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Mistakes are for making, lessons are for learning

By Sherry Hopkins

Community Columnist

My youngest grandson has recently experienced some of life’s truths. One truth being that no one is immune from disappointment and sorrow and heartbreak. The very adversities one goes through in life are the same things that build your character.

Mistakes are to be made, but lessons are to be learned.

He visited recently and was still feeling the sting from some bad choices he had made. He seemed to understand that accountability was key in this process.

We talked and he told us what his short term and long term goals were and how we would handle situations differently in the future. What more could you expect from a young man trying to figure out life?

I only offered him one piece of advice and that was to surround himself with people he wanted to be like. This is advice I use in my own daily life. I have a wonderful group of friends both male and female who love me, support me, care for me, pray for me, encourage me, and tell me the truth.

These friends allow me to vent or to be angry without judgment. I know that whatever I share with them, they will keep to themselves. I know that I could call on anyone of them to help me, allow me to cry on their shoulder, be a calm voice of reason in a storm, or just talk me down off a ledge.

Those are the people you want in your lives. Someone who wants the very best for you because they love you.

I hope that I am that same kind of friend to my friends. When you gather together with people that aspire to be positive and forward thinking you have to be buoyed by those same aspirations.

I hope this bright, smart, thoughtful young man can find his way back to the man he wants to be. He is headed in a good direction. He has clarity and needs to be sure he has a great support system. I have faith that he can do it.

Sometimes God puts us in places we don’t understand for the purpose of others in our midst learning something. Often He is trying to show us that he knows best. Sometimes He is trying to make us malleable so that He can use us in a way that will further His kingdom.

We have to be able to step away from those in our lives that are stumbling blocks. It is OK to walk away from a destructive relationship. It is OK to turn away from friends and family who don’t have your best interest at heart. If people in your life value you and you value those same people everybody wins.

I talk often about the radical turn of events in our life the past almost three years. Dear Don lost his health, his long time job, his income, his health insurance and to some degree his purpose. All of a sudden he was adrift. We felt for a moment like we were on shaky ground. Certainly unfamiliar ground.

What could all of this mean? It didn’t take long for either of us to grasp that we were in God’s hands and He was going to shape us into the believers He created us to be. We never fought it although at times in the beginning we questioned it.

Things started to happen here that some would not believe. Things that could only happen by God’s own hand. As we grew in our faith and started to let go of things that we had put more faith in than God, almost instantly things turned around. I could go on for days about the people that have entered into our lives.

I could tell you one by one until I had reached nearly 2,000 the acts of kindness and generosity from others. But once we got it we really got it. Peace has taken over our lives and we now know for sure that God will provide our needs.

We have had to redefine what those needs were. But we understand it all now. We have stopped waiting on a yacht and we are in the rowboat provided to us and  we are rowing ahead.

Find out what it is God wants you to do and do it. Don’t be afraid. He will equip you for all he has called you to do.

Stay tuned.

Contact Sherry at www.swhcsc@wildblue.net or 662.563.2525.