I believe there’s a few ways to use this phrase. One way means to just deal with it. Don’t dwell on the things we’re supposed to let go of. It takes hard work to just survive, so work hard without feeling sorry for yourself. Let go of unnecessary offenses. It’s just extra weight. We’re not to be jealous of others or selfish in the way we think life’s supposed to turn out. All this falls into the same category. I still personally wouldn’t use the above phrase, but I understand that others do when life calls for the words, “Deal with it!” Many tend to also say, “Well, life’s a b---h, and then you die!”
On the other hand, when we let ourselves fall into destructive behaviors, following bad examples, and making dangerous choices all resulting in misery following us wherever we go, we might be tempted to use this phrase. And that’s because we don’t want to deal with it. It’s too much work, so we stay stuck in our suffering.
Likewise, when you watch others following such patterns, and you know how much work it was for you yourself to make a change, how are you supposed to convince another to do just that…change? I mean if you go through the work of trying to get them to change, putting yourself through anguish and they still don’t…then what?
Here we go with that bitter sweet attitude of, “Life’s a b---h, and then you die.” It’s sweet to some because it lets them off the hook of the work of making a difference. It gives them permission to throw their hands up and say, “Oh well. There’s nothing I can do about it. This is the way it will always be.” It’s bitter because it leaves no room for hope, and it continues to callous your heart and your mind.
I spent some time this week with some family members who no doubt have had this phrase…or at least this attitude…cross their minds and callous their hearts a thousand times before. And the truth is you can’t blame them. Though Jesus holds them very dear to Him and has never left them alone, it’s so difficult to know Him, feel Him, and hear His powerful voice when you’re trapped in a world of anger, fear, blame, and regret.
The effects of trauma go far, deep and wide in a family. It’s been 7 years since my cousin’s 16 year old daughter suffered entrapment, rape, torture, and murder. It’s been 7 years since two people lost their oldest daughter, 7 years since two girls lost their sister, 7 years since a baby lost her mother, 7 years since two people lost their first grandchild, and that doesn’t even mention the aunts, uncles and cousins who lost her as well. It’s been 7 years of trying to heal, overcome, move on and quite often giving into that bitter sweet attitude of, “Oh well. There’s nothing I can do about it. This is the way it will always be.”
If I were to truly describe the experience I had this week with them…the experience that my adult daughter, my teenage son, and I had with them this week, this posting would be pushing the rating of “R” just from the intensity of the conversations alone…not to mention the language. And I know that most were doing their best to hold back. But I know that Jesus was with us, by our side, sitting around the table out on the porch, hanging out on the couch, hurrying around the corner of the house to chase down someone who was running away from the conversation, and walking out into the dried up pasture with the children who were trying to get away from the intensity of it…all at the house that’s been a part of this family for as long as I can remember.
And why now? What’s spurred it all on at this time? One of the surviving sister’s has allowed herself to get into her third abusive relationship, and just a week earlier, she almost lost her life because of it. We witnessed how different people react in different ways. Where one sister would never allow it to happen, the other seems trapped in her own mind believing she’s not worthy of anything more. Now the two sisters are living together in the ranch house that they were both once infants in. They have their own little ones. One has a son, the other has a daughter, and the four of them are as vulnerable as little lambs when it comes to the enemy of our souls. And that’s really what it boils down to…a battle with the enemy, a spiritual battle that’s been waged for many, many years, not just beginning 7 years ago.
I’ve spent the remaining of the week at home with my mother visiting me, and discussing patterns in our family. It doesn’t take long to see how things repeat from generation to generation. There’s promiscuity, illegitimate children, substance abuse, adultery, divorce, and yes even teenage death a few generations before the one that plagues my loved ones. It’s so overwhelming it’s hard to know where to begin battling.
With two of my four children with me, we set out to go and pray even though not one of us felt that there was anything extraordinary about us. Of course, despite our feelings, we knew that the Word tells us that we are extraordinary simply because of Christ in us, so off we went…off we went to kill some giants like our pastor speaks about on Sunday mornings.
I decided that the first thing that needed to be done was to convince them that they are just as extraordinary as we are. The truth is that every single one of them believes in Jesus, but taking that step to believe in Him does not stop the enemy from lying to you and convincing you of anything and everything that’s contrary to God’s Word. They look at us and seem to think that we are on some different level, which of course we’re not. We’ve just learned to recognize lies and counter them with the truth. And the last thing that we came to do is judge anyone. Still, they kept on trying to get a reaction out of us. We really could care less about their “shockers”. So we went to work teaching them about lies.
Yes, child, you are better than what these men have made you believe you are. You are the child of a King! No, sister, you cannot give up and say, “Oh well, life’s a b---h!” You have to keep fighting for your sister, your parents, your grandparents, and yourself! You have to keep fighting because God entrusted to you your own child to fight for! God created you to be a fighter for a good reason, so live out the way you were designed with joy, not anger. No, cousin, you cannot give into fear of losing another child to the curse of death before her time because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Put ALL your faith in HIS protection. He won’t let you down! Yes, precious family, life is better than that because you have authority in you over the b---h of the lies, and when you finish living a full life of victory because of Christ in you and your body succumbs to the curse of death, you will have eternal life with the lover of your soul and there’s nothing greater than that.
I was impressed!
I was in no way impressed with myself…I was impressed with the presence of God. He was there when we were eating pizza casually visiting, and He was there when we were powerfully praying casting out demons and breaking curses. He was the one that was calming our spirits while one sister was doing everything she could to push every button and get on every nerve we had in us all with her outrageous outbursts. He was the one giving my daughter wisdom as she did everything to convince her cousin that she has to break free from the lies of her abuser. He was there as pent up emotions came pouring out of my cousin after years of trying to pretend that she’s strong enough to overcome the death of her own child.
I was especially impressed with the picture of Jesus I saw in my 13 year old son. I’ve been criticized for sheltering my children and criticized for not sheltering them enough. I know many would frown on my judgment call to bring him into this situation, but God intended for him to be there and God used him.
He loved on those little ones the way Jesus does. When the 2 year old little boy bit my son’s nose and used a four letter word just to get his attention, he calmly corrected him with love. When the 4 year old little girl who looks to be trapped in her own fears wouldn’t have anything to do with him, he patiently worked at getting her to trust him. When the 8 year old daughter of the one who was murdered got dropped off after school by grandma because she just couldn’t stand not seeing her cousin, he was happy to see her too. And when I saw him with the 2 year old in one arm, the 4 year old in the other, and the 8 year old walking by his side heading off into the wilderness of the ranch, it was absolutely beautiful. It was Jesus saying, “Come with me and be little children. Let the adults take care of killing giants.”
I continue to pray that they will not succumb to the bitter attitude of “Life’s a b---h, and then you die!” That in itself is a lie. Jesus came to give us an abundant life, not a life that makes you want to die. He came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free! What I see in these women are warriors that scare the enemy to death. His attack on them is only because he is threatened. And he should be threatened, because they are more than conquerers! God’s plan is for them to have an abundant, powerful, victorious and fulfilling life, and then for them to have life everlasting! He will never leave them nor forsake them.Amie Spruiell 8/30/13