As the ornaments were removed from the tree this Christmas and placed in their storage box until next year, a wave of regret rushed over my heart. Promises to finish our Truth in a Tinsel ornaments were never kept. Promises made two years ago.
The memories played through my mind. My precious child, two years younger, intent on bringing God’s Word to life with his hand-crafted creations.
I had a good excuse last Christmas. We were living in an RV. We didn’t have a tree. As the ornaments were unveiled this year, the reality of undone business arose. I assured Caleb we’d finish his ornaments this year. Six weeks later, life moved on. And, the ornaments were never even attempted. I could feed you the excuse I was busy with Camden’s knee surgery. Possibly, that will pardon me for my negligence.
But, what keeps the regrets from swelling in my soul? The place where peace yearns to defeat sorrow. And the battle rages.
It’s not just about unfinished Christmas ornaments.
As both boys are now in public school, and I’m left to ponder all the what if’s of the fifteen years I had with my children at home, I find myself succumbing more to regrets than rejoicing. Knowing this cannot be the best attitude, I attempt to shake them off. However, like a magnet, they rise and cling to my heart.
My husband and children go through photo albums. My family giggles and enjoys the memories. I fake a grin. My heart aches.
Can we just go back? Might I have another chance?
In the midst of the turbulence, God’s ever gentle hand of mercy offers solace. He reminds me to turn to His Truth in this season of change. I walk into our bathroom and the Truth faces me from a plaque hanging there square on the wall.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
True. Noble. Just. Pure. Lovely. Good report. Virtue.
Worthy of praise.
Meditate. Focus your thoughts.
And God speaks gently to my worried mind,
These. All of these times with your children. They were all gifts. Receive them.
Isn’t it just like the enemy to tempt us to grieve over what God intended to be a gift.
I cannot lie and tell you I was immediately relieved of the burdens. But, gradually, as I depend on God’s Holy Spirit to disciple me, and I practice intentional thanks living, my thoughts rise from a lamenting pit to a refreshing mountain top.
From regretting to rejoicing.