Raise your hand if your life has gone perfectly as planned. You are right where you expected to be by this point in time and you got to this place in the exact way you imagined it would happen. There have been no forks in the road, no u-turns, no dead end streets – just a straight path to a blissful life.
Anybody? No one? Really?
Life rarely goes as planned and we rarely get from point A to point B in a straight line. Instead it is filled with bumps in the road and turns we never expected. Sometimes it may even seem that the road has disappeared completely. When things do not go as planned it can be so easy to get caught in the “it’s not fair” mentality. Life’s struggles can make us question our very existence.
Is it possible to love life when bad things happen? Can there really be purpose in the pain? Is there a way to be grateful for our struggles?
In It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose, Melanie Dale uses her personal experiences, unique wit, stories of others and biblical truths to take on the tough subject of the unfairness of life. She gives us permission to feel ALL the feelings and even explains how to wallow in them (for a while). Melanie offers practical ways to cope with life’s struggles, including some awesome comfort food recipes. She addresses the fact that in the midst of struggle, other people can be helpful and sometimes hurtful. Her chapter of “100 Things You Can Do to Help” would have been a great resource to share with people while I was in the middle of all of my stuff. Melanie also helps us go from asking “Why do bad things happen?” to asking “What am I going to do about it?” She urges us to ask the tough question of “Is God enough?”
The best part about this book is that Melanie does not take life’s unfairness, tie a big bow around it and tell us that everything is going to be okay. Instead, she comes alongside us in our suffering and shows us that we are not alone. Reading It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose is like sitting down and having a deep conversation with your best friend. So grab a fuzzy blanket and get ready to laugh, cry and maybe scream, “it’s not fair!” Yes, life is not fair, but we can choose to embrace the never-ending process of loving it anyway.
I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose this past weekend. I snagged two signed copies of the book and I want to share them with two special readers. Enter the giveaway between now and next Tuesday. The winners will be announced next Wednesday.