I recently read this article and it got me thinking. All too often we say we are blessed when we receive something that we want in our lives. Rarely, if ever do we feel blessed when something it taken from us. As a Christian, I have always believed that I am here for a higher purpose. In my heart, I knew that my life would be a struggle because there were many lessons that I needed to learn to mold me into the person that I am today. Because of these struggles, I have learned a very deep understanding for situations and have compassion for people that I don’t think I would otherwise have. What struck me about the article was this:

12a Waitest thou for one second, Lord. What about “blessed art thou comfortable,” or 12b “blessed art thou which havest good jobs, a modest house in the suburbs, and a yearly vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast?”
12c And Jesus said unto them, “Apologies, my brothers, but those did not maketh the cut.”

The kind of love that books are written about and movies are made of...The kind of love that books are written about and movies are made of…

When I met my fiance RJ in 2006, I had already been through a tough few years, and 2006 was devastatingly the  worst year of my life. I traded Vegas for the quiet little military town of Camp LeJeune. I traded in my dancing shoes for slinging drinks at a local restaurant/ bar when I met this amazingly phenomenal man. Many of you already know the story, as I have told it so many times in the past seven years. For those of you that don’t, RJ and I decided to get married the day after we met. We just knew that we were meant to be together for the rest of our lives. I was wrong. Over the course of five months, I felt the need to hold on to him so tight. I was terrified of losing him. On April 1st of 2007, a mere five months after we met, he tragically died. When his father called me to tell me the news, I knew before he said anything that something was wrong. In the moments before he said the words, I prayed… please, please let him be in jail or in the hospital. Please let it be something that can be fixed. As the words came out of his mouth, I felt as if my heart had been literally ripped out of my chest as I screamed in agony and fell to the ground. I didn’t feel very blessed. So many times in the following months I asked God, what did I do to deserve this? I was a good person. So why in hell’s name was I being punished? Why would God put this beautiful man with these sunflower eyes in my life, only to rip him away in such a terrible way? I needed him.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

There's a fabulous story behind this photo <3There’s a fabulous story behind this photo <3

It took a very long time before I stopped being angry at God and started thanking Him. Thank You for allowing me to be so loved by such a phenomenal man. So many people go through life in terrible, loveless, empty, shallow relationships. I’ve had my share. However, I am grateful to have had this unique and special love. Something that people dream of and many are so jaded that they don’t believe it even exists. While his life, his physical being was torn from me, we had a love so strong that even now, seven years later, I still have his love showering me. I am blessed because I am able to share my testimony and quite possibly touch the lives of others by it. I am neither bitter nor scorned, but grateful. I have the opportunity to possibly share some of that hope to someone with a broken heart. That is my blessing.

In August of 2006, right before I met RJ, I was raped by a young Marine. I suffered from PTSD and had massive panic attacks. I’d shut down and start bawling, questioning myself all the time. Was it my fault? Was it really rape since I knew the guy? What did I do to have allowed this to happen? And of course, why me? I’m a good person. Why did this happen to me?  I remember clearly one day, I went to speak to my rape counselor and as we carried into our conversation, I told her, better that this happened to me rather than someone else. She was taken aback. She asked what I meant by that. I told her, I know I’m a strong person and one way or another I will find a way to deal with this situation. I believed at some point that going through that terrible experience would allow me a deeper comprehension of what a person goes through and I knew that one day I would be better equipped to help someone else because of my experience. I was not blessed to have been raped and I surely wasn’t grateful to have gone through that at all. To this day, I have never told anyone my rapist name, except for those involved in the court case. I did not seek vengeance. I begged God to allow me to forgive him as quickly as possible because I didn’t not want to be imprisoned as his victim for eternity.

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

A few years later, I was working at a rehab on graveyard when we got a call from a mother who was questioning whether or not her daughter had been raped or not. We talked about how the daughter was acting out and how she came to find out about the rape. I spoke to the girl and was able to calm her down and give her some support. In case you don’t know, I actually have a background in psychology, but I wasn’t talking to her from a book. I was talking to her from experience, from a place of true understanding and love. I was blessed that I was able to help the mother and daughter through my tragedy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

I’ve sat back and thought and analyzed life, my life, why does God allow bad things to happen. I don’t ask why God allows bad things to happen to good people because we all started out good. Some people turn out bad because they haven’t properly dealt with the bad experiences they’ve gone through… but that’s another discussion for another day. I’ve sorted through and wondered long before this article, what are blessings and when should I feel blessed? I’ve come to realize that blessings are not the nice things you get because you are a good little Christian. Blessings are the good you give away when it’s so justified to be angry and bitter and doubtful. My blessings are not about me. I allow myself to be transparent because that is how I can use my experiences as blessings.

A blessing is about what you give not what you get.

A blessing is about what you give not what you get.

If you’d like to read the article that sparked this post, click here: HuffPost