Now, before I launch into my rant I want to point out that this is not a rant against the writer of that statement. Nor is it against the hundreds of people that have told me something similar. It is sometimes aimed at comforting someone in pain, and thats never a bad thing. At other times its an attempt to highlight the good that comes out of the bad or the stupid. My wife often uses it this way: "if I had done X, than we might not have met, so I guess it all happened for a reason".
So, don't take this personally but... POPPYCOCK!
Everything does not happen for a reason! At least not in my estimation.
I have never even understood the attraction of this neo-Calvinist thinking. Personally I find the idea of a God or Gods micromanaging things to the level that this statement implies to be deeply disturbing. Want to say that certain Avatars are born for a reason, for good or ill? Ok. Want to even say that some major events and historical personas occur for a reason? Eh. I disagree, but I can role along with it. But are you seriously thinking that you dropped out of college so that you could meet your future husband in the city that you were waitressing in? Ummmm no. You were just friggin lazy and dropped out.
By all means, be thankful that events turned out the way they did because you are so happy now. But do not view your life as a series of events that "were meant to happen". Its a cop out. It gives you the freedom to wallow in your neurosis and lower nature. It also gives you the liscence to do stupid things because "if I am meant to die/get hurt/go bankrupt today, than nothing I do is gonna change that".
It seems magickal to say shit like that but its the total opposite.
Always remember religion in its outer form is there to provide certainty to the masses that need answers on why people die, why bad things happen, and how to be a good person. Magick and Mystecism is there to shake up your certainty.
Religion provides translation, Mystecism provides transcendence, Magick provides transformation.
I think the worst manifestation of "things happen for a reason" is when survivers of a tragedy talk about how blessed they are because God chose them to survive. No one ever asks what God had against all the other people who died in the plane crash.
If you wind up marrying the paramedic that pulls you from the burning wreck after you crash into a tree on the Parkway, that doesnt mean that it was meant to happen. It just means you should slow the fuck down.