When Life Isn’t Fair by Julie Arduini

Growing up, my sister and I spent time with favorite cousins. It was a respite of sorts from a chaotic season and the cousins offered zany moments and memories that are still fresh for me.

My cousin, the father of the family, also gave me wisdom. If I remember the story correctly, he was in the military and served during JFK’s funeral. I don’t know if he was hot or stressed or both but someone in the family told me that he passed out and it made the newspapers.

And my cousin would say, “No one promised life would be fair.”

It applied to that moment when he was being professional and his body decided not to cooperate during a national moment.

It was the answer I was given when I wanted explanation to teenaged angst or situations.

And it popped into my head last week when my son faced an experience with an adult when he did all the right things and not only was blasted, but told don’t bother coming by anymore.

All week we both struggled with the fairness of it all. Stewed over the fact that he communicated the proper way, with plenty of notice. He used respect. We think the adult forgot and tried to cover tracks, and we suspect it was a bit of retaliation for someone close to our son who didn’t communicate with the adult in the best way a few weeks before. Whatever the motive, he saw in black and white that words that don’t build up. At the end of the conversation, and for days after, he felt torn down.

And I felt ripped apart for him.

I went to God and asked for strategy. What perfect thing was I going to say or write to make this situation right for him?

How were “we” going to get justice?

And the answer was swift and consistent.

Because I kept going back to make sure.

I wasn’t supposed to do anything as far as justice went. Sure, I could bring up other instances of their past and not only make a point, but win a case. I could parallel how my son communicated versus how his peers didn’t, and he was the one that got the fury. I could write a report, make an issue, say something, anything to turn it around, and God made it clear it wasn’t His plan.

And my cousin’s words echoed.

Life isn’t fair.

So, what to do?

Here’s what I counseled my son and I apply to the situation. Honestly, some steps were easier than others.

  1. Wish for the other party to prosper. The adult, once I questioned the situation and asked for clarity, verbally blasted me. It wasn’t nice and it sure wasn’t fair, but she definitely made the end result clear. My response?
I wish you well.
We have decided as a family when it is time for a person to move on, us, or someone else, we want everyone to prosper even if it didn’t go the way we thought. It’s not easy or fun sometimes but I have to admit, God looks at the heart. We truly want everyone to move forward with blessings and God takes care of us when we line up with His will.
I may never see how that adult fares in life, but we wished her well.
2. We were intentional in how we closed the door to that experience. I heard a pastor say once, “The way you close one door is the way you open the next.” That’s so simple it’s deep. If you leave a place mad, unless you deal with it, the next place you go to—you’re going to be mad. I had a tough customer service experience recently that left me reeling. I was furious. I had to really pray while driving to the next place because I didn’t want to enter that place mad.
This is how we prayed. What happened was unfair and left our son wondering what’s next for him. He’s unsure because he did all the right things and it did not work for him. But he prayed that God would guide him and help him overcome. He asked that his feelings stay with that closed door so he could start fresh and right with Him for the next opportunity. And I’m seeing that. He’s diving into things with the same hard work ethic he had and not letting the words that were spat at him define him.
 3. Keep moving forward. Like Lot’s wife, it’s tempting to look back. I shared on my personal blog that the same son as a pre schooler spent two years through playing with toys rehearsing his response to kids that teased him at a play yard. They called him “coconut head” and I would find him time and time again giving his answers back to those kids through toy soldier and Lego play. I’m just as guilty. I think I’m doing great responding to an unfair situation and suddenly, my mind is jogging through scenarios where I get the last word. Don’t go there. Keep that door from #2 closed. Keep moving forward. Don’t let the enemy get a foothold.
Is life fair? It isn’t.
But hopefully when these things hit, we can not only survive the experience, but thrive.
Do you have anything you do when something unfair happens to you?

About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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2 Responses to When Life Isn’t Fair by Julie Arduini

  1. Well said. It really is about the heart. It’s better to be in relationship than to be right, even if the relationship is with God and not the other person. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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