And he [Jesus] said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 18:3
I think that, perhaps, as a Christian, I get to skip the worst parts. I don't mean that growing up is easy for anyone, but the secular world has expectations that I don't feel any need to conform to. I read a blog post about explaining death to children today. The mother in the post ended up lying to her daughter, because death without heaven doesn't fit into the innocence of a child's worldview.
The secular world says that there will be time enough to learn about death when you're older. Christianity tells me that death has been conquered. Accepting death (in the sense of the end of life, rather than as a passing on) is not something I have to do. I am immensely grateful for that.
There will always be growing pains, but pain comes in two varieties: there's the hurt when you cut your hand and a different hurt it begins to heal. One is good, even if it's not pleasant. One is bad. I think that growing up as a Christian, I get to experience the first sort of pain: soul stretching, if you will. Without Christ, the same experience would be soul snapping.
I can understand that life isn't fair, but I also see that 'fair' is not the ultimate goal. I don't know exactly where I'm going, but I know that God does. I'm far from perfect, but Jesus loves me anyway. And Jesus is never grumpy after a bad day at work. (Parents are wonderful, but they're not quite perfect, I don't think.)
I'm immensely grateful for that.