“Your whole life has prepared you for this . . .”


My husband and I were talking to our counselor shortly after a very upsetting incident. I was telling her about how this incident triggered memories of feeling unsafe.

“How many times have you been in calamitous situations and it worked out?” she asked. “I want to reinforce that you are resourceful and smart and you will do all right.”

Though it was comforting in a way to hear this, in a way it made me mad, too. I didn’t exactly choose either the past “calamitous situations” or the current one. I didn’t care, at that point, that these challenges were making me a stronger person. I just wanted a break for once.

The therapist must have seen the look on my face, because she said, very softly and gently, “Your whole life prepared you for this [new calamitous situation] . . . dammit.”

I’m not one to swear, but this felt entirely appropriate. It was exactly how I felt. What I was facing now was my biggest fear come true. And I hated it.

Later, in dialogue with God, I continued the argument.

“Why does everything have to be so hard?”

Because that is the nature of reality, right now in this fallen world. It won’t always be that way, he added. Always remember: I am making all things new.

That greatly comforted me. I needed the reminder that God IS at work, even when it doesn’t seem like he is. That he knows and sees the big picture, and therefore his thoughts are not my thoughts.

I got to thinking about how I have been prepared for this past year, “the year of COVID.” How even with little things, like having to do holidays differently, I was able to take them in stride because I’ve been through this before, in a sense.

For instance, though Christmas won’t be the same with being unable to gather with friends, I’ve had other Christmases that were worse. Like the time when we lost all our basement contents due to a flood and subsequent mold issue, and had no Christmas decorations that year, not even a tree. We had to adjust to a very different Christmas then.

Can you look back on aspects of this year that perhaps you were prepared to handle because of past experiences?

“Your whole life . . . that incident in 2015 . . . that time when . . . has prepared you for this moment. . . .”

And it’s OK to add “dammit.” You don’t have to like it.

But if you lean into it, and accept it, you will get through the current situation much easier and quicker. I was amazed that I really could put that very upsetting incident behind me once I accepted that “my whole life has prepared me for this.”

It may have been an unwanted grace (“dammit”), but it was a grace nevertheless.

If you would like personalized help in healing any “heart issue” that feels too big for you alone, check out my coaching at

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I’m experiencing a challenging situation now which seems unlikely to end in my favor.
Your description of how we’ve been prepared for this moment helps me to endure it and also I might add could be solved in a way unbeknown or in an unlikely way or for a better outcome…. damn, I would really love this challenge to be resolved in the only way I can foresee it to. 😊
Relax and enjoy your birthday and the Holiday season

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