By Schylie La Belle
Times change, people change, families change…growing up, getting jobs, learning to drive, girlfriends and boyfriends…things aren’t as they used to be. She misses the old days. She misses the carefree spirits, the lighthearted laughs, the innocence, the ignorance. She misses the way things once were. And it sometimes brings tears to her eyes.
“Life is full of changes,” people tell her. Yes, it is. She sees that more than ever now. But thinking back, she sees that it wasn’t always that way—they weren’t always happy-go-lucky. No. There were times of deep sorrow, sharp pain, regret, disappointment, hurt, despair…There were dark shadows that rested upon the family for days, weeks, months at a time.
But when the shadows at last passed, they were stronger, they were yet more united together. The trials they experienced were hard, but necessary. Yes. As she thinks of those hard times, she still says, “Those were good days.” She still misses them. She misses who they were. She misses who she was. She misses the joy that they had.
She misses—yes, I’ll say it again—she misses the innocence and ignorance. Her siblings once possessed these virtues. But that evil monster—time—has taken his toll on them. As they have grown, so has their knowledge, their curiosity, their view on life. Now they are no longer innocent, ignorant children.
They have experienced pain, regret, sorrow, and disappointment in themselves. Her heart breaks to see them stumble and fall. She wants them to remain ‘perfect’ and ‘undefiled’ by the world. But she can’t protect them. Even her parents know they cannot protect them forever. As she herself knows, there are lessons He chooses to teach them the hard way.
There are yet a few of her siblings whom she thinks may yet still be in the innocent, ignorant stage. How she wishes they could stay there always! How she longs for them to learn these lessons the easy way. But it is not for her to decide.
She braces herself for the day when she will come to know that they have left this stage and moved to the next. It may not be a painful experience that causes this transition. But thus far, it has seemed that that is how He has decided to work.
If He chooses to teach them lessons through pain and sorrow, she knows she must trust Him who is in control of all things, and who only allows that which is for the good of his children. Oh that she may take more comfort in this truth!
So easily does she begin to fear that her siblings will fall and not rise again, that their wounds would scar, that their pain would choose to stay. But He will be will them and give them no temptation that they are unable to bear.
She knows that her heart will cry, her spirit will mourn, when she hears of the challenges and temptations faced by those she loves. It will be hard to bear. But He will also take care of her. And when they need a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and ear to listen, or a heart to encourage, she hopes that she will be the one they call. She longs to be remembered as their big sister.
Her heart is full of regret and pain as she considers her actions of the past. She wishes in so many ways that she had acted differently. Yet the past cannot be changed. She knows she must accept the past and learn from it, using those lessons to actively change her present, and direct her future. She has apologised to them for her neglect and carelessness.
She has cried to them for forgiveness and love. She hopes that they have forgiven her, still love her, and will give her a second chance. Most of them have, and are. She hopes the others will follow. It’s not too late. She still has time to make a difference, to repair the breaches she’s made. There is still time.
How she strives and hopes and prays she will not waste it…And how she hopes their hearts will be open to receive it…
Now does this mean that they are not happy now, that they have forever left the years of lightheartedness and carefree spirits?? No. They still enjoy great times of laughter and fun, games, conversations, and memories. She loves these times.
Still, it is hard for her to forget the pain each of them has experienced. These joyous times are sometimes overshadowed by memories of the past, and ones not so delightful. Why does she get so caught up in the past, that her present is so darkened?? She does not know. There is great joy, abounding love, and true happiness here and now.
If she can only let go of the past and enjoy the present…She does not want to look back on this current time and wish she had enjoyed it more. No, she must, she must enjoy it now. She must be grateful for it, she must embrace it, she must, must, savour every moment. For as time continues to drag on, things and people will continue to change.
If she does not capture the moment and live fully in it, it will soon be gone. She needs contentment. She needs to accept. And she needs to love them, more than ever.