In 36 1/2 years, there's a few things I've learned about life (most of which has occurred in the last year and a half). First is that I have SO much left to learn!
I've also learned that everything, EVERYTHING, changes so be ready for it. And change doesn't have to be a bad thing. View it as an adventure. View it as an opportunity. But the more we dig our heels in and resist it, the harder it will be to accept it and adjust.
I've learned that being lonely single is okay. Being lonely married is not. And I've learned that being a single mother is NOT for wimps. I've also learned that just 15 minutes of family Scripture reading/devotion and prayer can be a lifesaver . . . in more ways than one.
I've learned to admit when I'm wrong. And I have done so much wrong - as a now ex-wife, as a mother, as a daughter, sister, friend, woman, and Christian. I won't make excuses for myself. I. Am. A. Sinner. I'm selfish and impatient and can be moody. And I thank God for His daily grace and mercy. But I've done a few things right, too, and I feel like I'm getting even better every day.
I've learned to speak up when someone hurts me, rather than hold it inside and let it affect my self worth. I am valuable because God made me and, though I have made mistakes, He doesn't EVER make mistakes. God NEVER made us to be a door mat to be walked on. He made us to be appreciated as a masterpiece.
I've learned the VALUE of RELATIONSHIPS. I once thought relationships were just there, automatic. You are born, you have a mother, you have a relationship, right??? Well, my relationship with my mother has grown exponentially in the last year and a half and I'm using that experience to build a better, more beautiful relationship with both of my amazing daughters. My sister, Julie, is one of my two best friends in the whole wide world because we spend time together, laughing, talking, and nurturing a relationship that is important to both of us. I have made the most beautiful of friendships and I've lost some that I thought would last a lifetime. Relationships are precious gifts from God and like a beautiful flower, they can only grow and flourish if BOTH people involved spend time taking care of them. Otherwise, they will wither and die. I've experienced both scenerios. And our relationship with the Lord is no different.
I've learned the POWER of the MIND. This has been huge for me. Many times I have given into negative thinking. It is so easy to get into a pit of mental despair, playing the victim role, because when you think about it we all have problems or difficult situations to some degree. We ALL have baggage. Everyone's been hurt, self esteem's been shot down. It really takes strength and determination to stay positive, to look on the bright side, to see the Romans 8:28 promise especially when facing undesireable situations. Confession: sometimes I WANT to be weak, crawl into a hole (a.k.a. under the covers of my bed), and have my own little pity party. Sometimes I WANT to say, "I can't do this. I'm TIRED, completely worn out, and I don't want to even try anymore." And I have done that a time or two. But who does it benefit??? No one. Positive thinking makes me feel better, stronger, happier. Positive thinking draws me closer to the Lord and the people I love the most. I have trained my brain to stay on the positive track, to say, "I don't know if I can do this, but I'm gonna try!" But I've also learned that in those few weak, vulnerable moments, 6 words spoken by someone who truly cares can have a powerful impact on the mind, as well as the soul: I UNDERSTAND AND I AM HERE.
Oh, I've learned a few more things which I'm sure I'll blog about in the weeks and months to come. For now, I'll leave you with a poem I wrote recently. I titled it Psalm 151 (because the last Psalm in the Bible is 150) and it is about this complicated thing called life.
The highway stretched out in front of me
Long and lonely
No exits but only
Straight ahead as far as I could see
I kept moving, running, sometimes crawling
Always a smile
With every mile
But inside my spirit was bawling
I stopped for a second to take a look back
Not wishing or hoping
Just merely coping
And fully understanding what lacked
Appreciating the rough roads and every pot hole
Each helped mold me
Into what He told me
He saw when He looked into my soul
He saw past my faults, my insecurities, and my doubts
He saw my heart
My biggest part
And He showed me what my life was about
So now the road is still long, but my story is new
One of faith, hope, and love
And a strength from above
And a Savior who walked a hill, too.