While digging through my old stuff, I found this write-up I had written in around the year 2002-ish, when I was in Hanford, California, at one of the lowest points of my life:
God is a fair and dignified parent, teacher, and mentor. He teaches me and disciplines me. He emphasizes Himself with lessons when I misunderstand His voice. He allows me to make mistakes and fall into holes and traps that I lay out for myself. He allows me to hurt myself and to experience pain from my own actions. he does all this because He loves me, and He wants me to learn from my errors. He does this because He wants to teach me. Even so, He graces me by teaching me the morals and conclusions of lessons I am learning days before I am forced to face the consequences! He does this to help me learn and to help me bear the agony of failure. His love of me and His willingness to train me and use me is made so evident by His exposition of coincidences from which I learn and recognize His handiwork. I know I am in His training school, and I desire to continue to learn these lessons, so that I can gain from them, and be more capable and ready to be put to good use for Him. I trust that He will have a prize waiting at the end of every successful lesson learned, and that I will not be defeated with lost hopes. I trust that He will provide every desire of my heart, even put the right desires in my heart, and that He will be more willing to remove inappropriate desires from my heart than to refuse to provide what I ask Him for. He is a loving father, a faithful teacher, and a willing provider. He is my master and He is my friend. I will always be married to my creator, even as I continue to ask Him and trust Him for a co-worker and a friend, which He promised me so many years ago. I will continue to learn to be patient, and allow Him to facilitate in His time, even if years or decades down the road. I am not in a hurry. I am, however, human. And He knows that. He made humans. He knows how I am built, why I think the way I do, and how I am to overcome. I know I can put all my trust in Him to learn who I should be and how I should be it, because He made me who I am, and He knows every thought I have, and He is patient and willing to help me maximize my potential in Him. He is my father, and I am His child. He is my commander-in-chief, and I am His recruit. No warrior goes into battle without training and experience. I asked Him to recruit me and make me a warrior, and I am going to be patient to bear the pains of experience and lessons learned. Even though lessons hurt--emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and even physically--I love them, because they make me stronger in each of these ways. I am regretful and sorrowful for any harm I impose on others as I gain new skills, but I am not ashamed of myself for learning and gaining much-needed and much-lacking experience with people. My trainer is right there with me, at my side, and I trust Him to take care of their needs as I apologize to them for my behavior. Each day is another day I agonize and learn from my failures, whether social or otherwise. But each day is another day I reflect on previous days' errors and I become equipped with newfound knowledge and understanding. I will never cease to learn, I will never cease to keep trying, and I will always strive to be the best man God wants me to be.