I was thinking about all of the things that I wish someone would have told me along the way in life to help life be a little easier, a little smoother of a ride. I was thinking about all of the things that could have steered my life a little to the left or a little to the right if someone would just have told me about them. Then I realized that even if they had told me, I wouldn’t of listened.
To be honest, people tried telling me things along the way all the time to help me in life. I just couldn’t relate and therefore just didn’t really listen. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t listening, I was just incapable of fully tracking with them since I had different experiences than them.
I didn’t understand the person that told me how hard it would be to pay back school loans once college was over. I laughed at the mom that always had to leave a function in order to get her kids home for nap time. I couldn’t relate to the person who had a hard time adjusting to real life again after a traumatic experience. I didn’t fully sympathize with the person who was going through hell in their life and couldn’t quite seem to get above water.
What someone could have told me though, was that as I started to experience life for myself, I would in turn start to understand their life a little better. It was only as I started to experience pain in my own life that I could fully start to understand and sympathize with others. It was only as I became a mom that I started to stop judging other moms for the things they did that I thought were crazy before. As life threw me a little hell to go through myself, it was only then that I started to understand trying to stay above water.
I think this is what Jesus may have meant when He talked about His power working best in weakness. As I started to realize my weakness in life I also started to be able to offer grace to people where I hadn’t been able to before. Walls of judgements began to crumble and new rivers of grace began to flow. As I experienced pain and discomfort and change, I was suddenly able to relate to people in new ways and a grace opened up in my life for other people that I so desperately needed for myself. It’s the things that have hurt me the most in life that have led me to grace the quickest. I’ve seen that the parts of my life that have been the hardest, the darkest, the biggest struggle for me, have been the parts where Jesus has been the clearest and the strongest. The heavy things and the hard things are what make us grow as people. The easy parts of life are fun and amazing, but they don’t usually end with me having as deep of a need and longing in my soul to love people and be there for them as the tough things do.
Someone could have tried to explain how hard life would be at times, or how beautiful, but there is just no shortcut to these experiences. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to see the light at the end of dark days for ourselves or experience the pure joy that new hope can bring. So while I could wish that someone would have made a list for me about how to get through life the easiest, what I am learning to wish instead is that when life gets hard, and ugly, and brutal, that I would just continue pushing forward, continue going through it, and continue knowing that in the process grace is being produced in me and hopefully, just hopefully, I can act a little more like Jesus through each step.