We’ve heard it before, “No one gets to skip the tough stuff in life.”

“Everybody’s got something.”

We get it. But when that someone is you, and that something keeps you up at night or sets you off crying in the checkout line, the quips and easy off the tongue lines don’t sit so well.

It hurts. It’s worrying.

We want to stop the world and get off but it doesn’t, and even if it did, we can’t. So what’s a girl to do?

How are we meant to handle it?

When I was diagnosed with rectal cancer (yup, you read that right, I had a tumor up my you know what) hot on the heels of first my mum then my sister dying of lung cancer, the bottom fell out of my world.

Then the world fell out of my bottom but we won’t go into that ūüėČ

How are we meant to handle stuff like this?

What are we meant to do when life’s not fair and we find ourselves living a life we never signed up for? Whether that’s a boss who’s a pain in the arse or a diagnosis that has the doctors calling for more tests, there must be a way to handle the¬†stuff throws at us.

Here’s what I learned from my years on the front line of cancer and from talking to and pastoring oodles of people in these situations.

1. Deal with the myth of a perfect life

I looked around and saw two groups of people; those that had it all together and then me, along with a few friends who’d let me into the reality of their story. I assumed the first group had a glossy life because¬†it sure looked glossy. But you know what, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

There’s no such thing as a perfect life and over time I came to realize¬†life doesn’t have to be pain free to be full.

2. Embrace the truth about YOU

As soon as our world falls apart so does any sense of self-worth. I assumed I must be to blame for my cancer, I must be a terrible parent and bad person when my kids snuck out. We ask what we’ve done to deserve this? Does God love us let alone see us and want to help?

Just because¬†life sucks it doesn’t mean you do.¬†I had cancer. I wasn’t cancerous.

As Brene Brown says so eloquently You are worthy of love and belonging.

3 Lean on God; He won’t let you down

It’s tempting to turn our backs on God when life’s as much fun as a root canal and, if we’re honest, we can do a lot without Him. We have willpower, money, discipline, and yes, even forgiveness and love. But with Him, there is so much more to be found.

God didn’t just send Jesus to save us from something¬†but to save us for something. This life, a life He came so that we can life it abundantly, in all its fullness.

What if we did these three things when life slaps us around the face? How would it change your rocky marriage, your next doctor’s appointment, or argument¬†with your tween?

If you refuse to believe you’ve been dealt the short straw, leaned into the truth that you are loved and enough, understanding life doesn’t have to be pain free to be full, and so leaned on God to find it, couldn’t you handle it so much better?

I know you could.

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