When we first moved to this small town in the mountains, I immediately loved it. but it wasn't long before I discovered the one thing that I really don't always like about it. It is a very small town. When one of my girls first got into trouble at school, I heard about it at the Post Office before she ever got off the school bus in the afternoon. If one of them are fighting with their friends, I hear about the fight, what was said, what was done, and whose fault it probably is, long before the child tells me herself. It has been a very difficult thing for me to get used to.
There are also some good things about it. When someone gets an award at school, everyone who sees them congratulates them by name. They see their school teachers at church, at the store, or in the local restaurants. The entire school turns out to the sporting events (and so does most of the community). When your child succeeds at anything, everyone knows and is happy for them.
Every choice we make has consequences. Probably, many of them are not quite as immediate as they are in my small town, but they are there nevertheless. I think it is important to realize that we all get to choose much more in this life than we think. We choose how we will react, what we will say, what we believe, what we hope and even what we dream. Most of all, we get to choose our own attitude about how we are going to cope with whatever trials and difficulties come our way.
I have learned in my life that we all make choices. Some are good choices, and some are bad ones. I have also learned that we have a loving Heavenly Father who does not love the sin, but completely loves the sinner. He can forgive us where others might struggle to do likewise. He knows when the heart is repentant and the soul really wants to come home. He is the reason that I can look through my past, toward a better and brighter future. He is the reason that I treasure my choice.
"When you choose the first step on the path, you also choose the last".