Life presents itself with hills and valleys, ups and downs, or highs and lows.

Science learns about historical events in specific regions by examining the rings on trees.  A core is taken from a living tree and then reviewed by experts.  They can determine the years of plenty, and years of stress.  Science finds what the tree endured as it built strength (character) over the years of its growth.

Their study has proven the tree needed storms (challenges), calm (resting), and bounty (success) to gain strength.  It is only through a varied life of difficulty (trails) and abundance (blessings) that a tree can in fact withstand nearly any challenge presented.

Alternatively, trees that are grown on a farm, with either props holding them up or assistance insuring there is never a need; can barely endure any difficulty presented as they grow outside the farm.  The same is true of trees that grow in large forests which are protected from adversity.

We are no different, a constant life of protection, one having no challenges will prove to be detrimental to our growth.  A sheltered life often may be desired, but experience shows protection from adversity strips us of our moral fiber.  When life presents difficulty to someone who has been safeguarded, there is nothing there to sustain them, they fall over, quit, or get discouraged with the first sign of difficulty.

We all have had trials, and perhaps even greater than average recently.  I suggest that if we were granted an opportunity to have a “do over,” going back on life to remove difficulty, knowing the life lessons that would be lost as a result; each of us would gladly take the trials as they were given, or at least see them as blessings.

Our greatest joys, our deepest learning, and our foundation of faith have all come through enduring our life lessons.  Don’t misunderstanding the value of experience; it builds our character.  Don’t take from yourself the blessing of trails; they both sustain you and bring fulfillment.

Trials may seem at the time they are lived, or relived, to be insurmountable.  They aren’t and never will be; that is our promise.  They are times we would never give up if we understood what protective barriers are built as we are tested.  It is through this growth that good times are deeply felt and strength of character is built.

Each of us need to digest from the past so we can learn and grow, but we will trip and fall if we are repeatedly looking backward while moving forward.  Never regret what has been done, take the time to better yourself from life’s experiences, and always be found looking forward as you reach for the stars!

Jaren

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