I just finished reading the first chapter of a book given to me by my dear friend Sara, How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin. This last section of the chapter hit me like a ton of bricks, so I feel the need to share it with you. I think I’m going to end up reading this book a lot faster than originally planned! One chapter in and it’s already speaking to me. I guess it was given to me for a reason. Thanks, Sara. You know me very well.
“While I would not recommend a shipwreck to anyone, any more than I would recommend cancer, car accidents, or the plague, I can yet attest to a mysterious truth I have since heard over and over from people who have survived their own shipwrecks: On the other side of them, there is a stronger, deeper, richer, more integrated life. That on the other side of the storm that tears you to pieces is a capacity to love without doubt, to live without fear, to be something infinitely more powerful than the man or woman you were before it happened. Almost nobody who survives a shipwreck would ever sign up to do it all over again, a second time. Nobody can exactly say they were glad it happened. And yet repeatedly, I hear people say the same remarkable thing- that they also under no circumstances would choose to go back and be the person they were before…I can only align myself with the greater wisdom of the Teacher and of his apostle and tell you that even though you might fail -utterly- your faith does not have to. I can tell you that even if the ship does not survive, you will. Storms come, as do a legion of demons that come for the sifting. Take heart; Jesus says, ‘I have prayed for you.'”
That’s exactly what my life feels like right now- a shipwreck. Yes, I still have my marriage, I still have my job (I hope). But I feel like I’ve lost everything else. When you lose your health, it affects every aspect of your life in ways you can’t imagine before it happens. I feel like I’ve been reduced to nothing but a sick, frail shell of the woman I used to be. But I won’t lose my faith. Nothing can ever take that away from me.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39