Living with regrets. I saw a commercial for a candy bar on telly one day that depicted a tattoo artist, who after his artistry was completed, stood back to admire, “No Regerts”. I have plenty of ‘regerts’! I could almost regurge with ‘regerts’. I regret not standing up to bullies in my youth. I regret things I said to my children. I regret precious moments in life I allowed to slip by unnoticed until it was too late to totally appreciate them. I regret not raising my children, immersed, in a GODly atmosphere. Children deserve so many things from their parents, but first and foremost? Knowing God!
My husband was in the ministry for many years and when we received a wound that just didn’t seem to ever heal, we walked away. We tried to go back once, but the same devil from the same wound, was waiting at the door for us, and our wound became a source of extreme bitterness and then there seemed to be no returning to the House of the Lord. We nursed our wound in private and while we tried to hang on, eventually we slipped further and further away from the comforting arms of the Lord. We still talked from time to time about the Lord and HIS expectations when instructing our children, but we did not “train” them from childhood, so we cannot cling to the promise scripture “Train up a child in they way he/she should go; and when he/she is old he/she will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22:6.
I am now living in the latter days of my life and would dearly love to see my children and grandchildren living for the Lord. I pray that someday, they will return to the Cross where each of them received their salvation. I pray that if I do not live to see it in this life, I will see them dancing on Heavenly streets, rejoicing in the Savior of their souls. I pray every day, several times a day, for each of them, but feel so much grief for the passage of time. I failed miserably as a parent when it comes to the things of God. I learned the hard way how to raise a child who knows how to respect others. I learned the hard way to teach a child to mind their manners. I learned the hard way how discipline has to be followed with GODly instruction. I learned the hard way to balance love for your child with strength to make the hard calls. I know that I know my children and grandchildren know for sure I adore them, but they do not all know how very much God loves them. Yes, I am so very grateful for those who are serving the Lord, but ache for those who are not.
When I go to sleep at night, I pray for another day of life, to possibly hear and see all my babies living for the Lord, loving HIM with their whole hearts, but I have no promise to cling to in assurance. In the past, I let people control me. I let sin control me. I let addiction control me. I let anger control me. I let bitterness take deep, deep root and control me. I let “If only” control me. But now, I am awake and aware, and have returned whole-heartedly to my Creator. It is a short trip because HE is always standing nearby and waiting for us with open arms. You will never have a shorter step in all your life than the one you take that returns you to HIS presence. The journey is the one we create in our own minds as we remember the years we did not stand in HIS sheltering embrace. Once HE holds you close again, HE will guide your footsteps in the direction HE wants you to follow. HE will make those paths straight and be the Lamp the chases away the darkness, so you can clearly see.
It won’t always be a cake walk. There will be “If only” shadows. There will be stumbling stones. There will be memories. But, please, don’t allow Satan to constantly hound you, reminding you of all of your mistakes. God has forgiven and remembers them no more, so please do yourself a kindness, and let it go. Whatever you have done in the past has passed if you allow. People will remember, and those who are not your friends, may relish bringing it up to you. But smile with GODly love and walk away. You have enough on your proverbial plate getting through a day in this life, without dragging the skeletons from days gone by. God is love. HE loves you! HE loves your babies! HE is calling you and them, if you have an ear to hear and a heart that is open.