Learning the Hard Way

Well, this is very interesting.

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post to publish today.

I had thought it was a good one, too. This one was without some sort of a structure as most of my other posts are. It was written quite spontaneously, and for that reason, I thought it would be a breath of fresh air to a blog that has the potential to fall into a drowsy routine.

But it’s gone. Here I am, staring at a blank document, wondering what happened to that draft and if there’s some place that I’ve forgotten to look.  I’m also recalling a certain blog post that I read and reblogged during my hiatus: Don’t Forget to Keep Your Sacred by Belle at her blog Seeing Everything Else.

0106-learning-the-hard-way

The post I lost was based on a special experience. When I wrote it, the words were fresh and genuine. If I tried to rewrite it now, that same post would fail miserably to convey the beauty of the experience; the beauty – I believe – of what God did.

This reminds me of a certain truth: I don’t learn lessons properly except for the hard way.

What I mean is this: in Belle’s blog post, Don’t Forget to Keep Your Sacred, she talks about guarding those experiences that God gives us to be enjoyed between Him and us alone.

Perhaps this is a new idea for you. It was for me. I thought that of course we should share the good things God does for us – shout it from the metaphorical rooftops if He so gives us the courage. But the above blog post made me consider that perhaps God intends certain things to be held dear between us and Him. Maybe that’s what it meant when Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2, see verse 19).

This may just be one of those occasions where – as the wise man said – “there is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Belle’s blog post really resounded with me. In reading it, I felt as though I had stumbled across a precious, biblical truth – or more accurately, that God had lead me there. I thought that I had undergone a whole mindset shift.

That was the easy way of learning. This is the hard way:

A few days ago, I experienced something that touched me deeply; I’ve mentioned it already. Instead of telling God how good He was, my instinct was to relay it to WordPress and then publish it for the world to read. Whether or not this instinct was the very reason God allowed a “good” post to be lost, I can only speculate. But one thing’s for sure: Belle’s blog post was inspiring, but I truly learned (hopefully) the hard way.

I see this to be true in at least one other area of my life.

I’ve been living by myself (apart from my family) for almost two weeks. It’s a temporary housesitting arrangement, but a huge learning curve nonetheless.

How constantly and faithfully did my parents teach me to thank God for my food while I lived with them? Yet here I am now with more of a part in providing my own food than ever before. I’m learning on a new level what they taught me all along.

It’s through the practical experience that I learn the lesson more fully than ever did I learn it when someone told me.

This has been a bit of a different post than usual. Thank you for reading until the end, even something so last-minute and poorly organized.

I hope you know I’d always love to hear your thoughts

  • What lessons were you taught, but still had to then learn the hard way?
  • What value is it of, then, to listen to what others teach (or to be the one teaching)?
  • What do you think about the idea of keeping some things between you and God?
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14 thoughts on “Learning the Hard Way

  1. I think it is very true. In a world where we can so easily share everything with everybody, the enjoyment of little special moments between God and ourselves are often lost. We tend to pull out our phone to take a photo and post it as soon as we can. We have lost the joy of those special quiet moments that are supposed to be between our father and us. Sometimes I am sure God just wants us to sit and enjoy just being together, keeping secrets between us and just savoring those special moments. We have lost so much. I want to get better at just resting in God. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. That’s a lovely thought – “keeping secrets between us and just savoring those special moments.” It makes me realize how personal of a God He is and that He is about relationship, not rules. Thank you!

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  2. Jordy, I didn’t mention it before, but I really appreciated the post “Don’t Forget to Keep Your Sacred.” It also made me think deeper. Today I was reading “Before You Meet Prince Charming” by Sarah Malley, and the particular chapter was drawing a parallel between our relationship with God and a union of marriage. There are so many things in common…both relationships should be passionate between two people (or Person) alone, both should fill you with excitement where you can’t stop thinking, talking, and longing to be with that person, both should be pure and un-defiled with someone as head of the relationship (Christ or the husband), the list goes on and on. If that parallel is accurate (which is may or may not be), you can think about those sacred moments differently. If you have a special experience with your husband, do you tell the whole world? Maybe (very!) occasionally, but the main purpose of those moments are to bring YOU closer to HIM. As Christians seeking after our Bridegroom, perhaps keeping those feelings sacred and hidden is a way to be holy and set-apart for our heavenly Prince.

    I didn’t mean my comment to be so long…Lol. 🙂 But that analogy stood out to me, and perhaps it’s something interesting to ponder together.

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    1. Definitely interesting to ponder together! I like how you put it here, that “as Christians seeking after our Bridegroom, perhaps keeping those feelings sacred and hidden is a way to be holy and set-apart for our heavenly Prince.” It makes me think of your previous post, Knowing the Groom, and how you proposed that being a Christian is less about knowing God and more about *coming* to know Him. Isn’t it those moments where we learn just a little bit more, have just another experience and understand with just a bit more depth – isn’t it those moments that are sacred?

      Well, as I’ve thought more about that post, Don’t Forget to Keep Your Sacred, I’ve had another thought. Assuming that the things that are sacred are those things that touch our heart, convict it or else transform it in some other way unique to the Holy Spirit’s work, assuming those are the sacred things that we should be careful to share, then what *do* we post on our blogs? What is there left to share? I want my blog to represent God well and be worth something in the light of eternity. So what do I share if not that which touched my heart, convicted it or else transformed it in some other way unique to the Holy Spirit? So, I’ve come to a dilemma point. What do I share on my blog? I’m not sure if I know anymore (if ever I did)… What are your thoughts?

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      1. For some reason, your comment is not showing up on this page at the moment…but I received it in email form, so I’ll respond here anyway. 🙂

        Yes, I appreciate the “Godly confusion” sometimes. 😉 Searching out a topic is good, even if it can make my thoughts seem jumbled together at times. Lol.

        I agree – there probably aren’t distinct lines to this matter. I like things black and white, as you seem to. 😉 But yes, perhaps the searching out a matter, seeing if it is something you should share or not, makes things more heartfelt and personal. If we have a conviction or stirring from God and truly seek out whether to share it or not, doesn’t it allow us to treasure those moments more instead of throwing them at the world in every occasion? While perhaps I have an idea of what posts are “okay” and which ones should be kept and treasured, it is important to weigh each individual post…which is something I’m not very diligent at. Thank you for the reminder. Having a deep relationship with God is so much more important than having a passionate blog post. 🙂

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      2. “Godly confusion.” Do you mind if I file that term away in my mind in case I ever need to use it when articulating my thoughts in the future? What a great way to put it! You know what it reminds me of? Proverbs 25:2 – “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Isn’t it interesting that the glory of kings isn’t to discover the answer to the matter or be able to shout EUREKA… simply to search the matter out. That verse leaves me with the same unresolved feeling as this “Godly confusion.”

        I also think your last sentence is quoteworthy and such an important truth for bloggers to return to over and over. “Having a deep relationship with God is so much more important than having a passionate blog post.” It’s so much more important because it’s so much more important than anything and everything. Knowing Christ Jesus our Lord is that thing of surpassing worth – our one righteous boast.

        Thanks for taking the time to share some thoughts with me. ❤

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  3. •What lessons were you taught, but still had to then learn the hard way?:
    Hmm … everything I was ever taught?! I am notoriously stubborn and I believe nothing people tell me until I experience it myself. I can’t think of a specific example, but I just know this about myself; I am impossibly hard-headed.

    •What value is it of, then, to listen to what others teach (or to be the one teaching)?:
    Incredible value! Why get burnt when you can just have someone tell you ‘it’s hot’? And yet I can’t learn to learn!

    •What do you think about the idea of keeping some things between you and God?:
    I don’t know. I really think it’s important to have a deep relationship with God and share everything with Him … but I also think it’s important to get things out in the open. So … I suppose it depends?

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    1. Way to say it as it is, Kellyn! I’m can be stubborn, too, but I’m far less ready to admit to it. Anyway, perhaps that’s why it takes both of us learning it the hard way to learn it at all.

      And yeah, that’s where the dilemma is for me, too, that I still think there’s much value in vulnerability, which has been an ongoing lesson for me. What does it depend on? Should we expect God to communicate and make it clear in every single situation whether *this* time we should share or *this* time hold back? I mean, I believe that He’s a great communicator, but should we expect so much?

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      1. Well, when you’re THIS stubborn, you have to admit it. Although I suppose perhaps I’m not as stubborn as I think … because I am ready to admit it. Or maybe I’m just so stubbornly stubborn that I admit it to kind of be “in your face”? Or maybe I’m actually on the right path. (excuse my over-analyzing everything; ’tis another of my faults!)
        I don’t really know. I think that it’s very important to be honest with everyone – not just God! – and let your beliefs and your mistakes and all that be out in the open … but I wonder if sometimes it’s okay not to … lay yourself open for everyone. There are a few people I know who would most likely be quite cruel if I were to be completely open with them, and, also, you don’t want to go out of your way to offend anyone … but on the other hand, honestly is so important! I’m really not sure what to say.

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      2. Me neither, honestly – I’m not too sure either. I was talking about this with a friend. When is it of value to keep things precious between only God and I, and when should I share with others that they might receive a certain amount of encouragement as I did. I’m afraid I don’t have any answers – except perhaps that we can trust God to communicate in each situation that arises… or else trust that we have freedom to choose. But I’m a person that thrives on rules of thumb, and that solution feel too open-ended to me. So I guess I need to either wait on God to give me peace about it or perhaps there is a rule of thumb, after all, I just don’t know what it is. Does all that even make sense?

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      3. Yes, that kind of makes sense. I mean, we all know that in books everyone just needs to tell everybody everything and everything will be all right … ( 😉 ), but in real life, it’s hard to tell how it works. I’m the same way about rules of thumb … I’d prefer to have something to guide my – generally – and then change it a bit here and there for different situations if the need be.

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  4. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this articlge to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

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