If I’d known then…

Our trip to Auburn Saturday for the football game–my first in many, many years–evoked many memories of our younger selves, mine and my husband’s, and of our dating and newlywed days. I was young. In love. Full of the idealism and confidence of youth. Convinced the world was my stage and my dreams realities.

Today, well, I am not so very idealistic as that. My dreams have been replaced with reality and my confidence with something slightly less than.
Remembering the me I was, the us we were, brought my friend’s question to mind: What would I tell myself when I was her age, a young newlywed on the brink of life as a grown up? I struggle with this because, well, I don’t have to tell you this, but, get this, I’m somewhat of a cynic. Yeah, me. I’ve discovered that life is far more mundane and messy than I ever dreamed–and I wonder: is this what I tell her? Would it have been beneficial to me for someone to sit me down and break the news to me that I would not change the world, that the power suit and briefcase would never make it out of the closet and instead of the Wall Street Journal I would be more familiar with Good Night, Moon?
I think yes. I’d like to think that I would accept the ordinary life with humility and gratitude and an eagerness to serve the Lord in whatever He calls me to do. Maybe I would not have wasted so many years resenting the small life that is mine after all.
I posed the same question to you and your answers were full of the wisdom and insight I so desperately lacked at my friend’s age. To acknowledge how quickly time passes–the good stuff and the difficult stuff, both. The humility to know that it’s not all about me–yes and amen. To lose the pursuit of perfection and instead accept my limitations, even delighting in my weakness, absolutely. Letting go, receiving the Lord’s grace as just that–grace, and throwing off the weight of condemnation. To choose to enjoy whatever stage of life I’m in and to not take myself so seriously. To cultivate deep, meaningful relationships, making the effort to love well.
To all of your comments I say “Amen!” I appreciate your honest confessions and I couldn’t say it better myself. Like you, I wish I’d known all of those things and appropriated their truths accordingly.
As a young college student madly in love with a future engineer from Auburn I could not have imagined all that awaited me over the next couple of decades. Really, who could have known? Hello, four priority blessings–all boys?
What I wish I had known: calling, vocation, house, stuff, expectations, frustrations, trials, clothes, shoes, and so on–all shift and sway and ultimately disappoint and none matter in the long run. The only thing that matters is Jesus. Seeking Him, knowing Him, following Him, proclaiming Him. Serving Him by serving my family with joy and contentment. Dying to me and living for Him. Being grateful for the blessings and trials He sovereignly bestows.
If I’d known then what I know now, I’d like to think I would spend my days, my money and my talents in pursuit of the glory of Jesus Christ in all things. I see but I forget that He alone satisfies. He alone sustains. He alone brings joy and peace, meaning and significance. His glory is the highest purpose and His kingdom the worthiest aim.
Christ alone my glory, my passion, and my desire. Let it be!
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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

7 thoughts on “If I’d known then…”

  1. Are you sure that one of those boys isn't a girl??Anyway–yes, yes, and yes. When I'm in a content state of mind, I'm overjoyed with the mundane reality of my life. Notice I said when. . . . But still — there is something secure and comforting about it all.And how can a life be mundane when each day holds something new??

  2. I love this post, Lisa…If you'd like your own word cloud, go to wordle.net. Create by copying your main blog address and add this on the end:feeds/posts/default?max-results=1000It will grab all the words from your blog! The ones you use the most will be biggest, least smallest, etc. Then play with fonts, colors, etc. Fun!

  3. Wonderful. It is hard … so very hard to find the real priority in each and every day when I am bombarded with the oh-so-pressing *here and now* demands of children at my feet and a day with too few hours. The only thing that does matter is Jesus.And I need to be reminded of this all the time.

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