Ever wish you could have a “do over?”
I was thinking tonight about such a thing as I was reminded about some not-so-smart things I’ve done in my past. There are many instances as I look back over my life that I wish I would have done things different… and would have had an opportunity for a “do over.”
I think about all the dumb things I did as a teenager. The chances I took. The bad decisions I made. The influences I let affect me. The poor ways I treated others at times. Some of these things still come rushing back into my memory decades later and make me cringe.
I think about the times I gave up or didn’t give my best. The times I let comfort determine what I did, not courage. The times I was lazy. The times I settled for good and not for the best
I wish I could take back some of the things that came out of my mouth. The time I told Mom I hated her. The times I lied and was deceptive to my parents. The times I manipulated situations for my benefit. The times I rebelled.
I am reminded of the first few years of our marriage. The times I was selfish. The times I wasn’t a loving wife. The times I said unkind things to Bill.
I think about mistakes I have made as an adult. The times my motives weren’t aligned with God’s. The times of jealousy and envy. The times I let the world dictate how to live a “successful” life.
If I think of all of this stuff too long, I can get pretty down on myself. But I also remember that God uses all of our mistakes and failures, our sins and our mess ups for His good. I’m not proud of any of these things I’ve done, and I still wish I could have do overs for all of them. Since I can’t, I can focus on doing what I can do. I’ve apologized to those I’ve been able to. I’ve repented for all of these things as they have been brought to my attention over the years. And I’ve moved on, learning from them.
I know we all have this kind of stuff from our past that linger in our memories. And maybe we’re living in the wake of some current bad choices. We can’t let these things get us down, but if we have learned from them, we have grown and they have helped shape who we are today! From living through them, I have been able to teach my children not to make the same mistakes I made. (They know most of them as I have shared much of my teenage years with them…very humbling!)
Take heart, my friend. Our past doesn’t determine who we are. Thank God for that! His mercies are new every morning! 🙂