Lost Innocence

Although I love the person that I’ve become, I can’t deny that there are certain aspects of myself that I wish I could revert back to, particularly in relation to my spiritual life.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the former version of myself for whom faith in God’s goodness, let alone existence, was a given; for whom prayer was intuitive; for whom it was so easy to access this “spiritual side” of me—the ‘me’ before I had questioned everything, before I had traded my childlike faith for hardened skepticism, before I had left my innocent bubble in order to seriously consider contrary thoughts and opinions (not that I think exploring other worldviews is inherently a bad thing).

I wonder what my life would have been like had I stayed the course and never taken any detours. But I’ve made my choices. And whether I like it or not, these detours will forever be written in my history. I am not defined by them, but I have been shaped by them—for better or for worse, because of them or in spite of them. I have seen too much, experienced too much, lived through too much. I cannot return to my metaphorically former dimensions because I have been stretched by life. I cannot go back to the person that I once was because I have changed.

I am beginning to accept the fact that my relationship with God will never resemble what it formerly was in my younger days when I was still rather untouched by ‘the world out there’. But maybe God can do a new thing. Perhaps, in some mysterious way, all these detours had to happen to bring me to the new horizons God is taking me. While my relationship with God will never be the same, perhaps it can be transformed into something different—yet nonetheless beautiful.

Coming of age has taught me the importance of cherishing every single era of our lives, including the ones we wish we could bury or skip, because we will never be this exact same version of ourselves again.

Suddenly, the awkward teen years, the quarter life crisis … everything seems precious when put in this perspective.

We grow. We change. Life paints us all sorts of colours. And there truly is a sense of mourning over the person we once were as we start new chapters of our lives. But I hope that this mourning can soon turn into gratitude, and I hope that these moments of looking back with nostalgia can transform into excitement towards the future—towards all that we have yet to become.

— Celine

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