Free To Be


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Messy Beautiful Life

I've never been one to make castles in the sand, but I dreamed as a little girl that some day a man would come into my life and make all the bad things good, all the sad things happy. We would love each other and raise a family together. And if we happened to live in a castle, it would be great. Funny I never questioned that life wouldn't turn out that way. Almost single (again) I finally understand that life is never fixed, or "made right," by another individual. We are human. We make mistakes and bad decisions. We are strong, but also weak. Some shortcomings never quite work their way out of our lives. And the perfect picture we dreamed we'd live in becomes wrinkled and damaged and torn.

Someone I liked very much recently rejected me without explanation, and it broke my heart. I questioned what I had done. Apologized. Prayed. Then I gave up, realizing our friendship was probably never meant to be. Maybe it was a blessing that it lasted only a short time. One thing I know for sure. God is teaching and changing me through the pain, and it is good.

Castles on the beach are like that. They only last a short time before the tide washes them away. The next day the solid flat sand is pounded by the surf and reshaped into something new and beautiful. Some molding is done by the hands of people like you and me; but the true beauty is found in the ripples and ridges, the tiny pools and puddles, formed by the Hand of God.

 Thomas Merton wrote, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul." I would add that those moments and events, particularly the painful ones, also plant something deep in our hearts. And we are better, humbler, kinder people because of them.

Life was never meant to be perfect. No one on earth is capable of bearing our burdens or fixing what breaks. But no matter how messy life gets, God promises to mold it (and us) into something beautiful. What's happening in your messy beautiful life?