Recently I have re-connected with several of my old 'childhood/high school' friends...it is a good feeling to find old friends and get to know them once again. Many of the folks I have found are people I grew up with. We were raised in different families with varying backgrounds and traditions yet there was a common thread holding us together. We were all raised in a close knit community, some of us attended the same church, others attended various other churches of differing denominations...but we were ALL raised in 'Christian' homes. And we were raised in a time when 'parenting' was a community responsibility...by that I mean regardless of whose home we may be in at the time the parents there had the responsibility of teaching, disciplining, and caring for us, and they took that responsibility seriously. I feel that all of my friends parents played an important role in raising me, as did my parents in raising them. So, why did we all turn out so different? Why have some had such hard lives and others seemed so blessed?
We have all chosen different paths...taken different roads to where we are now. Some did not choose so well...but did they make a mistake? Or was it just their destiny to follow that rough road? Only God knows for sure. It is my belief that there are no 'mistakes', no 'coincidences' in our lives...just choices and consequences, or outcomes of those choices.
This past week I spent some time with one of my closest childhood friends...life has taken a toll on her body, but it has not broken her spirit. She chose her path and it has not been an easy one, but when asked if she had it to do over again would she do it differently her answer is 'No'. I have asked myself the same question a few times when things have not been too great in my own life...and guess what, my answer is also 'No'. And for both of us the reason is the same...because if I had chosen differently I would not have the 'blessings' that I have in my life today. Both of us realize that the most important things in our lives...the people we love the most...our children and grandchildren...would not be ours if we had chosen a different mate (or mates in her case) and thereby chosen a different road. We may have missed the bumps we hit in the road we chose, but there would have been other bumps and there is no guarantee the results/rewards would have been one bit better in the end, or even as good. I pray her life (and mine too) from here on out is easier and sweeter, if it isn't I hope that for this part of the journey we will be there for each other and our spirits and faith will keep us strong.
I end this post with the following quote which has come to mean a great deal to me during the past year...
"I've lived through things I would never have thought I was capable of and I am much less afraid than I used to be.
The process of wounding awakens us to our strength...it shuffles our values and the top priority is never what you thought it would be. It's never about perfection or power...it always turns out to be about LOVE.
Knowing ourselves to be vulnerable and our time here to be limited we are freed to live more passionately and fully than we have been before...to discover what's worth fighting for and who we are...real strength lies buried at the depth of any wound we have survived. "
4 years ago