A Life Test vs. A Life Lesson

Too many times, life has given me lemons by throwing a variety of frustrations and unexpected situations my way. When this happens, I hear the voices in the back of my mind of my old wise church-going great aunts saying “the Lord is just testing you Olivia.”

Last night I was listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcast with author Marianne Williamson while they discussed the insightful topic of life’s trials being “a test or a lesson.”

That struck me. Think about it. Life presents us with the perfect lessons that help us continue to thrive and learn something valuable to help us continue through life. But at the time we feel like life is testing us to our limits, meanwhile it’s actually pushing us beyond our limits.

It’s like school. We learn things then we take a test, and then we pass the test. If we don’t pass the test, we have to take it again, therefore life brings you back to the situation for a second time.

Maybe it’s time to try to perceive life’s obstacles as a lesson rather than a test. How do you feel about that?

“It’s not up to you what you learn, it’s up to you what you learn through joy or through pain.”

Wow! Take that in. How does this quote resonate with you?

I’ve been working at trying to understand that the pain I feel is only temporary and that it will help me to discover a quality about myself. For example, after a break-up I often feel hurt and disappointed but then I replace those feelings with resiliency and strength.

We often learn some of life’s toughest lessons through feelings of pain, but it’s also important to experience lessons through the feelings of joy. For example, yesterday I went for a spontaneous nature walk and it felt joyous. The lesson I learned there is that I need to do that more often.

Life is for learning.


  • What was a time where you’ve felt tested?
  • What did facing that adversity teach you about your character?
  • What is one of the greatest lessons you’ve learned?


Maybe viewing life as a lesson rather than a test will help you be one step closer to live your life to the fullest everyday!
– Liv

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