I am almost 29 years old and I am struggling to remember some of the life lessons I have learned along the way to this point. You know, those life lessons that hurt and stung and made you feel like crawling in a hole, those are the ones I have experienced and learned from in the past but today feels as though I am experiencing them for the first time.
As a Christian, these are life lessons that pull me away from the intimacy with God I should have learned to cherish and protect with all that I have. It's a paradox really, in these moments I feel as though I could get no further from His heart than I am in the moment and in reality I am drawing closer to His heart than I could have ever imagined. It is what James talks about, the trying of our faith. The trial is brutal and bloody, the trial is more gruesome on the heart and the soul than the movie Braveheart. Yet, the trial brings me one step closer to knowing Him and to Him knowing me.
There will come a day when I look back on these times and think about His goodness and His grace and mercy that sustained me and kept me from completely falling. In faith I can look forward to that day, with hope I can press forward and force myself to climb out of bed every morning and shower and dress myself. I can remind myself that He is faithful and He is with me no matter what is happening in my heart.
I would say the worst mistake I could make in this time is forcing something to happen outside of its proper place. I read this morning from an author about the issue of sailing. When there is no wind pushing our sails closer to the destination we become anxious and have to choose between switching on the motor to arrive sooner than if we just allowed the wind to eventually bring us to where we intended to go.
Some of the questions that come to the surface in these times can be: Is this even the destination I want to be heading towards? Why did I get on this boat in the first place? Is this taking too long? Should I be farther ahead with the other boats? If I get there sooner, will things be different than if I arrived on time?
There are times we climb in the boat, raise the sails, point our direction to the destination of our choosing, and learn along the way that we chose the wrong destination. The answer is not always to simply keep moving forward. Sometimes we need to simply reevaluate everything and go from there, even if it means turning our boat around.
Maybe this is the lesson I am still learning. The lesson that turning around, or waiting on the wind, or heading towards a different destination does not necessarily mean I was wrong or I made a mistake or that I am some sort of a failure. It simply means the wind decided to do something different than I thought and now I am going somewhere else.
Whatever the lesson to be learned, whatever the destination or the reliance on the wind, whatever the experience along the way, the truth remains the same, there are always lessons to be learned and sometimes repeating the same lessons over again simply means I have not arrived, but one day I will get there.