FIRST THINGS FIRST
If I knew then…What I know now!
The older I get; the faster time seems to fly! I am trying to get used to writing 2023…and now it is March! Where is the slow-speed button? And regardless of how hard I try to go faster, work harder, and accomplish more…things seem to pile up in the foreground.
As I type this out, I remember the younger version of me and how just hearing that paragraph would have totally stressed me out. But now I am older, and dare I say wiser? Where did all that wisdom come from? I am glad you asked!
Do you remember the old saying, “We learn from our mistakes”? Well, to claim the wisdom is to claim the mistakes that cause the learning. Some things were simply trial and error: laundry mishaps, budgeting failures, and being too rigid, just to name a few; others were trials I had to walk through.
I thought I had everything right where it needed to be; involved in my church, working for FEAST, homeschooling two boys, caring for my
90-year-old mother-in-law, who lived with us, and fitting a very patient husband in around the edges. Whew, that is a lot!
Then one Friday afternoon in January of 2015, I got a phone call. To say everything changed when I found out I had cancer would be an understatement. I put my entire life under a microscope. Where were my thoughts and priorities? Gone! But with their departure came a new set of thoughts and priorities. For survival, I had to get my relationship right with my Savior. I had been lax, and deficient, I had not kept up my part of the relationship. “We” had not drifted away, “I” had drifted away from my ever-faithful Lord. It wasn’t easy. I screamed, cried, and felt angry…but when it was all done, I felt loved. To this day, that was the closest I have ever felt to the Lord. So peaceful. So quiet. So calm.
At that given moment, very little mattered outside of this intimacy I was feeling. My husband, my sons, and my extended family. These were my focus…WOW! That is where my focus should have been all along. If I knew then…what I know now!
One by one, different elements of my life feel in line:
- MY HUSBAND had always waited for me to have time for him. Now I wanted only to please him and make him happy. Simple pleasures, like making his favorite meal or giving him the time to work on projects he wanted to work on. If I knew then…what I know now!
- OUR HOMESCHOOL my oldest was a senior in high school while my youngest was an 8th grader, and I turned my attention toward shepherding their hearts to be the young men God created them to be. I let go of my pettiness. If I knew then…what I know now!
- MY RELATIONSHIPS, EXTENDED FAMILY, FRIENDS, & ACQUAINTANCES I no longer looked at them through the lens of “something I had to do”. Instead, they became individuals I got to help, take them on their errands or appointments, or hang out and catch up! If I knew the…what I know now!
So, the key is to make sure that we learn from our life experiences. Don’t dread the trials, as that is where we get to turn over the reins, learn and grow. If you find yourself in deep waters without a lifeboat, call me! My Lifeguard walks on water! Who knows, you may find yourself saying, “If I knew
then…what I know now!”
MAY YOU FIND HIS PEACE TODAY!