I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings. (from Starlings in Winter - a poem by Mary Oliver)
"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." -John Burrough Life is tooo short!
Your journey has molded you for your greater god, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.
I understand the simile of trouble melting like a lemon drop. Laughter falling like a lemon drop? The next time I trip I'm going to yell out, "Like a lemon drop, baby!") Meanwhile, would love this as a classroom poster.