As I reflect onthe last year and eight months, I have come to the realization that we (my family) have learned a lot - things we wanted to learn and others that we didn't want to learn but needed to learn so that we could grow as a family and as individuals.
Things I learned:
*I can survive a broken heart
*My children are braver and stronger than I ever realized
*Bad things happen but they don't have to define us - the way we respond does
*Letting go is difficult but necessary
*People, even the ones you love and who love you, aren't perfect and will let you down
*I can't control the actions of others - only my actions and reactions are within my control
*If someone wants to be mad at me, they're gonna be mad no matter how hard I try to please them
*I can't live my life trying to please people
*It's ok that everyone doesn't like me (I hate it but it's ok...or it will be ok)
*We are a flawed people in a broken world and WE ALL NEED JESUS
*Even when you try your very best you may fail but failure isn't defeat unless you allow to make you stop trying
*There are some things in life that can't be fixed - you just have to allow them to run their course and trust that the Lord has your back
*I have to allow my children to experience failure and make mistakes - it's part of living and I have to give them the opportunity to grow
*I have to allow my children to enjoy their successes and teach them to enjoy and applaud the successes of those they care about
*I have to forgive folks even when they don't ask for it
*It's important to try and make time to see (in person) the people who mean the most to you - even if it's inconvenient - try your best
*I have to take a hard look at myself and allow Christ to heal those things in me that are broken, hurt, angry, faithless, full of doubt, regret
Things I believe my children have learned:
*They can/will survive a broken heart
*They are braver and stronger and smarter than they ever thought
*Grown ups aren't always the good guys (which is unfortunate)
*Life isn't fair but we try to find the good/positive things in every situation (it's hard sometimes)
*Life is hard sometimes but it's worth the fight
*It's ok to ask for help - especially when the road is hard
*They don't have to be perfect and shouldn't try to be
*Sometimes the good things come to those who do the right thing -sometimes the good things happen to the ones who cheat and manipulate - it stinks but it's life in this broken world
*Mom and Dad love them...a lot - NO MATTER WHAT
In the last year and eight months, we have learned several life lessons. Let me tell you, life lessons aren't always fun; Sometimes, they REALLY stink! My kids have had to learn some life lessons that I wish they hadn't learned so soon in their lives. I've had my stomach in knots for months worrying about things that, when I stop and rationalize, are really completely out of my control...yet I worry!
I guess saying that I've "learned" a lot through this journey is an overstatement. I've experienced a great deal and I hope that I have/will learned/learn from the things I've seen/experienced but I'm not sure that I've made the transfer of those lessons to practical application. I've experienced the deep dark valleys and the flat places...the mountain tops have been scarce of late but I still believe that there are some waiting for our family and for each of us as individuals.
I have struggled and I continue to struggle...but these things I know, God is for me/us and He has a plan. I have NO CLUE what the plan is and I struggle every single day to trust that He knows best. Every day, I have to turn my doubt, worries and anxiety over to Him about 1,000 times. I'm not always successful and some days I feel defeated and forsaken but I'm learning again to pray believing that He will answer. I'm learning to trust and have faith that He hears my prayers and answers them in His time an in His sovereign ways. I will never understand why some of the things that have happened over the last year and eight months have happened to us. I have made the choice to believe that He knows best and has allowed all these things to refine each of us; preparing us for the path He has for us.
There is a lyric from one of my all time favorite songs that says,
God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart
Help me, Heavenly Father, to trust Your heart!