So I turned 27 the other day. I know it will seem so young after I get older but right now…. it seems like I’m way past my years of ‘glory’ – my years of still trying my chance at change. And it makes me anxious inside. It even makes me less patient, less eager to be good, to cultivate wisdom, to make meaningful choices. 9,855 days lived with sadness (mostly), some abandonment, disappointments and broken dreams. Some inflicted upon me, some inflicted by me. And then back to happiness, back to joy, back to beauty. My life’s roller coaster has been quite exhausting. What is the purpose of it all?

I look at my little girl. The other day she handed me a fallen pingpong ball. And I looked at her eyes; at that moment they were sparkling. The pure light in those big brown eyes lit by helping her mami, by lessening my efforts in bending down. There was joy in giving a piece of herself away to someone other than herself. What a lesson learned at 27 from a toddler.

So I bend down anyways to ask for a kiss… the sweetest kiss; they’re rare these days. Anyone who met my girl knows she is quite strong-minded. So I usually don’t push it. I ask for a kiss, she says no, I ok it, back away and wait. Patience – what a lesson to learn at 27 from a toddler.

She wants up…I pick her up and ask for a kiss. She says no; I ok it then I keep making myself busy with all these chores while holding her; then I hear “mama..mama…” I look at her leaning her head forward for a kiss so I rush to get one before she changes her mind; she says “da” in approval of my decision to kiss her back. The sweetest kiss. Love – what a lesson to learn at 27 from a toddler.

It’s the middle of the night..I get up and head away from the convalescing husband to the room filled with coughing sounds. I do my best to comfort this little accident-prone body now conquered by a cold virus. I kiss the smiling face. I get cuddles in return on the way back to her bed. The sweetest cuddles. Lovely rest – what a lesson to learn at 27.

Sadness, disappointments, loss of direction, broken dreams and broken hearts; suffering…this world is full of it. I was filled with pride when I quoted C.S. Lewis to an atheist post on my social media feed: God cannot be blamed for the problem of pain; can’t he? Was I foolish enough to think I was able to counteract the accusation because I could quote a book I read proclaiming His love? At 27 I have knowledge (my guardian angel must have laughed at my ignorance). This world didn’t stop from spinning with suffering and breaking hearts. More news of sadness, more darkness and disappointment from all directions and I found myself blaming God for it, asking Him to keep Himself accountable to me. I found myself not wanting to forgive. I found myself forgetting all the lessons learned. Weeks after Easter, I read the Easter story to my toddler. I sense a kiss from my Savior. At 27…what a lesson to still be learned – I know nothing of suffering, I know nothing of love, I know nothing of forgiving.

…at 27 the roller coaster continues.

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