“Nothing can prepare you.” This is a phrase that invited itself to become part of my vocabulary the minute some of life’s worst news invaded my world. But it was simply not true.
I have heard these words muttered so many times in the aftermath of a tragedy or the delivery of bad news. While true for some, the idea that nothing can prepare you is not universally applicable. Of course, the presence in my life of the unwelcome visitor, cancer, did creep up on me by surprise. All of a sudden, the trespasser that I had seen in so many others’ lives invaded my world, and with that certainly comes shock. But was I unprepared? No!
I increasingly believe that the mask of being unprepared is just this: a subtle mind game played by the enemy of our souls to prevent us from accessing the experiences and lessons that have prepared us for such events. It is a lie that suggests that no one else has been on the journey that we are about to travel. It is a lie that will effectively prevent us from building relationship with those who have walked through similar circumstances and won authority along the way. It is an invitation to a lonely walk with self-pity as a willing traveling companion, diverting us from the strength available in those around us. Had I believed that nothing had prepared me, I would have entered an abyss of self-pity and, in that place, potentially missed the strength that was available to me.