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Life is never all of one thing.

Life is never either/or.  It’s not black and white.  It’s not easily placed in a single category.  Life is never all of one thing. 

Life is much richer, deeper, and more complex than any of that.  Even in the highest of high moments and the lowest of low moments, there is:

Both pain and joy.

Both hope and despair.

Both heartache and love.

Both laughter and sorrow.

Both fear and freedom.

Both peace and anxiety.

Both beauty and suffering.

Both light and dark.

Living in the reality of the both/and is hard; it’s wilderness terrain.  It’s also an inescapable tension (my second favorite word) that keeps me depending on God.

While we’re promised we were made for the light, the hope, the beauty and the freedom; we are not promised any protection from the painful, dark, fearful parts of life.  God uses all of it to transform us and grow us into new creations.

I guess the only alternative to getting both sides of the both/and reality is to close your eyes, cover your ears, and remain so static and obstinate that you eventually cease to really be living at all.

So if living requires experiencing the complexity that life is never all of one thing… I, with a white-knuckled, fearful hope, am in.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


6 thoughts on “Life is never all of one thing.

  1. I love this post. So true. So real. Being real people in the real world. God didn’t promise us some fake world – He just said He’d be there with us, carrying us along, through thick and thin! Definitely not a super fun thing to realize and meditate on, but a very true thing nonetheless.

    Posted by Justin White (@justdpl) | October 14, 2011, 6:26 AM
  2. I’m “in” with you, Sam, on this life of both/and!

    Posted by Phil Ebersole | October 14, 2011, 3:19 PM
  3. I’m in.

    Posted by erin | October 14, 2011, 7:25 PM


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