I often wonder where I’d be today had a made a different choice here or there….would I be married to the wonderful man that I’m married to? Would I have the beautiful babies that I have, live in the house I’m in, go to the church that I attend? What if I had read less parenting books and merely trusted God when I first started this parenting journey; would I then be a better mom than I am now? Would me being a different kind of mom way back when have prevented my oldest from walking out halfway through her senior year? I mean, what if I’d loosened the boundaries and gone against what I felt in my heart was right; would she have been happy then?
I mean really, if you think about it, I could on for days wondering how things would be had I done things different. And I could beat myself up and allow guilt to fill my soul until I’m drowning in my misery and I’m filled with hatred of who I am. I could allow guilt to dictate my happiness and my future, and I could make my family miserable because I’m miserable with the person that I am. But really, who would that be serving?
I’ve gone down the road of what-ifs and if-onlys more times than I can count, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve allowed guilt to dictate my life, my happiness, and my self-esteem. I’ve beat myself up time and time again, and I’ve replayed conversations with my oldest, like an old movie that’s stuck on repeat. I’ve replayed those conversations, measuring myself against the accusations and insults that were hurled my way, and I’ve allowed myself to swallow those lies–hook, line, and sinker. And believe me when I say that there’s bondage in believing those lies; bondage that holds me back from truly being who God intended me to be.
It’s taken me almost four years to come to this place of realizing that my righteousness is truly found in Christ; it’s not found in anyone else’s opinion of me or in any accusations that have been thrown at me.
And not only that, but any mistakes I’ve made–and believe me, I’ve made a lot–are covered under the blood of Jesus! He died to save me from my sins and to free me from any and all chains that have a hold on me. It’s hard for me to even begin to wrap my mind around the reality that, when God looks at me, he sees Jesus. He doesn’t see my past mistakes and failures. He sees Jesus.
It amazes me how quickly the enemy pounces on me when I’m feeling weak or beaten down; those old accusations and lies start running around in my mind, beating me down with each hit, and reminding me of who I used to be—or of who I’ve been accused of being.
I find that I constantly need to be feeding my mind with Truth of who I am in Jesus, wether it be worship music or sermons, I need more of Jesus EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. And when I’m not doing these things, I find myself getting caught up in the day to day busyness, and getting worn down, because I’m trying to live this life in my own strength.
I’m so thankful to serve a Savior Who loves me in spite of my weaknesses and failures, and Who longs to remind me daily—minute-by-minute—of his sweet love for me. Lately, I’ve adopted the song, Good, Good Father, by Chris Tomlin as my theme song. I’ve had this song on repeat when I’m driving, and as a reminder when I’m getting ready in the mornings—I’m telling you, I need to hear it time and time again.
If you find yourself going down that road of what-ifs and if-onlys, let me assure you that Jesus loves you and he wants to be your righteousness and your salvation. He longs to surround you with his love, and to shower you with grace and tender mercy. And best of all, his gift of salvation is free.