I’ve heard over half a dozen cancer survivors say they wouldn’t trade their brush with cancer for a “normal” life. My first inclination is to say, “Are you insane?” But they’re adamant when they say that their cancer was a blessing in a disguise.

Now, I’m betting that thousands, maybe even millions of people with cancer would rather have a completely healthy life than their battle with cancer. So, why wouldn’t people who have gone through the same heartache and struggles be willing to hit the reset button and go back to the way things were?

It’s easy to think that blessings can only be positive experiences. And when something bad happens, whether it rocks your world or makes you fifteen minutes late for an appointment, it’s easy to also think that nothing good can come of it.

But what if our blessings don’t always come in the way we expected? What if it’s dressed just a little bit differently than what we expected? What if our “curses” can really be blessings in disguise?

This isn’t a silver-lining mentality where life is all about sunshine, rainbows, and glitter. And unicorns, can’t forget unicorns. Nope, it’s not about that at all.

It’s about clinging to the fact that God can use anything for good, even the darkest realities of life. Sometimes God allows us to experience pain and frustration and the curveballs of life to shape us into the people He wants us to be.

What might seem like a tragedy may be exactly what God wants you to go through in the moment. It sounds backwards that God would send a disappointment as a blessing but maybe that disappointment steers you away from making a bad decision. Maybe the temporary disappointment is God’s way of saving you from a bigger heartache.

It may not seem like blessing in the moment as the casket lid closes, the phone rings, or the pink slip is read. But it might mean that someone’s suffering is over and their pain is gone. It might mean that it’s a treatable diagnosis without a terminal ending. It might mean that you will have an opportunity to try something new and fresh and exciting.

Sometimes things happen in life that leave very real scars on us. Sometimes we experience things that no one should ever have to experience. But in the middle of your darkest reality, there might be a real blessing that you won’t be able to see until you’re further down the road of life. Some of the greatest blessings come in our worst experiences but we don’t always see them for what they are.