There was a time when my life was governed and chained in fear. It was fear that kept me from risking and reaching out. Fear prevented me from asking forgiveness of those I had hurt. Fear hindered me from asking for the support I needed from a friend. Fear kept me cowering from my tough circumstances instead of standing up in God’s power, facing them, and working through them. It was fear that led me to hiding and pretending to be someone I was not.
Fortunately, God, as I understand Her, uses an infinite number of vehicles in the process of helping me face my fears and grow. I do not know of any means that leads to instant growth. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who became instantly mature. It’s a painstaking process that God takes us through, and it includes such things as waiting, failing, losing, and being misunderstood—each one calling for extra doses of perseverance. In other words– Learning to grow up comes through hard-core, gutsy perseverance.
Each of these vehicles has led me to a place of wisdom, compassion and acceptance.
In waiting I learned to trust.
In failing I learned that I was not the failure.
In losing I learned to let go.
And in being misunderstood I learned the art of compassion.
During my time as a single mom, and learning to survive in this broken world, I had no choice but to grow up, face my fears and learn to trust a Higher Power for my daily needs. There were months when I didn’t know how I was going to pay the rent or buy groceries. Being on a fixed income with little and no child support I had to rely on government subsidies and student loans. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I felt that I was a failure because I was divorced and I didn’t want to raise my children in a broken home. It was never my plan to raise my children that way! I was depressed, angry and full of fear. There were some mornings where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. But hard-core, gutsy perseverance forced me to!
Little by little, each and every day, I put a smile on my face and did what I could to survive. Learning to grow up comes through hard-core, gutsy perseverance.
Of all the vehicles, waiting was the most difficult process for me. This is because waiting is a true measure of one’s faith. There isn’t much to do during this time except to trust that The Plan is being executed. I, on the other hand, did not always trust perfectly, sometimes it was messy. I remember when I was waiting for the right teaching job. No matter how good the interview and how much they liked me, someone else always got the job. So I panicked, I cried, and I was giving up hope. So just when I thought I was going to be living on the streets, the perfect job landed on my lap! And it was through this job I met my future husband. Which reminds me when I also waited for love. It seemed as though every guy I met was married, untrustworthy, or had an addiction of some sort. And when I thought I had found a winner, it would escape me. So I cried, and I doubted myself. I asked the wrong questions such as, “What’s wrong with me?” rather than trusting that love would find me… little did I know that at the right time… at the right moment… with the right person… love would in fact knock at my door. Looking back at this I realized what a waste of time it was to worry and panic about the future. Knowing what I know now, I would have never shed a tear for the wrong person. I would never have worried about finding the right job. I would have just waited… Learning to grow up comes through hard-core, gutsy perseverance.
Now I am married, and living the life I thought would never be mine! I wake up every morning and pinch myself just to make sure I am not dreaming! Every so often, however, I find myself afraid, thinking the shoe is going to drop and I am going to be alone again. I fear that I am going to get hurt again as I did in the past. I know that my cowboy won’t hurt me and that he loves me very much. I just have to trust that! I know we are going to make it, and not only make it, but we are going to be amazing. I have come to believe that my difficult time as a single mom was so that I can be prepared for what is to come. Hard-core, gutsy perseverance.
The truth is, is that life is messy, and we don’t know what the future holds. Until we grow up a bit and understand the meaning of waiting, failing, losing, and being misunderstood, is when we are ready to make the best version of ourselves, ready to live the life we dream of. It is because through these vehicles we learn to be compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and accepting– we learn to persevere. Those qualities my friend are the definitions of love. And because sometimes love isn’t enough we need good-old, hard-core, gutsy perseverance!
Hang in there friends! Life is only preparing you for what’s to come!