“When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla.”
– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
When we are young we dream of life — and everything seems to be mapped out in front of us — this straight line of solid adventure and achievements. Do this, finish that, solve this. Move from a to b. And do it with a smile on your face. Don’t mess up, don’t have problems. Don’t speak your mind.
Then life hits.
Life with it’s road full of bends and hills and dead ends and valleys and mountains and glorious views and uphill climbs. Life with sickness and struggles and ups and downs and crazy days. Life that doesn’t look anything that life was supposed to have looked like.
We move along wondering where that straight path of perfect life went.
The world tells us that we should have that easy life. Read this book to solve your answers, or the cure for the diet, or save your marriage in 4 easy steps, financial success made easy in a day, and on and on. We’re sent catalogs with perfect rooms with perfect colors with a perfect looking family sitting around a perfect table set with perfect food.
They don’t show the mom scrambling to put the dinner together or the toddler who dumped out the flour or the dad worried about the bills or the scratched and beat up table. They don’t show kids rebelling or moms wondering what to do next or pantries bare or laundry overflowing. They don’t show sick kids or crazy. They don’t show life. To them, life doesn’t photograph well. They want the straight road. Not the bends.
It’s funny, because as life progresses I’ve discovered the bends in the road of life are really part of what makes life beautiful.
The bends are where we learn about our strength, courage and bravery. The bends in life are where we find opportunity, faith,and growth. If all was straight we would be boring.
Without our story.
Sometimes I want to tell that little me, that girl that dreamed of this perfect life, that life will be hard, but also so full of the most beautiful joy. I would tell her to not fight the bends in the road, but rather to learn that those are the times of great faith and trust and tenacity. To trust means to be in a place where there’s a bend knowing that even though you might not see beyond it that you know you’ll get through.
I think Anne Shirley was right about the fascination with the bends in life — my fairy tale straight path story of youth missed all of the beauty. It was about the achievements and milestones. Not the everyday joy.
In the laundry, diaper changes, cooking, cleaning, teaching, driving, doctor’s visits, phone calls, sleeping, waking, reading, and just being a mom moments.
In the midst of a curvy bendy life.
That’s where real life, real strength, real trust, and real joy lives.
This reminds me of Rascal Flatts’ Broken Road. “God bless the broken road that lead me straight to you.” My road has been broken, bent and, often enough, an uphill climb. But without all that, you are absolutely right. We’d never have the beauty that life brings. And we certainly wouldn’t enjoy and appreciate what we have nearly as much. 🙂 Great post, Rachel. 🙂
Such beautiful truth! Thanks.
Enjoyed your insight. I am on the other side of many of the twists and turns of life, and as I look back, I know that they were the best parts.
Don’t you love GeoTrax!!!! We have several sets that keep my little grands so happy!!
oh yeah, this is perfect. there are no steps or regimens for a perfect life. the best life is the messy kind – that’s where grace lives!
I have realized that to have a story, you must have conflict. And resolution. Why do we wish for straight, easy, and no conflict? It is only in pain and disappointment that a hero arises.
What is a history timeline made of? Wars. Conflict. We don’t make history in times of “easy” or “peace.”
Embrace the pain and conflict.
Learn from it.
Make your story great.
I cannot imagine my life without the twists, turns and bends. They have molded and shaped me to be who I am today. Beautiful post my friend.
The bends are where the Lord works the most!
Always lifting up prayer!
Romans 5:4-6 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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The bends in the road made us the persons we are today. I love learning from life, the life lessons, growing through all those bends in the roads even if they make life tough and sometimes unbearable.
Loved reading your entry!
New follower her and WoW! I really love your writing!