It’s that sinking feeling. One similar to those crazy dreams I sometimes have, where I go to a math class and am handed a test that I forgot to study for (and in some cases, forgot to ever go to the class at all!). Or maybe like a bride who meant to shed those last 5 lbs. so she could zip her dress on her wedding day, only to have the day sneak up on her having actually gained a couple. Now it’s too late. And here’s one closer to home; the brutal reality that you will be listening to Rosetta Stone German all the way to California because a certain college student only took 3 years of German in High School yet needs 4 years to graduate from said college (just a random example, and on a side note, prayers would be appreciated!). Anyway-I think you get my point. There are some things in life that require preparation and when that “thing” arrives, it’s too late to go back. You can’t make up for not losing the weight or attending a class.
Well-school just started for my 2 High-Schoolers and I leave in a couple hours to drive with my college student back to California. I have been feeling very unsettled and experiencing the “sinking” feeling I referred to above. I couldn’t really put my finger on why I have it until this morning. As far as i can dissect, I think it relates to a couple different things (and please don’t stop reading if you don’t have kids-it’s really not about that in the end…): Regret and Trust.
It’s not really regret about the things I did over the summer, it’s about what I didn’t do. This is where I start “shoulding” on myself. I should have set up a better schedule of exercise and maybe had them read something spiritual everyday. I should have spent more one on one time with each of them. I should have taken them on more weekend getaways. I should have organized more gatherings with their friends. I should have had them work on their math and language skills so they will be prepared for school this fall. I should have have limited their TV and video gaming time. I should have arranged for us to volunteer. i should have made them clean the crap out of their rooms and had a garage sale. I should have been more intentional about teaching them about faith and prayer and how to love others and God more fully. I should have required everyone to spend more time as a family. But now-it feels like it’s too late. School has started and now it’s all impossible.
That’s how my crazy brain has been working this week. This is when it’s important to remember the Trust piece. The reality (Miss Heather), is that “enough is enough.” I can’t go back and change anything. What I have already done has to be enough. I did the best I could do at the time. And though I wish I could do more or do it different, I have to trust that God’s hands are not bound by my shortcomings. My children will not become serial killers or vagrants or selfish, lazy people because I came up short this summer. He is bigger than that.
I have been “shoulding” on myself about the summer. But I have strong tendencies to do this in a variety of ways every day. Sometimes I think we put pressure on ourselves to perform at a certain level and then beat ourselves up when we fall short. Which we will, because life happens. And that’s actually a good thing, because it helps me live the life God has for me each day, living according to His will, not mine. Much of His plan to grow me up and mold me into maturity comes from how He uses me in the lives of others each day. If my way, my agenda, reigns, I hijack that plan. Our striving and scraping to succeed at life often leaves us feeling like failures. Like we aren’t enough. We take God out of the equation and try to work out our own worth.
So, I guess what I am trying to clarify for myself, that what I did this summer, what I do today, it’s all “enough”. I don’t have the power to make or break someone else’s life. God makes up the difference, always. I have to do my best and turn the rest over to Him in humble vertrauen (that’s German for trust…I am getting a head start!)
Heather lives in Springfield, IL, transplanted from the west coast for most of her earlier life. She has 3 kids and an amazing husband. They have been married for 25 years and spent the majority of those years in full time ministry.
Today, they are recovering from an emotional exit from life as they knew it in the church world. They are also recovering from an intense season as Heather battled Leukemia. Life has been raw and rough, but Heather knows that God redeems what we lay before Him. Much of that process is expressed and laid bare in her blogs.
She titled her blog Soul-Selfie because she has spent way too many years taking “pictures” of other people’s souls. Now it’s time for her to turn the focus on herself. In doing this, she shares her broken parts with you and has come to find out that she is not the only soul out there that is severely blurry, touched up, and often an outer misrepresentation of what’s really going on inside.
The good news is two-fold: you are not alone. There is hope. Heather reminds us that we can be broken together
Check out hundreds of other blog posts at Heathercarterwrites.com