James 1:2-4 (New International Version)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I pondered my post of yesterday this morning, not quite able to shake the sense of having traveled tough terrain. I could smell the smoke and feel the chill of the loneliness of the battlefield.
If you've traveled with me far along this journey, you will remember the hopelessly shallow and silly seventeen year old girl that was. By 33 she was on her way to becoming a woman of some substance.
The path to substance, like the journey of The Velveteen Rabbit to becoming real, was through endurance."It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
Only God could take the raw material of me at 17 and make something of it; something to his glory and honour. But I have to add with the apostle Paul:
Philippians 3:12 (New International Version)
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.