We’ve all been burned in some way or another. Maybe from a past love, a boss or coworker, an old friendship, or even by a child or family member. Many times it stems from something we’ve done ourselves – a mistake or misstep in life; a misspoken word; an emotional reaction to an intense situation, or simply a rebellious season in life that changed our entire path.
Whatever the cause, I’m a firm believer that ‘God will allow anything and everything to happen to us as long as it brings us closer to Him‘. I heard that phrase years ago spoken by a pastor I truly admire, and honestly questioned the phrase at first. Why would God ALLOW us to endure trials, pain, suffering, abandonment, rejection, loneliness, or any other hurtful life experience? What is the purpose of being a Christian if God is going to just sit back and watch us implode and make stupid mistakes that not only adversely affect our own lives, but the lives of others around us – our parents, husbands, children, etc.
I now realize that I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not gone through those trials and challenging times. Even the rose, as beautiful as it may be, has thorns. I try not to look back and wonder ‘what if’, but rather to look back and say ‘because that happened, I am (blank) – stronger; learned what not to do; became more compassionate towards others; have more faith! I think it’s all those things and more!
Living a problem-free life is not the solution, and although I wish I had less problems, it doesn’t guarantee my life would be any better without them. As a matter of fact, it could even be worse if I hadn’t learned the lessons I did when going through those valleys.
Today, I can honestly say my scars are part of who I am. The trials I’ve endured have brought me closer to the person God is molding me to be…and as much as I’d like to go back and make some better choices, I’m not sure I would be able to help others if I had chosen differently. Having empathy for someone who is walking the same path I did allows me the unique ability to stand beside them – to be a source of strength and hope. Because I, having been burned many times before, can now shine a little light to help others.