Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Second Chances

I always think of things to write when I'm laying in bed. So, tonight as I laid (lay?) in bed thinking of a new post, I decided to come out to the dark living room and just get it out.

I didn't grow up until I turned 24. Isn't it funny that I know exactly when my brain fully formed and I was making more intelligent decisions? Did I still make stupid choices at 24? Well, yeah. As a matter of fact, I still think back on my 24th year and wonder if there were times I even had a brain in my head and, if I did, why I wasn't using it. I didn't say I wised up entirely - just that I, on the whole, decided to be who I was and started on the path to accepting that...and liking it. If God was happy with me, why should I care what others thought? Maybe it was more like 25...

I won't bore you with the details of my past, but let's just say that I was probably the most emotionally immature yet completely self-conscious person I knew. Nothing about me felt right so I lapped up any acceptance offered to me, never being fully satisfied but also not wholly unsatisifed as long as the attention was still there. I looked for (and always found) disappointments in people and situations, but instead of facing the disappointments and just dealing with them I would torture myself and the person who I felt had let me down with emotional rants and, well, a bit of melodrama. I filled my youth with dramatic exits, tearful goodbyes, and second, third, fourth and even fifth chances for people who weren't worth my time to begin with. I get exhausted just thinking about some of the silly things I would get worked up about - what a waste of time!

I know everyone can probably look back on times in their youth when they'd love a "do-over". Sometimes I think of certain situations that I know, had I been who I am today, I would have handled very differently. I don't say all of this with regret. By the grace of God I found an amazing man who accepts me completely and drags me back to reality when I'm losing my grip. I serve a merciful God!

Anyway, I was just thinking about the serendipitous ride that led me to this point. How different I was and how sometimes I wish I would have been able to "zoom out" to see the bigger picture. Oh, the stress I put on myself worrying about the actions of others and how that would affect the way they thought of me.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

It's important to me that I think about these things but not dwell on them. I thank God every day that He was patient with me and gave me the life I have now because of the lessons I've learned. I'm still learning. I pray that I can raise Amelia to not be like me in some ways - always filled with self-doubt and worry. We're all made in His image and that means we are important and valuable - not in an egotistical or self-absorbed way, but in a way that allows us to exude confidence. Confidence in the One who gave us life and continues to bless us.

The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6

Faith in God demands action. Grown-up, responsible action. Action that doesn't rely on whether someone else takes action or what someone thinks of you when you decide to take action. Daily, unwavering, courageous action. The time and energy wasted on creating heartache for others could have been spent glorifying God. These are the lessons it took me 25+ years to learn.

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentence without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
2 Chronicles 7:10

I grew up at 24 (maybe 25!) but I'm still not the person God wants me to be. I work toward it every day, some days falling flat on my face and other days shining bright for Him. As part of God's will and to obey Him I was baptized 15 years ago. November 9, 1994. I have never felt cleaner. Constant, daily action that isn't at all easy but it's necessary. My faith in God demands it.

I wasn't really intending for this to be a Bible study, but how can I avoid talking about God when I talk about second chances and "do-overs"? He's the Master of giving both.

I'll leave you with a couple of cute pictures I took today. I wish I could tell you how much I love this little girl but I can't even come close. How did I get so blessed?

Have a wonderful Thursday!

4 comments commented:

Jennifer said...

I think that 24 (possibly 25) is the age that you grew up. That was my age too actually. God is SO gracious to give second and third and well infinite chances when we just try to do life on our own.

You are so wise to say that it's important to think about these things and not dwell on them. I think that's a healthy place to be and your experiences can always be an encouragement for someone who is 24 (possibly 25) and walking where you have walked.

Amelia is SO pretty. God's grace in your life looks beautiful in that little yellow bow. (o:

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mainly a midwife said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post. I'm so grateful for infinite chances as well. Everyday is a new day.

Diane said...

There is so much wisdom here. Thank you for sharing your experience - which sounds very familiar in my mid 20's too. Praise God that's he is so patient and gracious. If we only knew then what we know now...

P.S. You have such a cute daughter!