I¡¯ll never forget the last worst day of my life. It was the day I realized that I probably could never have what I most longed for, something most people I knew seemed to take for granted.
Without it, my life stretched out before me like an endless road, and I had no idea how I was going to endure the long, arduous journey¡Ša journey that seemed to involve no joy or peace. But rather, only a haunting, hollow feeling.
It was a day I wanted to crawl into bed, cover up, and sink into the oblivion of slumber, of nothingness.
But the baby cried, the preschooler wanted to be read a story, and the dryer buzzed, signaling an end to a cycle.
The day couldn¡¯t have gotten worse, but it did anyway.
When I returned to the apartment, children and laundry in tow, I found I¡¯d locked myself out, and I had no key. My husband was away, working on a construction site, and I had no way to get a hold of him. I wanted to cry then and there, but my aversion to being embarrassed activated my self control.
Finally, the property manager was able to let us in. I looked around at the chaotic mess that greeted me, and again I wanted to just crawl into bed.
Visions of my husband coming home to crying children and a tornado-struck apartment stopped me, however.
It was then that I decided that just because I couldn¡¯t do anything to attain happiness for myself, didn¡¯t mean I couldn¡¯t do some things to help everyone else be happy.
So I set about, organizing and cleaning our little home, and then I went all out and prepared a steak dinner. My husband appreciated it so much that he took us all out later that evening!
That was a turning point for me. I started to live for opportunities to do something for others, and I experienced an inexplainable joy whenever the chance to serve others presented itself.
One day, a few years later, I was on a field trip with a large group of elementary school students. Our bus was hit from behind, and many students suffered from minor head injuries, whiplash, or shock.
Even though I had whiplash myself, there was a crisis at hand, and I set about administering first aid to the students. Only one other teacher had a first aide certificate, and we were at it for quite a long time. It took the ambulance over an hour to arrive.
As I offered ice packs, handed out blankets, propped up feet, and comforted shaken students and parents, I felt more alive than I had in a long time. My spirit seemed to radiate from within.
A colleague commented, ¡°You look better than I¡¯ve ever seen you,¡±
There have been many times, before and since, that I have experienced deep and abiding joy as a result of having the chance to serve others.
But an unexpected blessing has come about, as well. As my focus changed from myself to the Lord and to others, I began to grow and change. I found new purpose in my life, and have been surprised to find that I now am not able to only endure life, but to enjoy, and even crave it.
I have found Galatians 6:9 to be true: ¡°Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up¡± (NIV).
The road before me does not seem so long any more. In fact, it doesn¡¯t seem long enough!! I wish I could turn back the clock, to regain some of the lost years. But since I can¡¯t, I¡¯ll just enjoy the delicious present and future, and give it all I¡¯ve got.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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