In my last blog post, I wrote about looking for spiritual lessons in difficult situations. I wrote about trying my hardest with my step-son, Izzy, to find a way to reach him. I’d made a conscious decision to love him without expecting anything in return. And the miracle was that our relationship grew and now it’s quite strong.
After I posted the blog, Izzy told me, “It was so hard in the beginning for me to share my Dad with the other four kids—and my older sister. But now, when anyone asks me, I always say I have two brothers and three sisters. I’m really proud of that.”
They fought hard back then. ‘Twas challenging. We’d burn rubber getting out of our driveway just to calm the three boys down because they were fighting in the back seat. (I’d look in the rear-view mirror and see legs and fists flying.) If you had told Izzy then, down the road you’ll appreciate this big family, he would not have believed it.
We don’t always know what’s best for us.
As I wrote, sometimes our hardest lessons are our best teachers. Sometimes things we think are awful turn out to be wonderful.
Sometimes it takes us years to figure out why something happened, why the puzzle pieces fit into place.
If you look at the photo of all of us in our tent—we were camping in a lovely place called Horshat Tal in northern Israel—you can see how Izzy is clinging to his Dad (Jonny’s) neck. It was definitely tough for him to go from being the youngest child sharing his father with only his big sister, Libi, to having four new step-siblings all younger than him and vying for his attention.
But if we try to look at all our problems as a chance to learn lessons for our spirit, then we can grow. And we have to remember not to step in when people we love are suffering. We don’t want to deprive them of the lessons they need to learn.
It takes time to figure things out. Sometimes it takes years until the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Sometimes we never know the why. All we can do is try our best to muddle through and hope that eventually we will understand things in a different way.