Dan and I have been going to a local nondenominational church recently. The message has been positive, which we appreciate. This last week was a sermon on getting to a place where you are your best self. A few things the pastor said really resonated with me.
"Give thanks in all circumstances." This is still really difficult for me. As I have written before, it is very difficult for me to see the fire as an opportunity, much less a blessing. It was an event. Tragic. But it has also created a life path for me that I didn't know I was supposed to be on. It is allowing me to give voice to so many other people. I am working (when I have time) on the Life After the Fire book, and I believe that the fire has shown me opportunities that I wouldn't have otherwise seen. I'm still not thankful. But I am getting to a place where I can see past the pain.
"The spirit does not spark in a place of comfort." Whatever the word spirit means to you, I believe that we all recognize that we have something deeper inside of us that is constantly learning and growing. The message was that the "spirit" cannot grow or shine its brightest as long as we stay in a place of comfort. For many of us, we must choose to stretch ourselves outside of our comfort zone. I also believe that many of us are presented with circumstances that require us to go outside that comfort regardless of our choice (i.e. an ill parent, a lost job, a fire). Speaking from experience, it is in those moments that I have learned the most about myself and been given the greatest opportunity for growth in myself. In that way I suppose the fire is an opportunity.
The ultimate point of the sermon was that through this growth we get to a place where we are our best selves. It is still hard for me to want to believe that through the fire I will become a better me. But in my heart I know that is true.