If only I had known…a look back in light of joys revealed

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

For so many years of my life, I was in a perpetual fret. Worrying, wondering, wishing, regretting, and doubting…doubting that I would ever find contentment and joy in my life. It seemed others were far more comfortable and contented than I found myself to be, and I envied them and questioned, “how can it be that they are free and I am bound, suffocating in my mind of unease and fear?” I lacked faith. Not in the way one might think. I was certainly a believer in Jesus, yet I wasn’t convinced He had a plan for my life, a plan He would bring to fruition; a good plan, a plan of purpose and a plan with joy scattered all along the way. If only I could have seen, trusted, believed…

This scripture begins so beautifully with the words “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” If I could have known this would be true in my own life, personally, not just in a grand overarching sense, but would literally reach all the way down to me, individually, well I believe I could have settled down a little quieter, with more peace and rest and patience to wait…to wait for my times and seasons, or better said, my turn in the multitude of times and seasons!

If only I had known my little silken-haired daughter with the bright angelic smile would indeed be kept safe all the way through childhood and into adult life and be equipped to spread her wings and live her life on her own away from my watchful gaze, I could have had more peace and enjoyment in those years that spanned her growing season.

And before then, long before, had I known I would grow into a young woman and have suitors to find me worthy of their attention; that though I found myself to be gangly and pale, some poor lad would be smitten by it, call it love and I would have a partner for life, I could have smiled and laughed my way through adolescence instead of feeling self-conscious and alone.

Had I known that many wrongs would be righted and heartaches healed, broken relational fences mended and failure overcome with triumph, I surely would have had a freer heart.

Had I known that just past the years of difficulty and seemingly endless mountains of study and work, lay a time of pure delight, the gift of a son in my middle years, I would have smiled at the future with unstoppable joy! And too, a grandson, as if there were anything more to be discovered in the realm of what is pure and lovely, God granted me the joy of a grandchild, only 4 years after the gift of a son. How beautiful and precious are the plans God holds for us all. If only we could know to wait and trust in Him!

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