Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Thank God For That Failure

posted by Beyond Blue

Here’s an example of when I could recognize a divine hand in my life:

One day last year, on our kitchen counter, buried underneath the old apple cores, brown bananas and three days worth of mail, lay an invitation from Boston College to participate as a panel speaker in a national symposium on marriage. (Here’s my advice: sleep with your spouse at least twice a week, be nice to him, and everything seems to get resolved.) The letter was thin, like the one I received 20 years ago that said something like this: “Your grades are good enough, and you’ve got the whole president-of-your- class thing going for you. But man, girlfriend, you forgot to eat your Wheaties the morning you took the SATs, because your scores truly suck. So, until some smarties decline our invitation to study amidst the academic stars, you get to sit your butt on the bench and wait.”

The slender envelope slightly crushed my 17-year-old heart because my (detailed) plan was to major in international business at BC. My dad and I visited the school in the fall of my junior year in high school, and I fell in love with its program, its campus, and its city.

Instead I landed at a college in the ugly city of South Bend, Indiana.

And thank God for that.

Because within one week at Saint Mary’s College, my alma mater and spiritual home, I was in therapy for the first time and asking the important questions, which had nothing to do with international business.

The exceptionally nurturing environment of this all-women’s college made it possible for me to begin my recovery from depression and addiction. And it was there, in those small and intimate classrooms, that I stumbled upon my love for writing and uncovered my inner theologian–a person unsatisfied with the neat and tidy answers printed in the Catechism.

What about you? Do you have any “failures” that you now appreciate in retrospect?

To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(3)
post a comment
V

posted November 24, 2008 at 11:35 am


I love these last two posts Therese. I truly believe that my bipolar disorder has transformed me. I can’t pinpoint exactly how but I know I am a better person. I have had many failures in terms of lost jobs and lost relationships. I lost my boyfriend to gang violence. He was a good person but we never had a godly relationship. We never mentioned God nor went to church together. When he died it was as though everything I ever learned in Catholic school came back to me and this sad event helped me to revert to the Catholic faith. I believe that he would have wanted it that way.



report abuse
 

Jeni

posted November 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm


I was devastated by the loss of a job a few years back, and it turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It brings to mind this parable:
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well
things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.



report abuse
 

Lorna

posted November 26, 2008 at 5:27 am


Without failure… success would be meaningless
Without sorrow… joy would be meaningless
Without struggle… ease would be meaningless
Without hatred… love would be meaningless
cheers
Lorna



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.