I’m thrilled to tell you about this next pick in my summer reading series, because over this past year, I’ve been asking God why life isn’t fair. I’ve questioned Him about my circumstances, and even mourned over things that have changed in my life. But I have found that I can still say “yay God”, even in the midst of change and disappointment. Not because life is always good, but because our God is. So I can certainly relate to the title and the topic of Melanie’s new book, and maybe you can too.
Read Melanie’s words below, and be encouraged. Then leave a comment on my blog expressing your commitment and desire to learn to find joy even when life isn’t going the way you had planned, and you just might win a free copy of It’s Not Fair!
I have a confession. (You don’t know me, so it feels weird that some random stranger is confessing something to you right off the bat, like “Whoa, slow down, New Girl, and leave the confessing stuff for later in the relationship.” But I sally forth.)
When I started writing my new book, It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose, I thought I was going to share about how I learned to love my life and YOU CAN TOO! But this was a total lie. Which I discovered when my life kinda fell apart all over again. I realized that learning to love our lives isn’t a box that we check when we’ve accomplished it, and then we move on to greener pastures and happy trails and frolicking in the Land of No More Problems.
Learning to love the life you didn’t choose takes, well, a lifetime.
After five grueling years of infertility, we finally had our wrinkly red raisin preemie and settled down in a land of golf carts and capri pants. And then more chronic pain and infertility hit. We moved into the world of adoption and a new cycle of waiting and loss and waiting and loss. Finally, after twelve years of building our family through the hard sludge of, well, let’s call it character development, we thought, “Okay. Here we are. We have our kiddos and now the fun begins.”
That’s about when I decided to write a book about how awesome everything is. Maybe you’ve heard the formula:
- Life was bad.
- God fixed my problems.
- Everything is great. Yay God.
My book outline was adorable. [insert hysterical laughter] Then the diagnoses started rolling in, and we were left with labels like “autism,” “mental illness,” “ADHD,” and “trauma.” As our expectations for what parenting would look like cracked and shattered once again, I sat amidst the shards and mourned my airbrushed image of what I thought my life would be.
Maybe you’ve experienced the death of a dream. You saw your life going one way, your career heading down a path, your education, your relationships, your health, your whatever, following a certain trajectory, but instead, you find yourself several counties over from where you thought you’d end up. Maybe you thought you’d be married by now. Maybe you thought you’d still be married now. Maybe you’ve had a diagnosis rock your world.
I’m really sorry.
I wanted a safe place where we could talk about this stuff, so I made one for us. I want to sit with you and talk about it honestly, without annoying platitudes or the “perfect” Christian responses. It’s okay to throw stuff and tell God you’re mad and don’t understand. It’s okay to sit in the questions.
This is a book about dealing with the death of a dream and shuffling forward anyway. We’ll do it together, and we’ll laugh along the way, and maybe we don’t have to wait for our lives to be all figured out before we decide to find joy right where we are.
Life can be broken and hard and you can have scars and love it anyway. Yay God. ~ Melanie Dale, It’s Not Fair
Melanie Dale is a minivan mama and total weirdo who stinks at small talk. Her laugh is a combination honk-snort, and it’s so bad that people have moved away from her in the movie theater. She adores sci-fi and superheroes and is terrified of Pinterest. Author of Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends and It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose, she’s also a contributor for Coffee+Crumbs and an advocate for Children’s HopeChest. Her writing has been featured on Parenting.com, Scary Mommy, Working Mother Magazine, Deadspin’s Adequate Man, Ann Voskamp’s A Holy Experience, and Today’s Christian Woman, and she’s a panelist for MomsEveryday TV. Living in the Atlanta area, she enjoys recording her podcast, Lighten Up with Melanie Dale, and blogging at Unexpected.org.
Links to find Melanie:
Leave a comment on my blog expressing your commitment and desire to learn to find joy even when life isn’t going the way you had planned. Winner selected next week!
A note from Melanie: We can survive hard things and even thrive while doing it. We can sur-thrive. I’ve made a Sur-Thrival Kit filled with silly coloring pages and my favorite easy recipes for when you don’t have the bandwidth for anything else, and I’m giving it to you for free when you email your receipt for It’s Not Fair to unexpectedmel (at) unexpected.org (available till August 16).
Trailer video: https://youtube.com/watch?v=mfBitlJq7iw