Go read Schmutzie's post on life and story and how we get to be who we are.
What she says is why I do what I do. Because once upon a time, long before I had any idea that I'd become a pastor, I figured out that life happens to us, and sometimes it stinks. But I also figured out that I had some input into who I let life shape me into being...and that realization saved. my. life. The stories we tell and the stories we own shape who we are, and how we face the world.
But I've never been able to say it the way Schmutzie has.
If I were to try to fit this into my thinking about God, I would say it all boils down to this:
Stuff happens. (Yes, they spell "stuff" differently on bumper stickers)
It is what it is, and you feel how you feel.
But God is always with us, and loves us in the middle and all the way through.
To be fair, Schmutzie won't agree with that last statement. While her post is spiritual in nature, she wouldn't take in this direction, at least I don't think so, and I've been reading her blog for a couple of years. Actually, I think pretty emphatically not, and I'm okay with that. But I admire the heck out of Schmutzie for sorting out this bit of truth, and for putting it out there for the rest of us who aren't as good with words as she is.