Several years ago I set in motion a new trajectory for my life. I caught the vision of something wonderful and idealistic and I began working toward it — making major lifestyle adjustments and tough choices. In time, my life became anything but idealistic. It was hard and the further I went, the more that vision seemed like a pipe dream. I doubted the inspiration of it.
In late 2015, I thought things were looking up again. In a blog post from early 2016 that I was reading last night, I was happy and thought I’d found what I was looking for. I had a peaceful loving home. Sure, I would have admitted at the time that it wasn’t the magnificent thing I’d envisioned earlier. But it was good. Life was simple, easy, restful. It was a world better than what I’d had. I was grateful and I loved unconditionally.
Little did I know at the time that everything would fall apart a year later — even more than it already had before. As C.S. Lewis wrote, I “thought [I was] being made into a decent little cottage: but [God] is building a palace.”
As God has ripped out the old foundations this year, He’s taught me something important about Divine Love. Nothing is purely ideal. Nothing is strawberries and cream. The magnificent vision He gave me is unfolding in a way I could never begin to deny, and there are challenges along with it. Funny how I never daydreamed about those. We never do, unless we’re in worry mode.
Had I not been through this difficult 2017-road I would not be willing to embrace the challenges that accompany the blessings. I would have assumed that if it was “meant to be” it would be seamless and easy. It is fun; it’s exciting; it’s wonderful. Yes, it’s all of that; and it’s also one of the most challenging roads I’ve chosen to take in life.
There have been times I’ve asked myself, “Do I still want this vision?” God has told me I’m free to walk away from it and do something different. But what kind of coward would I be to turn down this fabulous adventure, simply because the climb has some rocks and boulders to navigate along the way? Just because it requires letting go of old baggage, old habits, old fears, and inaccurate beliefs?
The mediocre path is the easy one. The one with the breathtaking vistas and delightful encounters is the one that tests our mettle… in fact, the more exquisite the blessing, the more arduous the climb.