Thursday, October 6, 2011

Emily's Answer

"What do you wish you had known when you were my age that you didn't know?" Emily asked me. "Tell us something that you wish you had figured out so that we don't have to learn the hard way. I don't want life to be hard."

Emily discovered happiness at a young age because she has grown up with a lovely childhood alongside a picturesque country setting. She enjoys a healthy, loving family and an encouraging circle of Christian friends. It would be easy to misjudge Emily as shallow with her cheerleader blond good looks and bubbly personality. But life simply has not yet tossed Emily many hardships.

As I looked into Emily's eager blue eyes, so young and bright, I considered my answer. "Life is going to be hard, my darling," I began. "Life isn't long, but it is hard. There's no escape from that truth. Sometimes life gets so filled with burdens that you can scarcely breathe. You're not even sure you can take another step. You're not even sure it's worth the effort."

I smiled at her and continued, "Know that a well lived life is always worth the effort. When you want to give up, dream bigger. Fight harder. Dig deeper. Imagine the goal that you might pursue if you didn't have to wait until you're "good at it" to begin. Enjoy the pursuit, the being alive.

Hard knocks aren't going to come because you are weak or not good enough or sinful or lack faith. Hard knocks are going to come because that's the price of being alive. It's the price for being in the battlefield of life and not on the sidelines. Start where you are and move to where you want to be."

Emily took a big breath and slowly let it out as she soaked up my words. "And you figured that out because of the hard times, right? You know stuff because life is hard. So it's not really such a scary bad thing that sometimes life is hard, is it?"

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