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Highs and lows. Why does God allow this roller coaster??

May 23, 2017

Tonight is one of my most favorite nights of the year. Tonight I get to stand in the back ground and watch my son award high school seniors with a scholarship in the memory of his grandfather, Martin J. O’Neill, Sr. for whom Hope and Friendship Foundation was created for. Tonight I get to watch one of my dreams become reality. All of the other outreaches require so much work and time and sweat and sometimes blood (I move too fast and that often causes “incidents”) and tears. This one is one that I get to sit back and watch, teary eyed, and enjoy. Giving assistance to those who are choosing to continue on in their education or training to pave a path for what they are called to do is a humbling experience.

Tonight my heart smiled…..and then…..

Before the night began I received a call from a friend who was reaching out from a dark place. “I have no one to talk to, I need to talk. I’m in a very dark place.” Though I didn’t want to I offered to stop the fun of this feeling and join him tonight and just be the ears he so needed. We set up for tomorrow and I pushed it back just a bit so I could still experience the moment. Then as we were enjoying the company of others who were bequeathing scholarships and enjoying the jubilant feeling of granting assistance someone told me of the explosion in Manchester at a concert and the death toll. I felt the gut blow. A crisis was happening as we were laughing and enjoying the night. How is that fair?

As we joke, enjoy the moment and I soak in a brief opportunity to be with my a part of my heart others were being notified that a part of their heart has passed.

How is this in God’s plan?

As I watched my son on the stage talking about his grandfather and knowing that in 4 days I will watch him cross a stage accepting his doctorate I couldn’t feel carefree, someone was struggling within my corner of the world and so many were being notified of the death of their loved one in a corner of the world just over the ocean. It was a heavy cloud and I was heart torn.

Trying to rejoice in the moment I was watching, while anticipating the meeting of the ache of the one who was feeling the darkness was closing in right here, and thinking of the parents who were being greeted at the door with hopefully a Chaplain or Officer who would deliver the most painful news they could ever imagine entering their ears and heart.

Why does one person get to rejoice at victory while another suffers with loss?

Why does a prayer get answered for one when another is denied?

Why does the pain and trials seem to find their way into the same path over and over again when another household seems to have the golden horseshoe over their threshold?

Tonight I again presented that in my prayer and again I felt the need to pray the Serenity Prayer.

It was the prayer that led my father out of alcoholism.

It was a prayer that strengthened me through my divorce as I joined my father walking with him through his 35 month battle with matastic melanoma.

It is a prayer I have leaned on when I thought I would financially, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually fail and fall.

Right now I am leaning on it.

I can not change the happenings but I can change my thinking. It is not God who causes this pain. We live in a world with evil. We live in a world that has persons who chose to be selfish, heartless, consciousness lacking, fearless of the law of man or God, craving power and their face on the screen of our TV, computer or phone, we live in a world of pain and suffering. Where is God in this?

God is in the moments we allow Him in.

God is in the hearts that allow Him in.

God is in the lives that allow Him to be in.

God is in the pain that we are feeling.

God cries with us and rejoices with us.

God is here and now only when we allow Him to be, yet even for those people there is pain yet there is a comfort in knowing that our life is not to hit our peak here it is to travel the path so that we can peak there….

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

Are you praying for strength to accept what you cannot change?

Are you changing what you can change?

Do you know what you truly have control of and what you need to let go of?

When you lose your loved one it is hard to say “Ok God they are yours now, I’ll hope to see them later.” But my friend, the comfort in the pain is that they are not suffering and in pain in this world because they are in the world we are working towards. That leaves us aching but them in comfort and in the arms of God. Do we wish them back here or find minute comfort knowing they are there?

I wish my Dad was here.

So many days I have shed tears just wishing I could hear his voice on the phone or be the recipient of his hug. I’ve wished for his advice and guidance and have truly felt lost without it at times.

I only find comfort knowing that I believe he is not of this world anymore and of another that is so much better than I can only imagine.

He finished his race faster than I wanted him to but I will rejoice in his finish not wallow in my loss.

Only faith walks me to that peace.

Only faith helps me understand why some are mourning tonight while I was beaming of mother pride.

I felt guilty.

I wish I could be there putting my arms around a parent as they heard the painful words.

I don’t have control of that, but I do have control of putting myself in the chair tomorrow in front of someone who told me that they are in the dark.

I do have control of trying to be a conduit of words of hope, love and light, and if I chose to not put myself in that chair shame on me because I would’ve passed on what and who God put in my path.

If we could bring more light to the darkness my friends every single time we are presented with the opportunity, there would not be so much darkness.

If we spread more love than judgment love would be more prevalent.

Every person that commits these acts of darkness has left the light, hope and love of the One that understands suffering and being alone.

The one thing we have control of is to allow ourselves to bring light to every dark struggle that crosses our paths.

Do you know a person that needs compassion, a word of hope, a hug, or simply an ear? Have they reached out to you? Have you, would you, could you make the time for them?

I encourage you my friend to bring the light to those dark places.

The change in the world will only happen when we step forward to bring light to the darkness.

Be strengthened knowing you are “sent” to do this.

Be humbled, grateful and know you are blessed.

Be the light in someone’s darkness.

Be the change the world needs.


The world needs you now.


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