I Have Learned.

Through life's ups and downs, I have learned more than anything that difficult times most often breed genuine growth. I'm not saying that moments filled with sunshine cannot produce growth because they certainly can; however,  there is something about trials and "waves" that brings us to a place of sincere, life-changing questioning.  When all is dandy I confess that I am less motivated to challenge myself and reflect upon my decisions, thoughts, and actions. 

Moroever, it is through these dim moments that as Christians we cultivate the strength to walk, even when we do not feel like we are capable of doing so.  A recent example comes to mind when I was having a late night conversation with my father about the first time I had walked. I asked him how he felt as a father to watch his only daughter, his eight-month-old take her first steps. To that he replied that he was filled with joy, but he also knew that my walk would not be perfect the first time around. The following days he would stretch his arms out and wait for me to crawl and then eventually walk. He admitted that I fell quite often. Yet, as a good father he needed to allow me to fall, in order to stand up on my own. Likewise, in my walk with Jesus, I  have learned to embrace trials as a season where I can grow and know with full assurance that I am walking towards my father. 

As of late, I have been clinging to the words of Spurgeon: 
"I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages." 

How beautiful is that? Which one of us can kiss and embrace trials when they come our way? I for certain am quick to judge my trial-filled circumstances as punishment. But when has that ever been the case? All of scripture is a divine narrative revealing God's ultimate plan to prosper his children. And that narrative is especially fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Regardless of my circumstances (whether good or bad) I can know that all things are working for my good (ESV Rom. 8:28). That, my friends, is a promise. 

Any trial that throws me into Jesus's arms is not a trial or season in vain.  I am reminded of this right now more than ever as my husband and I are undergoing a major season of transition, where we are tempted to feel defeated, even bitter. Yet, we are learning to walk boldly through this season and persevere, as perseverance produces character, and character hope (Rom. 5:4). 

My hope is that this post can encourage others who are also facing moments in life where things may be hazy, confusing, and/or filled with suffering because we can all agree that encouragement is highly needed in this crazy world we are living in. 

XX A.M. 

P.S. here are some photos I have been wanting to share for months now. They were taken about a year and a half ago on my journey from sunny SoCal to the misty Bay Area, all on the glorious PCH. Needless to say, it was a spontaneous trip, which needs to happen again...very soon.