If only I had known then what I know now.

rearviewmirrorHow many times do we say those words to ourselves? Maybe it’s if I had only known in high school what I know now, or if I had only known while I was stressing endlessly over that job search or that breakup or that (fill in the blank), that things would turn out SO much better in the end.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Well, each week on my day off from work for the past couple months, I have stared at the empty Add New Post template on this neglected weblog and wondered to myself “how do I get from the goals I set back in June to what my life looks like now?”

The reality is, it’s too long for a blog post.

I look at those goals that I set back in June, and the truth is that just about every single one of them was accomplished. I hit my goal weight. I have picked up my guitar again. I was fully immersed in the experience of Spoke Folk during the month of July. We finished building our backyard fire pit. I could go on and on with just about every single item on that list…

…and yet so much of it seems so trivial.

Phase 5 came and went. Phase 6 is two weeks from ending. I didn’t set goals. I didn’t blog about it. (Actually, I didn’t blog about anything.)

And yet, life right now is a beautiful mess beyond what I could have ever imagined at the beginning of this summer. And I wouldn’t change a single step of the journey God took me on this summer, this mess of discipleship that he has called me to this fall, this community that he has created in my life that is so dangerously close on some days and yet so widespread that it stretches from coast to coast and even across oceans.

If only I had known then what I know now.

Honestly, if I had known back in June what I know now, I might have backed out of a lot of things. I would have tread more cautiously. I would have avoided the hard conversations. And I would have missed out on so much joy and beauty and growth.

Because, let’s be honest. We are meant to be changed by the journey. We are meant to learn lessons as we go. Life and discipleship is meant to be messy, and imperfect, and scary… that’s what makes it beautiful.

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