Abraham Lincoln said it perfectly, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Several years ago had you asked me where my life would be today, I guarantee I would not have gushed to you that my dream would be single and living back at home with my parents. Looks like the joke is on me. Clearly the Lord has something different in the works than what I had planned for myself.
Life is tough. Every morning presents a new challenge. Something brutal may be lurking around the corner, or the possibility of an exciting new adventure may take place, I never know. It’s a multitude of ocean waves; full of ups and downs. So easily I can to relate to anyone who has ever felt stuck, lost, broken, worthless, overwhelmed, empty, consumed, dry, and beaten down by what those waves carry.
Somewhere in a season of trials I was hit hard with a little dose of new perspective I wouldn’t have gained otherwise. When I was once overwhelmed with discouragement, I now see had a reason. Where I once felt weak, I now view as an opportunity to seek strength. Where I once faced a struggle I now see as the ability to develop character. And what I once could only hope for, I know was faith being built. Life is not a hopeless game; we are just selfish people who have turned life into a game and fall down with tearful eyes when we don’t meet our own definition of winning.
I’m so thankful my road is not winding in the direction I originally mapped. Countless lessons would have been missed and the beauty of the journey lost, had I gotten my way. Just because my prayers aren’t always answered in the way I would like them to be, does not mean that they were not answered. There is a peace that dances across my shoulders knowing each destination has happened for a reason. What a waste not to explore the purpose and potential for my life that I may not even be aware of.
Let’s be honest, I’m light years away from the woman I desire to be. At this point in life my mind goes black when I think of what the future might hold. There are so many things out of my control. The only thing I really can control is my own behavior, attitude, perspective, and character. That’s why I think it is so important to be prepared and take advantage of every day in pursuit of what that amazing woman looks like.
This journey is not about getting what I want or telling anyone else how to live. This journey is about making the most of what has already been given. It’s about giving thanks in all circumstances. It’s about finding hope in the dark and potential in the broken. It’s about viewing beauty in pain and joy in trials. It’s about being prepared for the bumps up ahead and striving for excellence with every new morning. And mostly it’s about being clothed in dignity and learning how to smile at whatever the future may unravel.