Although we share our story often, I (Trish) don’t think about the details that took place seven years ago because I live in who we are now and not who we were then. But every year I see October 9th on the calendar, it brings it all back a fresh my desperate desire to go back to “normal” the way life was before that day.
To wake up without feeling like I was going to throw-up.
To be able to drive to the store without searing panic coming over me that I might run into someone from our church.
To pick-up my cell phone without dreading all the numbers I needed to delete.
To not have to look into the eyes of my boys and see that they too are hurting, longing and wishing for “normal” to return too.
But normal would never return, because God’s desire for my life and your life isn’t to live in the normal but rather in the extraordinary.
But be warned…extraordinary will cost you.
As our ministry, blog and book gain more influence it has come with a cost. Those close and not so close to us caution us to make sure as our “platform” grows pride doesn’t grow along with it. I totally get it and appreciate their willingness to be honest with us because this is usually the normal progression.
Success + Pride = Fall
In 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 Paul writes: 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
October 9th is our thorn. It’s a painful reminder of what was lost. We are reminded of weeks gone by where we didn’t know if our marriage would make it. It’s a reminder that we lost everything but our marriage. A reminder of how pride kept us bound for years in a good marriage…turned normal…turned tragic.
I get how people would assume pride would be a struggle I really do. But if I’m honest, a part of me wants to be defensive. I want to shout back, “Do you not remember Justin coming home to tell me he didn’t love me anymore and wanted out?” “Do you not remember the pain in my children’s eyes as I told them daddy wasn’t coming home?” “Do you realize that no matter how many people listen to my story or read our book it could never replace the pain and loss my family endured?” But at the heart of my defensiveness is, well…Pride.
This is life in the extraordinary. It’s not arriving to a place of perfection but rather exposing your imperfections. Living in the extraordinary is daily asking God to lead us out of the ordinary we are tempted to settle for. An extraordinary life chooses to recognize that Jesus’ grace is all you need and in your weakness He is made strong. When you strive to live for Him and not for anyone or anything else you are free to live life in the extraordinary.
I am eternally grateful to our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much that he gave us the extraordinary gift of Son so that we could have an extraordinary life through him.