jack play some crazy video game and my John work the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I am not cold, hungry, penniless, thirsty or desperate for peace. And I am lead to ask, “Why me?”