life lesson on page 304

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I finished the first of my birthday gift books yesterday afternoon. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. She painted such beautifully vivid visions of the Pacific Crest Trail that I begin with a confession of wanting to hike anywhere when the weather gets warm. And then say that I'm afraid to watch the movie because, as most book-to-screen attempts go, it will not do it justice. But it's Reese Witherspoon so it remains on my watch list. I didn't expect to dog-ear pages in a book like this, but the eighth page from the end now bears the folded highlight. For this sentence:

"He hadn't loved me well in the end, but he'd loved me well when it mattered."

What a moral of so many stories throughout my life. In my thirty-eight years on this planet, people had moved in and out of my life. Some more gradually, some less smoothly, some more explained, than others. Some departures happened naturally and understandably, while others left a seemed-indelible mark, perhaps scar, on my heart. Some returned, some remain chapters back from this one.

Today, zoomed out, I am at peace with the ebbs and flows of my relationships over the years, but reading this sentence brought me a deeper appreciation of them. Another way to recognize God's sovereignty over the story of my life, where each player had a specific purpose at a specific time, to strengthen me, soften me, to shape me into the person I am now.