All Small Stuff

Jill - Dunedin, Florida
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe we should not sweat the small stuff and it is all small stuff. Whenever I was facing some sort of difficulty, my father would say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, kid, and it is all small stuff.” Easy for him to say; his life was perfect. What did he know?

In the last seven years, I had a baby, left my job to be a “stay at home mom” and dealt with post partum depression. I lost my father, started a new job and lost my brother Joe. My stepson molested my child, I dealt with the negligible juvenile court system, and my husband moved out to provide a home for his felonious son. I was left with all the bills and two young children. My oldest son broke into my house, stole prescription drugs, went to jail, gave me a granddaughter, informed me the baby was not his and she disappeared from my life. I changed jobs, gained an incredible amount of weight and lost my grandfather. Was this all truly “small stuff”?

Good intentioned friends say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Really? God must have me confused with someone else. I am making a list of questions, and when I get to heaven, God has some explaining to do. What is the purpose of cockroaches? Why are children born without instruction manuals? Paris Hilton…c’mon? Seven years, I have been asking, “Why?” Why would He take my family members from me? Why did He let this happen to my child? What was God thinking? Was God punishing me? What could I have possibly done that would justify all this? Why me?

Since it seemed He was doing His best to get my attention, I decided to turn my attention to God. I started with, “Here I am. Why me?” He did not answer me right away so I just started praying. I prayed for understanding, healing, and compassion. I prayed for bad things to happen to those that offended me. I prayed for forgiveness. Eventually, I stopped wallowing in self-pity long enough to hear His answer – Why not me? Would I really wish any of this on others? Did any of my pain compare to the suffering of others? Would I like to trade places with someone else?

I am not alone. Many people have suffered the same cruelties of life. Many have suffered far worse. My eyes opened to see the blessing of these experiences. I was being self-centered instead of God-centered. Through prayer, His graces and abiding love, God has shown me, that with Him, I am resilient and can handle anything. God does not allow bad things to happen to us, but gives us the graces to handle situations and make us stronger.

Seven years later, I still have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter, have come to deal with my grief of losing family members and have recently promoted to a supervisory position. My life is nowhere near perfect; I truly do not think my father’s was, either. However, my father was right about not sweating the small stuff. I am still here – a little older, a little grayer, and a whole lot stronger with the knowledge that with God ,it is all small stuff.