Someone posted a status update about defining moments a while back. I was drawn to the post but more than that the thoughts about those moments. What are the defining moments in my life? Moments that have defined who I am? Those could be good or bad moments. When I look back and try to remember those moments I realize that it's not the actual moment that defines me but rather how I choose to react to that moment. And as I sit here and try to think of them, most of them have been the tough times.
With the exception of the big events such as having my children and getting married...absolutely...those moments changed me FOREVER! But they changed me in different ways. I mean I went from being a girl to a mom. From being single to being married - being alone to becoming one with Dave. From being a parent of one to a parent of two...three...and four. But in the midst of those children were losses as well. While I had four children, I also had 3 miscarriages. Those were tough moments. Those changed me too.
I guess what I'm realizing is that in the tough times is where the biggest character refining happens. When things are good and all is well...there's just not much change that happens. At least not for me. I mean why would anything need to change if all is well? Maybe I'm not thinking through that all the way, but it seems to me that if things are going good and working out well for me...why would I need to work on my character?
Take my marriage for example. When things are going well, we just continue on as status quo. When something happens and we disagree on something or a bubble rises to the surface, we then have to deal with it. Well, I guess we don't have to deal with it but we usually choose to. We may argue at first or not...it depends on what it is. But eventually we come to a place where we have a good long discussion. There may be tears or maybe not. BUT when we choose to deal with the issue at hand we ALWAYS come out stronger and better for it. We peel off a layer and get a look into the other's heart even deeper. We have more understanding for each other. I guess what I'm saying is that when there is a conflict it seems as though those are defining moments in our marriage where we end up going deeper with each other. It's like we take another step and get even closer to each other. We've been through some pretty tough painful times in our lives together and when I look back at those...what I see is two people who have opened up and been willing to allow God to change us. And because of that we have come out stronger. Not only as a couple but individually.
So, while I love all the good times we share, I really think that our intimacy grows more through the tough times. The good times are great because we have laughter and they're fun. Thankfully those are way more often than the tough times. But in those tough times, our love has grown stronger and deeper. For many marriages I know that this is not the case. The tough times end up destroying a marriage. That is why I say that it is not the actual moment that defines who you are and where you go but rather the way you react to it. How you choose to handle that defining moment really does make a difference.
I can also relate this to my other relationships. At times where I've had difficult moments with friends or family members, it is not the incident or the moment that has defined our relationship but rather how we've handled that moment. When you love someone it can be hard to deal with things from time to time. Sometimes there are things that you can just let go and maybe sweep under the carpet, but when you choose to deal with the thing and you handle it with love, I've found that the relationship moves to a deeper level. Is it always easy? No! In fact, it's usually really difficult. But once I'm through it I see the closeness shared and I'm thankful for it.
Our pastor has said this from time to time "God is more concerned with our character than our comfort." So when I'm going through a tough time I need to figure out where my character needs to be refined. The past year has been a year of refining. Entering the Potter's Wheel program was a defining moment for me. To choose this path was not an easy decision. I wasn't just signing up for a "program". I was signing up to having my character refined. I was signing up to allow God to mold and shape me more than ever before. I have put myself on the Potter's Wheel. I wrote a post about this a while back.
Over the next few months I'll be studying more in depth about Honor, Humility, and Holiness. I can't imagine what's in store for me but I'm sure there will be many defining moments. I hope to share more along the way.
I pray that whatever you are going through right now that it is a defining moment that will change and shape you for the better.
Welcome to our journey. The purpose of my blog is not only to journal our life experience, but also to share what God is doing in our lives. I do not claim to be an expert in parenting, marriage, or even the Bible. But I do have a heart to share my experiences and the true love that God has for each and every one of us. You can read our testimony by clicking on the top of the page. And if you'd like to know about the Homeless Ministry my husband started, you can click on the Homeless tab. I hope you will comment freely on my posts and in my community.