As I paused the other day, I found myself thanking God for the ways He is working in my oh-so-human heart, pruning in some painful ways. In the midst of the pruning, it is difficult to see the benefits or to hold onto the hope of new blossoms. But sometimes we get a glimpse of a new bud–and to our amazement, we find ourselves thankful for the pruning.
As the New Year begins, I look back over the journeys of these past months. The winding paths, the beautiful scenery, and some dark forests. The guiding Light that never left, even when I couldn’t see it.
I see wrong choices I made, the selfishness of my heart exposed. I see the painful consequences of some of those choices.
Yet I see the saving, loving, healing grace of God poured over my paths and in my soul.
I see how He faithfully brought good from bad, shone light in the dark, pruned fruitless branches.
I see how He taught me, convicted me, encouraged me, humbled me, and overwhelmingly loved me.
And I realize if I could go back and start over…
Sure, if I could go back knowing what I have learned, I would make different choices. I would love more, let go more, hold on more, and trust more.
But if going back meant I would lose the heart lessons, the mind renewal (Romans 12:2), and the soul mending that have come as a result of the brokenness…
It wouldn’t be worth it.
Everyone has their share of struggle, pain, heartache, and uncertainty. Praise God that He can bring good from these difficult paths–sometimes the good being the changes He makes in our hearts rather than changing the circumstances.
I’m still in the midst of the journey, but looking back, I’m grateful (gasp!) for where it has brought me so far.
I don’t want to turn back.
Photograph of Danae (Rittenour) Schilt, Spring 2008. Used with permission.