Graduating is one of those milestones in life that makes you start thinking. Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of that. A lot of looking forward, a lot of looking back, a lot of trying to figure out what made me who I am. Tonight I went for a long walk with the girl who’s been my best friend for almost a decade and we were talking about that.
We talked over a lot of the hurts we’ve had over the years, and some of the little triumphs. We talked about the doubts and fears we have about the future, and about the hopes and the promise it holds. We talked about how much we’ve helped each other over the years without ever realizing it. And we came to one inescapable conclusion… God is so very good! We realized how stunningly evident His unending love, mercy, and grace are in our past lives.
Looking back, I tend to think about how much I can complain about. How many times I’ve been hurt by people, how many mistakes I’ve made, how often I’ve made choices that I regret. But then I start to think about how far any of those instances could have gone. I came so close to doing such stupid things so many times… and I certainly can’t take the credit for that not happening. God has been so faithful in my life to provide an escape. He’s always showed me the way to go, even if that meant speaking to me through friends because I wasn’t willing to go to Him.
I tend to think of my life story as rather dull. I mean, I’ve lived a sheltered life as a homeschooled pastor’s kid in a small town. I don’t have a dramatic testimony, I never even really outwardly rebelled against my parents. People look at my life and think either how fortunate I am that so little has happened to hurt me, or how much I missed out on having “fun.” But very few people see it as exciting. I’m learning to look back on my life not as a long, gray, dull road that I had no choice but to walk, but as a dangerous path, guarded on either side by the things God put there to keep me safe.
My life may not seem to be much of a story worth telling, but to myself and a few others it is a testimony of God’s gloriously beautiful faithfulness. Instead of looking at the trials I had as a burden, I’m learning to thank God that I was able to learn those lessons so lightly. Yes, I’ve lived under a rock for much of my life, but suddenly that doesn’t seem so bad. God has used all of the things that got through to me, and the things that didn’t, to make me who He wants me to be… and He’s a far better designer than I could ever dream of being. And He’s always been faithful, despite me running away as hard as I could at times.
I serve an absolutely spectacularly magnificent Lord. The more I think about life, the more overwhelmed I am by His exceeding mercy and grace. God is good. God is so gracious. God is always faithful. What more is there to say?
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth with I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations. ~ Psalm 89:1