Do you remember how, as a kid, all of the teens and young adults looked so "OLD!!"? How they were super-cool, and yet you couldn't imagine actually BEING that old, and especially could not imagine life AFTER that? How as a teenager, seeing people in their 30s and 40s as being REALLY OLD made them super-uncool, and you really couldn't imagine being that uncool?
What happened between then and now?
High school graduation.
Perspective. I have gained the perspective that only age and experience afford us. I am now that super-uncool 40-something, with children in elementary, middle, high school, and college, two cars, and bills. My focus is VERY different than it was when I was that bug-eyed kid looking up to the young adults surrounding, drooling over their "privilege".
The same thing that happened with my perspective on aging has also happened in other areas of my life.
I could not imagine, now, going back to the sheltered life I once lived. The thought is enough to make me hyperventilate.
I enjoy many different foods.
I LOVE seeing new places.
I thoroughly enjoy traveling.
The stuff that used to bring me comfort now threatens to suffocate me.
The anger I used to feel about ways I was treated in the past has faded as I recognize the way God has used those experiences to change me. Yes, there is hurt...the way an old scar is sensitive, an old broken bone aches from time to time. It is enough to remind me that those scars and breaks are the catalysts to growth.
I am grateful for the changes brought about...not because I enjoyed the pain, but because I know now that God is taking what was designed to break me, and is using it to make me stronger and more useful to Him.
To borrow a much-loved phrase from a friend, "Soli Deo gloria." Glory to God alone. He has done this. Not me.