What I Learned After I Thought I Had It All Figured Out

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they sit back in their chair in a moment of peace and think, “I have it all figured out.” This can be focused on our career, our marriage, our parenting, our faith or one of a dozen things. We made the right decisions. We are moving forward with confidence in the direction of our dreams.

Then there comes another time in someone’s life where they lean forward amid the chaos and put their head in the hands and quietly mutter, “I have no idea what I am doing.”

The funny part about life is that the peak and the valley are never too far apart. One season of our life is full of joy and expectancy and the next season is the exact opposite.

Lately, I am learning several things while going through a valley of uncharted territory.

1. Faith is Found in the Darkness. The moments when I think I have it all figured out rest largely on my knowledge and decisions. When you walk out into the unknown, you must cling to what God has told us in his word and little else. Hard times are when I need my faith in the unseen God more than ever. There comes the point in a life of faith where the future ahead is unknown, and God is all you have to lead you forward.

2. Family is Found in the Loneliness. It has been said before, “When life gets hard, you find out who your real friends are.” It is true. In life’s darkest hours you see who really cares about you. Numerous people in this world will stand by you when you look like you have it all together. They will cheer your victories and stand beside you in your pictures with the trophies. When you lose, and there is very little be gained by being your friend the people who stand beside you in those pictures are priceless gifts.

3. Lessons are Learned in the Struggle. The greatest lessons I have learned in life have come during its darkest hours. I pray more diligently. I listen more intently. I think more clearly when I am not sure what I am doing. The unknown forces me to learn. These are the lessons that make me a better Christian, husband, parent, and friend.

All of us love the times of peace and prosperity in our lives, but frequently God uses the difficult seasons of darkness to transform us into his likeness. While I may not want these times in my life, these are the times I need in order to grow.

A couple of things in my life are heard right now, but God is using them to make me stronger. I know he can do the same for you.

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