life

were we better off?

all my hopes and dreams scatter like ashes;
up in flames, a quiet disaster.
one day something went wrong, everything changed.
now we’re patching these holes in our souls where a ball and chain…

we were better off when we were little children,
when our faith came as easy as breathing.
when we dreamed, we could fly;
hope was shining in our eyes.
we were better off when we were little children.

we used to fill our days running just to pass time,
now life’s a race we’re running just to survive.
now my bones are tired and I’ve grown weary.
there were dreams in my mind, dream I could see so clearly.

we were better off when we were little children,
when our faith came as easy as breathing.
when we dreamed, we could fly;
hope was shining in our eyes.
we were better off when we were little children.

where did you go, simple little heart of mine?
feels like every year you’re a little more hard to find.

we were better off when we were little children,
when our faith came as easy as breathing.
when we dreamed, we could fly;
hope was shining in our eyes.
we were better off when we were little children.

elenowen, “we were better off”

— — — — —

i love this song because i’ve lived it. my friends have lived it. probably everyone has lived it, to an extent. it resonates deeply — where did you go, simple little heart of mine?

at the same time, is it really true we were better off then? with simple hearts come simple understandings … “when i was a child i thought as a child.”

now, i don’t dispute the necessity of maintaining a childlike faith, hope, trust and love. after all, Jesus said that if we don’t become like little children, we won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. obviously, maintaining a childlike heart is important.

however, as you grow older you learn that things don’t always — maybe don’t often — work or happen the way you thought they would when you were younger. these realizations can carry a lot of pain and heartache with them. you can pull away from God at times like those, or be pulled closer to Him. pain, though you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, can be a great teacher. (i’m not trying to say children don’t experience or can’t understand pain, by the way — i think probably too many children experience too much pain as it is.) i had to deal with the same medical problem when i was eight years old and 22/23. it was scary when i was eight, yes, but there was a simple, childlike trust that God would take care of me. when i was 22 i didn’t necessarily explicitly doubt God’s ability to take care of me, but there were so many more issues i had to deal with then and learn to give up whatever control i thought i had over them. there were lessons i learned then that eight-year-old me couldn’t have begun to fathom.

this is a long bunny trail for a short thought.

it’s easy to long for the “good old days,” i know — i do plenty of longing for them myself. but don’t write off the pain, frustration, anger or disappointment you’ve been through or are going through, either. like corrie ten boom said, our lives seem like the jumbled up underside of an embroidery — chaotic, messy, illogical, fragmented, knotted, bewildering. (i did needlepoint for five or six years and can attest to the underneath messiness of it.) but all the while we’re feeling jabbed and pricked and confused at the colors and threads going everywhere, God is patiently making a masterpiece. and someday He lets us see things from His perspective, and it makes sense.

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