I want to share something that Shirley wrote in her journal. I am publishing this article with her permission.
What’s the difference between school and life?
In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test.
In life, you’re given a test that teaches a lesson. – Tom Bodette
One of the most difficult lessons in life is how to accept loss. – Kerry & Chris Shook
Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.
We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. – Tim Hansel
These are just some of the sayings that I read and found true in my life. And with these I would like to add the top 2 lessons I have learned so far in life:
1. We can take on anything that happens in life as long as we are in unity.
Unity does not come easy. In marriage, we need to constantly fight for it. We strive to live by it. We nurture it. And we guard it. Aside from passion and purpose, peace is a fuel that keep us going where God has destined us as a family.
There are millions of reasons and ways to ruin unity; misunderstandings, miscommunications, misconceptions. Not to mention the difficulties and challenges all married couples face as they go through life. These will either make or break a relationship. These hard truths are capable of strengthening or destroying marriages.
And the sad fact is, much of those turn relationships sour, bitter and many a time, utter cold that lead to seperation. Choose to be in unity in the midst of trials. This is our weapon. Our husband or wife is not the enemy. He or she should be our greatest ally.
Ariel and I may not agree on every issue at hand, but we agreed on resolving all conflicts!
We may not see eye to eye, but we can walk hand in hand.
2. We can recover from losses in life, in time, if we are in the vine.
I have heard, read and encountered countless stories of marriages that resulted in divorce because of considerable loss: loss of a loved one, loss of trust because of unfaithfulness, loss of something of value. I attest, it is tough to lose someone you can never ever replace or something you can never recover! It is devastating. It is mind-altering. It is awfully painful!
One night, at a party, after the death of our son, a friend asked me how I am doing. I responded by saying, “I don’t think I can recover from this loss. The grief is overwhelming. It is too painful. It has seared my soul. It has cut me to the core of my being.” Then she said, “No, you will recover.” At that time, I did not believe her. I thought, “You don’t know what you’re saying. You don’t have any idea how much I’m hurting!”
They say time heals. No, Jesus only heals. Time naturally, in its course, helps heal wounds. But it is Jesus who makes us whole and complete and gives us the ability to run again. It is not enough to heal, it is also important to get back on track.
We need to be always connected to the vine if we are to recover from any losses. The daily outpouring of our deepest sorrow to Jesus is able to heal and transform us emotionally. The daily expression of our trust and faith unto His loving arms, despite what happened, is able to grow us spiritually. And only He is able to restore us completely.