I was thinking the other day about how difficult it is to when we’re in the middle of life to see how different situations are molding our character. It’s not until we’ve gone through them that we can look back to see the ways they affected and changed us.
I thought I’d list a few of mine out, although I’m sure my friends and family already know most of them.
I’ve listed them chronologically instead of order of importance, since they make more sense that way.
- Moving to Alaska – I may have gone kicking and screaming, but it completely changed the direction of my life. The last few years in Portland were hard, both spiritually and emotionally.
- My salvation at age 16. I’m not saying God couldn’t have reached me if I hadn’t gone to Alaska, but I’m not sure I would have been willing to respond to His call.
- Leaving home when I was 18. It wasn’t my finest moment, but it taught me the value of family. I never looked at them the same way again; it taught me to appreciate my parents and their wisdom/advice.
- Returning home a year later. In addition to a huge dose of humility, this taught me the power of true friendship and forgiveness. Turns out I didn’t know everything at the ripe old age of 18. Imagine that.
- Teaching the 4’s and 5’s Sunday School class. For the first time I realized how much I loved to teach, which eventually led me to pursue a degree in elementary ed. Not that I finished, but hey, looks like I’m going to get to teach after all. 🙂
- Making some wrong choices regarding friends/boyfriends/acquaintances. I made plenty of mistakes, but they taught me that God had a specific plan for my life.
- Speaking of a specific plan, re-connecting with Jerm after all those years confirmed it. Obviously, meeting my husband had to make this list. 😉
- Leaving Alaska behind. Leaving my family and friends was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing them, but I gained a whole new family and set of friends here in Texas. This was definitely a growing experience, and as uncomfortable as they can be, they’re usually a good thing.
- Losing my grandfather. I hadn’t dealt with death much until Gary and then my grandfather died, and it made me realize (as it always does, I’m sure) that the time I have with my loved ones is precious and shouldn’t be taken for granted. My grandfather died one month before Susannah was born and every time we visit my grandma I wish my girls could have known him, too.
- Becoming a mother. Which of course, changed everything.