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Finding the Silver Lining

We’ve all heard the expression “every cloud has a silver lining”. But what exactly does it mean? When I was much younger I took it pretty literally. I spent a lot of time staring at the clouds trying to see the silver lining. As I grew up I came to realize it wasn’t a literal silver lining, but instead, it meant even when bad things happen there is some good that happens too. Let’s be honest, clouds may come but clouds must go, and they have a silver lining: for behind each cloud you know there is a sun or moon that is shining. As I and my family deal with our situation, I’m learning that while that is true, it’s also pretty darn hard to find that silver lining when it feels like your world is falling apart. You may have to look hard for it, but it is there.
Think for a moment of a past crisis when you felt as if your world was falling apart. Even though you couldn’t see it then I’ll bet today you can find good that came out of that situation. It happens all the time. Sometimes that silver lining just takes a while to appear to us. I know when I went through my divorce I was devastated. I couldn’t see the silver lining then, but soon I met Susan and along came Evan and Katy. I can only assume that was God’s plan because it certainly wasn’t in my plans after graduating from college. The loss of a loved one is also very difficult. I lost my father almost 9 years ago and it was devastating, but in time, I found the silver lining. It was Dr. Seuss who said “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.” Although I miss my father dearly I smile a lot thinking about all the wonderful times and memories I shared with him.
So what separates those who can find the silver lining versus those who continue to search for it? Perhaps it is because they spend so much time and effort searching that they forget about living and allowing the silver linings to appear on their own one day. We all grow up with dreams and that desire to have that perfect life where all our dreams come true. But I have learned the hard way that that doesn’t always happen. Some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. But that is what is beautiful about life. It is about not knowing what today’s going to bring and having to change when necessary. Taking those moments that appear and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next. Finding that silver lining in that dark place or waiting to realize down the road the silver lining was always there, I just couldn’t see it. It is a lot like faith: I don’t see faith but rather I have faith.
I am making a bigger difference in the world today than I did two years ago and that silver lining appeared behind a very dark cloud. The opportunities I have today as a parent, husband, brother, and friend, have enriched me and allowed me to live a much more purposeful and meaningful life. I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers for you if you are in a dark place, but I promise you, if you let it happen that silver lining will make its presence known; it may just not be on your timetable.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Mother Teresa:

One response to “Finding the Silver Lining

  1. Jennifer Wherry Quick ⋅

    Jim- Please check your facebook messages. Jennie

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