Everything Happens for a Reason

Jennifer - East Islip, New York
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: purpose
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I believe…

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. It’s just that simple; that whatever events occur, or don’t occur, it was that which was meant to be. Of course this philosophy implies that I believe in God, which does happen to be the case, but I have met people who are more spiritual then theological who have the same thoughts. You may not necessarily consider that there is a greater God who determines the outcome of our lives, but what is the harm in believing in some kind of greater power, something that determines our destiny? This course of our lives, however, is not inevitably pre-determined but is created as we go through life. See, we all have free will to do as we wish and our decisions will impact the path of our journey. It is the affects of these decisions we make that will determine the essence of our lives. I personally feel comforted and relaxed in knowing the fact that whatever happens in my life, good or bad, was meant to be.

I first heard the expression ‘Everything happens for a reason’ from my mother during the first of many mini-crises in my life … my first heartbreak. Looking back at these events I laugh, but then I realize how my philosophy is justified. After the break up I was devastated and depressed and of course, as an adolescent, I couldn’t handle this horrifying rejection. Tears flowed for days and at this point, for all I knew, it may have been the end of the world. My mother tried endlessly to comfort me to no avail. Of all her wisdom, love and advice she kept trying to bestow onto me, all I kept hearing was her saying repeatedly ‘Jennifer, everything happens for a reason’. These words did nothing but get me angry. What did she mean by this? Was my mother telling me that this pain I felt was supposed to happen and that should make me feel better? Could something so horrible be acceptable because it was ‘meant to be’? How could she be saying this? I would then fall asleep sobbing.

Days and then weeks went buy and of course my broken heart was slowly beginning to heal. I still couldn’t figure out though why this was supposed to happen, but then one day I found the answer. Along came my second serious boyfriend after the heartbreak, a seven year relationship. This relationship was one in which I grew as a person in so many ways that I never knew I was meant to. This connection would never have happened had it not been for the first one failing. But even still, this seven year (tumultuous) association was not meant to be either. As hard as it was to realize that all the time spent together with someone could be just a passing phase of your life, it was easier to realize that there was a reason. There was another breakup, more tears and more consoling words, “Everything happens for a reason Jennifer”, and this I knew.

You may wonder why I knew there had to be a reason behind all these low points in my love life. I knew because I found the reason … my husband Kurt. I would have never found my husband has it not been for my previous heartbreaks. I may have never even known that this was the man who, in every way possible, was the person I was meant to be with. As a matter of fact, I knew my husband years before we formed a bond, and, since it was not meant to be at that point of my life, we went off in separate ways. The greater power of course led us back to each other at the point of our lives that it was meant for us to be together. This is why everything happens for a reason.

All the previous experiences were creating the person I am today; the person who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t, the person who is strong and independent but also has a soft side, and most of all, the person who is confident in my destiny and will know how to discover happiness during this complicated journey.

There have been additional events in my life, other then relationships, that have lived up to the same motto; my change of position in my career, the death of an important person in my families’ life and the bid we lost on the house we loved. All events poignant, and some blatantly traumatic, but all happening because in life’s grand scheme, they were supposed to happen to make way for something else to happen. You can not move on to your future until you have successfully completed your past.

These thoughts I send out to my wonderful sister-in-law, Lara, on her birthday.

Everything, no matter what, happens for a reason.