. . .so far this year.
I have learned that loneliness is probably the most profound ache humans suffer, and that most depression, at least so far as I can tell, comes from loneliness.
I have learned that goodbyes (which of course lead to loneliness) are the hardest thing in the world to say, and that one of the most beautiful things about heaven will be the forever end of goodbyes.
I have learned that everything around us is a gift from God (His way of saying, "See how much I love you") and that when we learn to count each gift that is our truest way of saying 'Thank you'.
I have learned music is the ultimate bridge between our heart and mind and it is the thing that turns our mind thoughts into heart thoughts.
I have learned that God is a God of both joy and lament and that He desires us to give Him everything inside us, which includes the anger, sadness, jealousy and confusion. Which means it's ok to yell and cry and scream to God and we don't have to try and perfect what's inside us before we come to Him. That's His job.
I have learned that Jesus is the most understanding and sympathetic person in the whole world, end of story, and that He is the only one who really understands me. This discovery has instilled an instinctive deep desire that He be the first and ultimate one I go to with my fears and confusions and fallen dreams and lostness and sadness. Sorrow has taught me that the deepest and strongest of comforts is crying with Jesus.
I have learned that the sovereignty of God is far greater and broader than we can imagine that we can imagine, and that His way of thinking is so profoundly different from our way of thinking that it is silly to wonder, "Why are bad things happening if you're a good God?" Goodness is all that God can be, and who are we to think we can define goodness from our own limited perspective on this huge plan of His?
I have realized that what happened in the throne room of God between God and Satan concerning Job could easily happen more often than we think. Did you ever stop to think, amidst the ache of a broken heart, that maybe God is saying to Satan, who is trying so hard to do all he can before he is destroyed forever, "Haven't you noticed my precious girl, Londa? She is serving so faithfully. She is loving so my way." And then He lets Satan do his dirty work and throw all sorts of awful things at me, but it's ok, because God's giving me a chance to prove His strength, and by His strength I'll come out stronger. Powerful stuff.
I have learned that you cannot judge books based solely on what people (especially people who've not read the books) say about the books, and that the Harry Potter series is a wonderful one, full of beautiful truths and symbolism.
I have learned that Lydia and I were destined to be soul mates forever and I am sure that I will never know a friend quite like her.
I have learned that as much as I love and am blessed by Michael Card's music, he is even cooler in person, and we are probably as close to kindred spirits as you get this side of heaven.
At the beginning of the year, I decided it would be a good idea to write devotional things regularly about things I've learned of God and His world (in other words, to force myself to learn things about God). I never followed through with that idea. And I won't say that's a stupid idea. But what I see now, after considering all that I've learned (and it's so much more than I've written here) from experience, that Jesus is the greatest teacher (never myself) and His greatest medium is life. Living, losing, loving, tripping, falling, smiling, weeping, breaking, reaching, holding, giving, hoping. Those are what teach us the greatest lessons.