Tomorrow (Saturday) officially marks my 42nd year of life. I don’t particularly feel 42, though. Time has flown by so fast and it seems to go faster every minute. As I reflect, I feel truly blessed and thankful. Of course, I’ve been through bad times and challenges as everyone else. Due to my cerebral palsy, I’m almost always in pain. BUT the joys, the blessings, the goodness FAR outweighs the bad. And in those challenging times, I have learned some valuable lessons. Here are a few random ones:
Miracles happen. I’ve seen them in my life. I have seen them in the life of others around me. Some miracles are obvious, stand-out ones; but, mostly you have to open your eyes to see them. Miracles reside in the little things.
People CAN change. We might not see the fruits of our prayers in our lifetime; but, I truly believe that if there is life there is hope. There is no one so hopeless that they can’t be touched and transformed by God’s grace.
Forgiveness is paramount. Oh, this is a hard lesson to learn. One that will take me a lifetime. When people have hurt us – sometimes very deeply – it can seem like an impossible task to forgive that person. Even perceived hurt, where we are offended or “betrayed” by someone who doesn’t even REALIZE they’ve done something wrong, can be hard to forgive. But forgive, we must. Not for their sake, but for ours.
Living in anger and bitterness changes us and darkens our souls like a cancer. God doesn’t want that for us. He wants to give us life, His abundant life! And it is only in HIM can we find strength and healing.
Being able to laugh at oneself is essential. Another lesson I struggle with. I can be quite quirky at times, but tend to take things seriously – to seriously at times. Not everything is a catastrophe and needs immediate attention! And it is good to laugh at one’s mistakes and foibles and faults. No one’s perfect and perfectionism cause anxiety, frustration and stress – not a good combination for charity and peace!
No one’s looking – they are too busy looking at themselves. As I grow older, I’ve gotten less self-conscious of what others think, especially when I realized that most people are so busy with their lives, they don’t usually notice yours.
Love is a choice. I read once that love is “a decision to will the good of another.” Love isn’t a sappy, feel-good emotion. Love is in the trenches. Love is holding your sick child’s head as he vomits in the toilet. It’s picking up your spouse’s dirty laundry off the floor -again. It’s in the gritty, dirty, exhausting living of life with those around you. And that is where love is its most glorious.
Less is more. I’ve always been somewhat of a minimalist since I find clutter and “stuff” overwhelming. But, as I get older, I see more and more the wisdom of having less. There’s freedom in not being burdened with too much. And there’s less to clean and take care of, too.
What are the life lessons you’ve learned over the years? Do share!
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