Theology does not become theology until life happens.
What I mean is: most people can say they trust God and have faith and know Him, but life has a way of drawing out what we really believe.
This is a good thing. God is so gracious that He will take even our utterly horrible response to life and chisel it into a deeper, richer, realer foundation — for a root that blooms fruits which last in our toughest seasons.
So when we vent, blow up, act out, shake a fist, flip a table, or shut down: God can shape each of these into a part of us so that our experiences sculpt a theology that works. He takes the particular jagged edges of life to carve one more polished edge into our marble hearts. It is like grounding a foreign plant into new soil, which takes time: but God is no stranger to the dirt. He works best there.
Only if we are humble to let this happen.
You might have failed somewhere else, completely fallen on your face in a mushroom cloud you caused, and it haunts you now as you enter the next season of life. But as you receive a second chance in your new opportunities: give yourself a chance too. Don’t allow former hurts to become a filter in which you approach others. Don’t instantly assume that similar behaviors and attitudes from your last situation can be accusations against the new one. Approach each decision with a fresh set of eyes, free of suspicion and paranoia, but most of all, without judging yourself by the weight of what happened before.
It is easy to pass on the pain we received in a never-ending vicious cycle — but we can choose in our new seasons to cut that loop, to interrupt our old patterns with new life, to absorb the hurt with grace, to allow our wounds to heal into a strength we could not have previously known. Re-build and re-create. It’s how we move forward. It’s how we got the second chance at all: because someone risked that chance on us first.