“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Someone once said, “Irony is rich,” and I find myself this morning seeing very clearly some significant points of irony in my life over the past seven and a half years. Websters defines Irony as: “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result and/or an event or result marked by such incongruity.” One on-line source I looked at stated that irony was using language in such a way that the meaning is the opposite of what the words normally mean, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. Having lived in the south for a number of years I can tell you that southern women are experts in this.
For example, two southern ladies are sitting, sipping tea on the front porch. They look over as the neighbor lady drives up and gets out of her car next door. As they wave and smile, one says to the other, “Will you just look at her hair. Do you think she meant for it to be that color.” The other replies, “Oh, Lord I certainly hope not. Poor thing!” The first lady responds, “Well at least it goes with that outfit. Really what was she thinking? Bless her heart!” Irony, with sugar on it. I learned quickly that you can say anything to or about anyone as long as it is proceeded with “poor thing” and followed with a “bless their heart.”
In the process of re-branding this blog I went back and read my very first entry in 2009 and I realized that I had some untold stories. After the hindsight of the last number of years I can see the irony in how things have played out. Somehow, I think I can hear God giggling a little bit. This post is about one of those stories.
On June 30, 2005 I completed ten years of military service with the United States Navy. Many reasons went into that decision and that after seven years no longer exist – a husband also in active military service, a home in Florida I didn’t want to leave, a kid with learning challenges who I didn’t want to uproot, and an over-all dissatisfaction with the Navy.
- Irony #1: The home in Florida was sold so that I could join my spouse in Seattle where he was stationed.
- Irony #2: The kid was up-rooted and thrived in his new school and now is a National Honor’s Society member with all honors classes.
- Irony #3: The Spouse got out of the Navy six months after moving to Seattle and we relocated to Georgia.
- Irony #4: Then we moved back to Florida.
- Irony#5: Then he left me for someone else and moved to Tennessee two years later.
However, the final and greatest irony is that I haven’t been able to find or keep a viable job since I got out of the Navy and I really do miss it. I realize as I look through my friends on Face Book how many of them have made rank and are now looking towards their retirements in two to four years. Sigh. And the greatest point of irony in this story is that I knew I couldn’t stay married and stay in the Navy. It was either the Navy or the spouse. I chose the spouse. At this realization, I hear God chuckling and shaking His head, saying, “Poor thing.”
Hind sight is 20/20, as is said, and I find myself yearning for a crystal ball. The richest ironies in our lives stem from the choices and decisions we make along the way. There are critical points in my life when I had multiple choices, but decided on a specific course. I realize that if I had made a different choice it would have changed where I find myself now. However, just because it would be different doesn’t mean it would be better. We may not get the expected outcome to our decisions in life (hence, the irony) but, as a believer, I have to accept that God is ultimately in control. We make mistakes, we make the wrong decisions, and we make foolish choices rooted in fear instead of faith. But, I have to cling to His promises and know that “all things work together for good to those that love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28) If there is one thing that has never wavered it is my love for God and that is something upon which I can build my tomorrows.
What decisions from your past do you question?
Seeing where you are now, would you change those decisions? If not, why? If you would change those decisions how do you think that would make your life better?
What have you learned from your past? Taking what you have learned, how do you now move forward?