I came across this in Blogland yesterday, and loved it.
It made me remember the Christmas my first boyfriend dumped me.
His present was wrapped and waiting under the Christmas tree, but when he came home from college, he never called.
I remember going to church on Christmas eve, and feeling like I hated the girl who said to me, “Oh, well, there are plenty of other fish in the sea!”
Like I was looking for quantity.
When we got home, my mom told me she had talked with two of her friends about the disappointment I was going through. They both promised to pray for me.
My mom said, “And they’re the kind of ladies who really know how to pray!”
Both of them had experienced great suffering and disappointment in their own lives. My little break-up wasn’t a big deal compared to the things they had weathered, and yet they didn’t treat it as small.
And you know what? It wasn’t.
Because that is the night I went to my room and thought good and hard about what I wanted the rest of my life to be like.
I thought about those women, strong, caring, prayer warriors, and I knew I wanted to be like them when I was older.
But I also knew that night what it would take to get there – it was their hardships that had made them strong. Rough winds had taught them how to bend without breaking, and their roots went down deep.
That night, I knew what I wanted did not come cheap or easy…but I knew, without a doubt, I wanted it anyway.
I knelt by my bed, and I prayed that God would give me depth. That He would teach me how to be strong and true, no matter what life brought my way. Or maybe because of what life brought my way.
And although it scared me like crazy, I asked Him to do whatever it took to teach me to be like those women. I was young, and maybe I didn’t fully understand what I was praying, but I definitely had a glimpse that night, with my broken heart and my desperate hunger for more of Jesus.
It’s funny, because I do not desire hard or difficult things to come into my life, but I crave the growth that happens. It seems as though some growth can only happen along with the pain – pruning is followed by new life.
You can see it in people, can’t you? You know when you’re with someone who has been through the depths. How true it is that beautiful people don’t just happen.
Jesus happens to them. And they choose Him, over and over again, no matter what they suffer, because they know it’s not about this life anyway. They choose joy, because experience has taught them that pain can always be followed by something wonderful.
I want to be like that!