New and special friends have taught me the following ten things, having been included within their community. The makings of wisdom that can only be learned by hard experience, these ideas, and more, we pray will be the making of us from this day forth – even as God has already been working in us:
1. Horrendous journeys often have their own incredible blessings. I received this as part of a message from a new friend: “... the journey your family is about to begin is more rewarding than almost anything you’ve ever done.”
2. The power of love in community to hold us up in hard times. This is self-evident as I observe a community of nearly two hundred people interacting on social media, notwithstanding my direct experience of the church for the provision of pastoral care.
3. If there are questions, don’t ever hesitate to ask them. A resounding refrain. People have learned by direct experience how a lack of information has set their family and child backwards. There is a commitment to sharing knowledge and wisdom.
4. Whatever the battle is, others have stridden that path. What a refreshing encouragement this is; we are not alone and never are. If our problem seems unique we just haven’t connected with those who have suffered a similar fate. We are nowhere near as isolated as we think we are.
5. Leadership capacity is unearthed in trial. Rarely are leaders born; leaders are made resolute by drinking the water of adversity and they are sated and grown on the bread of affliction.
6. Slow down and take time to enjoy an unexpected destination (Holland). As in Emily Perl Kingsley’s poem, Welcome to Holland, some destinations of life are hardly expected – some require massive and ongoing adjustment. The key is to slow up, take the pressure down, and lower our expectations. In that we find contentment.
7. Be open to learning about love’s limitlessness. Nothing teaches us so much as love. We all have exponential potential to learn about love. Where we are focused on learning, love will blossom in our hearts. Where we are purposed positively in love, we cannot help but learn.
8. God’s glory is manifest in every soul. We are all – there are no exceptions – made in the image of God. Every human being exemplifies the potential of the essential characteristics of God.
9. Enjoy those times of boredom; life won’t always be that easy. We have all had unstimulating moments and seasons in life where we have cause to complain about nothing really. But looking back from a stark reality we are struck but just how blessed we were to find ourselves merely bored.
10. Resist resentment and do what you can do. Life is very simple and abundantly more meaningful when we understand we should just do what we can do – no less and no more. This has to be a key strategy in managing mounting resentment and putting it quickly to bed.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.