Have you ever asked yourself: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I even pondered a more personal question: “Why do bad things happen to me?” Let me share with you my breakthrough.
“Why Bad Things Happen To Good People” was a keynote speech I delivered at the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs on 1-20-2020. I dressed up as a Wonder Woman to make an important point: your fortitude in adversity is your Wonder-Power! Here’s my full speech on my podcast.
Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
You possess wonder-power. Did you know this? Your specific power is one of a kind. Before we talk some more about your unique power, I want to ask you a question: “Have you ever been encouraged by someone as you were going through some bad things in life?”
I have. When I was going through a divorce, women who have gone through a divorce and were stronger on the other side encouraged me.
Can you relate?
When I was a homeless victim of domestic violence, devastated, thinking my life was over in 2009, a formerly homeless victim of domestic violence encouraged me. When I was absolutely crushed and brought to my knees by my sex addiction in 2014, a woman who had overcome the same bad thing encouraged me.
I am standing here before you today – alive, healthy, and strong – because those courageous women encouraged me. Why were they able to do this? Because they had lived through the same bad things I was going through. They – and only they – had the wonder-power to encourage me because they could relate – from their personal experience – to my experience. They encouraged me and saved my life in many ways.
Their wonder-power came directly from their baggage!
Today, I am incredibly powerful. Why do you think that is? Because I have a lot of baggage! I’ve lived through a lot of adversity. Many bad things happened to me in life.
As I went through each of them, my wonder-power increased, allowing me to encourage many women going through many bad things in their lives.
Why Do Bad Things Happen To Me?
As a child, I was abused, molested, choked, beaten, put on my knees in a corner for hours, encouraged to drink alcohol, and even to commit suicide. I attempted suicide twice.
My mother said to me regularly: “I hate you and I just want you dead!”
She addicted me to pornography and encouraged me to sleep with married men for money, essentially, prostituting myself.
I was raped twice as a teen. I experienced teen pregnancy.
When I was 25, I came to America as a mail-ordered bride to live my happily ever after with a true Prince Charming. He enslaved me for eight months and beat the life out of me.
RELATED: My Domestic Violence Story
When Dunwoody Police Department rescued me, they took me to a shelter for battered women in Stone Mountain. Now, I was homeless, hopeless, and helpless, in a foreign country without speaking the language in 2009. I taught myself English in 1.5 years, listening to Frank Sinatra, and graduated with an MBA from Georgia State University in 2013.
That same year, I also published a book about my life, which was recognized by International Book Awards and Indie Excellence Awards.
You can purchase my book here.
In 2014, I was diagnosed with sex addiction and my life changed forever. I invited Jesus Christ to be my lord and savior and became a Christian. I battled my addiction to alcohol for some time as well, and, just like in every adversity, I was encouraged by those who had gone through the same bad things in life.
RELATED: My Testimony – How I Came To Christ
Today, I have a lot of baggage and significant wonder-power. I am able to encourage women who are dealing with abuse, divorce, trauma, teen pregnancy, homelessness, domestic violence, sex addiction, alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
I am able to encourage women, thanks to my wonder-power, which I obtained by dealing with bad things in life.
In 2017, after surviving severe suicidal depression, I established a Christian ministry called Online Discipleship For Women to encourage and empower women and help alleviate suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ.
If you are encouraged by my message, make a donation.
I’d like to share with you my poem. It’s a letter I wrote to God in 2017, wondering why so many bad things happened to me and realizing that God uses all things together for good. I believe that with all bad things God gives us His special grace, which is sufficient for our exact circumstances.
This poem is called “I’m Grateful For Your Special Grace.” If you want to read all my poems, access my entire collection of over 100 Christian poems here.
”I’m Grateful for Your Special Grace" #PoemsFromGod
We often ask in desperation
If you are actually always good:
Some Bible verses cause frustration,
Their meaning is misunderstood.
We wonder if a good, good Father
Who promised numbering our hair,
Protecting us, promoting further
Can actually cause us such despair.
These days I'm studying you closely,
By trials I now am refined.
On grace my mind is focused mostly -
Your common grace and special kind.
You give your common grace to many,
No matter lifestyle or belief,
By meeting basic needs of any
Policeman, president, or thief.
But there's also special blessing
You give to some with special grace -
Divorce, or cancer, or depressing
Brain tumor, or a stalking case.
The loss of child to a shooting,
Or jumping off a building top,
Or drugs addiction, prosecuting,
Or taking pills at school workshop.
Or being pregnant with dead baby,
Or being homeless for a while,
Enduring violence, rape, or maybe
Surviving workplace that's hostile.
Can really be that, God, your kindness
And goodness, tenderness, and grace
Are all our own naive and blindness,
And other view we must embrace?
But asking this, I look back closely
On one example of my life:
Domestic Violence, despair mostly,
Enduring beatings, threats, and strife.
It wasn't pretty at the time,
But looking back, I see your purpose -
You drew me to you through that crime,
To my salvation that was service.
Another instance is divorce
With man who lured me into marriage.
Not anything you would endorse
Yet, you worked that to my advantage.
You grew me, pruned me, rid me of
My flesh, my anger, and resentment,
Replacing them with skills to love,
With joy, with peace, and with contentment.
So, God, can actually I agree
That you are good and your will's perfect?
I know my trials you decree,
But from the pain I always profit.
I gain awareness, I gain gifts
Of faith, and hope, and perseverance,
On you rely I as life shifts.
I trust your holy interference.
I trust your word. I trust your plan.
I trust your truth and your commitment
To use for good my one lifespan
And bless me with a royal treatment:
A party in your daughter’s name,
A feast with Jesus in His glory,
Saluting reasons why I came -
My messed up life and troubled story.
In mess, you drew me close to you,
Revealing purposefully your goodness,
You made me like a baby - new.
You gave me heaven and fresh pureness.
You've taught me grace, you've taught me love,
Acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness.
About you I've learned enough
To be, with Jesus, strong and fearless.
I claim you're good. I claim you're my
Protective, loving, caring Father.
I hurt from pain, I can't deny
But through tough times you've grown me further.
I thank you for your special grace,
I thank you for each gift and blessing,
I thank you for this broken place,
From which your goodness I'm professing.
7/30/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA
What kind of bad things have YOU dealt with in life?
How To Deal With Bad Things That Happen To You
- Turn your tears into treasures
- Turn your mess into a message
- Turn your wounds into wisdom
- Turn your baggage into blessings
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Enjoy my other content from The Anna Szabo Show Christian podcast for women.
- Who Am I In Christ?
- Why Do Bad Things Happen?
- Thanksgiving Journal
- What Is Faith?
- Spiritual Warfare
- God Is Good. Or Is He?
- Who Is Jesus?
- What Is Love?
- Tell Me How You Really Feel
- Empowering Women
Wonder Woman Keynote Speech at the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs
I hope my explanation of “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” was helpful. We all go through seasons of adversity. Everyone deals with something. Everybody’s life sometimes rocks and sometimes sucks. That’s why we need each other: when in trouble, we get encouraged by the people who overcame the same trouble we’re facing. Then, we get to encourage others dealing with the same trouble. This is how life works.
I’d like to thank my friend Hakim Wilson for the beautiful cover image. Visit Hakim at PhotoBrothersMedia.com
If this blog post helped you, share it with someone who needs to be encouraged and empowered right now. While you, re here, download my free ebook #52Devotionals revealing 52 amazing things God says about you.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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