Regrets and Do Overs

potter

Do Over!

Jeremiah 18:3-4 “So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.”

As kids playing games you would often hear “Do Over!” when the outcome was not what the vocal party had anticipated. As a forty-something or other, I often want to raise my voice and cry out so all can hear…” DO OVER!” THIS is really not how I had planned things to turn out. THIS is not what I pictured in my head. THIS was not part of my dream. Can I just start again? Please?

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband, I love my kids, I love my family, friends and my life. But there are those moments…those times I look back and shake my head and wish I could take them back. Re-do them and do them right. Fix the hurt, undo the wrong, and press on to a better ending. Do over. But life doesn’t work that way. So if we can’t do over, what can we do? The do over is an opportunity to try or perform something a second time; to do something again from the beginning, especially because you did it badly the first time. Now, I certainly don’t wish to go back to elementary school (although the mandatory naps would be nice); the thought of re-doing the teen years, ummm, no thanks. While there are moments I wish I would have done differently, handled with more kindness and grace, made a better choice, all of those experiences have shaped who I am now.

So now what about do over moments? I have truly spent years letting guilt, shame and regret drag me down and storm over my life. But I’m telling you this, I know that God has so much more planned for me than to let me wallow in that place. And my friend, He has those same grace filled plans for you. To think, for even a moment, that in not sparing His own son that He would want us to stay in those dark places is just not the truth. Maybe there are some things that need to be made right with someone else. Maybe you need to make it right with yourself. Ultimately though, it has to be made right with your Creator, allowing Him room to re-mold the clay and make it into something new.

Philippians 3:12-14  “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Compassion for the Hurting #1000speak

For the person who just needs to know that this life they are living has value. For the parents who are watching their child slip into a world of pain and darkness.  For the young woman who struggles to get out of bed and face yet another day.  For the man who is losing his hope for the future.  For all of you standing in the perpetual storm, there are those of us who have walked through it too and with compassion and love, are reaching back to walk along side of you.

This is a previously shared story of my family… my daughter.

Compassion

The mother and daughter walk along the beach where the water just meets the sand.  Her hair is in pig tails and the brightly colored pail is gripped tightly in her tiny hand as she gathers shells to fill it.  I hear the mother tell her, “Don’t get the broken ones… only the pretty ones.”  I gaze at my own daughter, a young woman now, her usual blonde locks now colored “Ariel Red” as she bends to examine shells for her own collection.  She is pretty, so beautiful… yet so very broken.  Today she is content and her heart seems at peace.  The marks on her wrist serve as visible reminders of the pain she feels in the depth of her soul.  A pain so deep and unrelenting that my eyes sting with tears every time I think of it.  Some of the scars are healing, some more red and angry and my heart feels as if it could burst because I want to make it better.  I long to go back to a simpler time when a scrapped and bruised knee could easily be fixed with a kiss and a Band-Aid.  A time when I could rock her to sleep, tickle her back “sof-y-ly”, and soothe the hurts that she can’t express.  The sharp, jagged edges of her broken places hurt me often and my mother heart longs for her to remember how cherished she is.  I plead with God to heal her heart and He reminds me gently of how broken I too am, and of how much He loves me even still.  Brokenness… it can be pretty; quite glorious and amazing even.  Christ was broken for me and there is no other picture of perfection and beauty that can compare.   I cry out in my frustration daily, but I know my Father sits patiently and listens with a tear in His eye, because He also knows the pain of watching your child suffer.

 

I am so tired and am learning to trust in God daily for strength.  She is broken, just as I am, just as you are, just as this crazy world we live in is.  Yet, she is so beautiful.  She is so much more than this moment in her life.  She is gracious, compassionate and giving, and that part of her being is seen in her love to serve and help others.  Her passion is to sing and dance and perform and she has been generously gifted by God with these talents.  I know He has great plans for her in this world.  Plans to show others His mercy and love through her own actions.  I pray she finds herself and that she can see herself, not through my eyes, but through the eyes of her heavenly Father where she is made whole through Christ.  Jesus took all of those broken pieces with their sharp edges when he died on the cross for her and he miraculously put them together the day he rose from the tomb.  She is perfect.  She is my daughter.

 

Romans 8:28
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

 

 

So we continue to amble slowly and quietly along the shore and pick up shells; whole shells, fragments, and pieces in all shapes and colors.  They are all “pretty ones” as they are all unique and the broken pieces tell the story of a life lived.  A story of having met challenges and struggles head on and of having survived and made it through those difficult times a stronger person.  As much as I want to, it’s not up to me to put all of the pieces together.  I just have to love every piece and part of her and rest in the comfort of knowing and trusting that my Father will take care of the rest.

As a follow up, my beautiful child will graduate high school in  a few months and has been accepted to the college of her choice.  I am so thankful for those who showed compassion and love to my family and to my girl as they walked us through this time.

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