Sometimes I wish you could stop for a bit and revel in how far you have come. I want you to look back and see where you were. Remember the person you once were and cherish the incredible person you are now.
Sometimes I wish you could see past the brave, confident woman I try to portray myself to be and know that I am not much different than you are. I learned to be a fighter, I didn't have a choice. I have a perfectly molded mask I wear when the need is there. Sometimes I don't know when to take it off. That's when I wish I was more like you.
Sometimes I wish there wasn't a reason to learn all I did, as a lot of that learning came from a lot of pain. When I remember, I can feel the sharp edges of emotion like a perfect storm descending upon me from different directions. I don't believe in regrets or what if's- but sometimes I wish I could write my own story from the beginning; starting fresh with blank white pages.
Sometimes I wish all of these things, and then I realize, once more, that I am who I am meant to be, and so are you. The person who I am is a culmination of the experiences I have had, what I have learned from them and how God used it all to shape what is now a life full of meaning and purpose. Through it all, God left me with a soft heart, so I could know others' pain and support them through. I stand up for what I believe in and I fight for others who cannot fight for themselves. Yet I still have this soft heart, and when I pay a price for standing up and stepping out, it can hurt a lot. Sometimes I wish my heart didn't feel so heavy, but I praise God that it is full. I can say that I have really lived, I have known such deep pain, but I have also known incredible feelings of joy. I think back to C.S. Lewis' "Shadow Lands," the story of his own life. C.S. Lewis played it safe for many years, until the American poet Joy Gresham stole his heart. The story is one of finding true happiness; the love of a lifetime, and also of suffering the devastating loss of that love. We risk pain every time we try, every time we step out. I love his quote that pain rouses a deaf world.
And so, I wish for all and for myself, that you are brave enough to step out, open enough to dance with the wind, wise enough to step slowly but deliberately, patient enough to take one step at a time and to always remember that it isn't the destination, but the journey that matters. My journey is like climbing a mountain. Walking with my Savior and helping others in their fights is an uphill climb. How amazing it is finding that beautiful place where one can rest and look out, to see a breathtaking view. In my weakness and humanity I wish so many things, but then, I look up, find I am a little closer to Heaven, and thank God for that mountain view.
Reprint from 2012
Reprint from 2012