GENDUSA COLUMN: ‘Why me, Lord?’

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out WHY?” And, I say, “Amen.”

It took me a long time for this old girl to find the absolute why. 

I was six years old and not the healthiest of kids. I remember trying to suppress the wheezing from asthma and hide eczema that covered my arms and legs. I was always embarrassed when other kids stared at my skin or heard my coughs, prompting me to often ask Mama, “Why me?”

One day, the teachers assembled all the first and second graders into a line to be tested for tuberculosis.  The test didn’t hurt me even though some of my friends cried.  

However, it became painful when, a few days later, they read my name aloud in front of the whole assembly and sent me home.  Mine was the only name called who had a positive reaction to TB. I was beyond mortified and scared; kids pointed. I still remember that day as if it just happened. 

“Why me, Mama?” I wailed.

“I don’t know why, honey,” she replied, “but it will be alright.”

Many grueling tests followed, and thankfully, I did not have tuberculosis.

When I was fifteen, my father announced we would move from Tennessee to Georgia. I was petrified. I recall praying and begging God to keep us with our friends and family nearby. 

I earnestly questioned, “Why me, God?” 

I remember later, as a teen, profoundly caring for a boy and vividly remember how much he did not care for me. There was nothing I could do. The hurt caused me to pray many nights, “Why me, Lord?” 

There would be many more broken hearts, a divorce, tough times, and an abundance of “whys” throughout my adult life.

I suffered from debilitating clinical depression and anxiety.  Thankfully, I cried out for help and received it, but I still would often ask,

“Why me? Why was I even born? What am I doing here?” 

During one of those critically low emotional times, I remember my therapist said to me,

“Lynn, I don’t worry about you as much as I used to.”

“Why”? I was surprised.

“I have learned that no matter how low you go, your faith always pulls you up.” 

He was right about that. My faith was always my shelter during the storms, and it still is.

I always questioned why I wasn’t a private person. I would tell anyone anything. I have always been that way, and it drives my children crazy. I am sorry for that. But you can help someone else to see they can get through adversity because you were able to. 

And, right there is the “why.”

During my career in Interior Design, I would talk to clients as if they were my best friends. I trusted and loved them. 

Once, one of my favorite customers asked me to speak with her daughter, who was going through a similar ordeal to one she knew I had experienced.  

I did talk to her sweet daughter, and I helped her understand that with time, we learn to turn sorrow into bravery, heartbreak into faith, and the “why’s?” to trust.

All human beings need to discover why they are here. Some may be lucky enough to know from the beginning or early in life.

At some point, we realize some of our most horrendous experiences turned into the best wisdom one can find. Often, terrible times reveal the secret of just who we are.

Asthma left me by age 17, and my lungs healed, but they have scars. All scars are badges telling the world you survived. So, I like my scars.

When people must relocate, I tell them it could be the best thing in the world. It was for me. Those new friends I met in my new hometown at age fifteen are still some of my best buddies and supporters today.

The young man who did not care for me is now my friend.  Another that broke my heart is also. How blessed am I? 

That is why I write my little stories and have no fear in doing so. If someone is wondering, “Why me?” Just give it time. The answer will come because each one of us has a purpose. 

Faith gives us the strength to weather even the most horrible of storms. Sometimes, you think you can’t make it, but you will. Let God be your shelter, and when the sun shines again, take a pocketful of its warmth and spread it to someone who is asking, 

“Why me, Lord?”