A year ago while writing 2015’s Life Lessons (never posted), a string of inconceivable events occurred, my world tipped on its axis, and life hasn’t been the same. Some of those events are covered in previous posts but I decided I needed to articulate,at least for myself, what 2016 taught me.
Lesson One: As you grow old enough to look back on your life, you realize that watershed moments occur simultaneously, or at the least, very close together. There are no coincidences in The Divine Plan. These watershed moments are change agents to pay attention to. Ignoring them delays growth.
Fire and death are undeniably forceful change agents impossible to ignore.
Lesson Two: The brain and the body are powerful integrated entities. While you may think you can fool them into believing you are handling unending stress well, eventually the gig is up. Relentlessly pushing through on adrenaline is eventually going to take its toll.
A decade of constant, pressing financial issues and elder care concerns for my mother kept me on unstoppable adrenal auto pilot. Not one, not two, but three catastrophes (watershed moments) finally slammed my body and soul against a wall at a high rate of speed. It was a crippling crash. Which leads to
Lesson Three: If you are unwilling, unable, or too stubborn to slow down and avoid an oncoming train, that train is still coming for you. Better a collision on your own terms as opposed to the train’s. We’re on Earth to learn. The lessons you are meant to learn keep coming to you until you learn them. Even after you have learned them, you are retested.
Lesson Four: If you are willing to learn, to be aware, to reach and grow, you will understand that the paths in your life’s journey all build upon each other with the ability to make you stronger and better prepared for what comes next. Even in the very worst of moments, in profound loss and sadness, God is always, always there. You can see Him, hear Him and know “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.
One of the ways we see and hear God is through His faithful servants. We are loved and sustained through difficult days by the kindness and compassion of family and friends, sometimes by angels unaware and total strangers. You are not always served by those you serve.
Lesson Five: As I wrote in “What Can I Do?”, when you become aware of urgent needs for help, pick something, anything and do it. Just move. The helpless cannot grasp or articulate their needs. You have a heart, open hands and purpose. USE THEM!
Lesson Six: When you have suffered great loss, you will discover that what you shared, gifted or gave away is what is left – what you have access to. Share those ‘secret’ recipes, special photos, memories, stories, words of love and appreciation before it is permanently too late. What you share comes back to you, ALWAYS.
Lesson Seven: The only thing that matters is the present – the here and now. What happened in the past is over. The future isn’t here. All we have is now. When you suffer loss through death and fire this becomes quite evident. Hanging a leg in the past or reaching beyond today to grab tomorrow splits you in two. You become incapable of being in the here and now, impacting this generation, this community. Grandchildren are the best reason to be in the present and the perfect reset button.
Matthew 6: 25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …
Lesson Eight: This lesson appeared with my Life Lessons from 2014 and bears repeating: We are not meant to be comfortable on this Earth. Comfort stunts growth, compassion and needed action. God is more interested in our character. We MUST get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is HARD. I hate this lesson. I continue to be retested on it.
Lesson Nine: Live life every day, even during very difficult times. Continue to laugh, make memories, be thankful. Your happiness, contentment, the quality of your life should never suffer because of your circumstances. Circumstances are temporary. So is life. See CINDER ella.
Recovery, restoration, resurrection, renewal is the foundation of our faith. Without endings, there are no beginnings. “Every beginning comes from some other beginning’s end,” (Seneca).
The year 2017 is a new year. Let us begin again.
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~
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