The bitter steam of my PG Tips wafts up from the jeweled Indian coaster on the corner of my desk. I sigh, heavy with longing and regrets.
Just today, how many failures and errors and missed opportunities?
My angelic towheaded 5-year-old asked, “When do we know we get to meet Jesus?”
I remember the fear I had at her age: wondering who would raise me if my parents died? There was no one, not really. An old uncle or even older grandma; either would probably die before I reached adulthood. I didn’t like the idea of living with either of them. Such horrid thoughts for so young a child. I wonder just exactly what is her fear or is it just curiosity?
I answer her that no one knows how long they have to live and that we should always live a life so to be prepared to meet Jesus. We should pray and do His will and be blessings to others. That seems to satisfy her. This one has such deep thoughts. She often has nightmares. She worries. I see myself in her and it scares me. I want to shelter her, protect her, keep her innocent forever. Give her freedom and encouragement to love unabashedly. I want her to live the barbarian way.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m still sixteen, struggling with the same issues that all teens have: what is my life? It was a frightening and exciting era, full of hope and angst and terror. Much apathy.
It still is frightening and exciting. I think I have mostly gotten over the angst. I reminisce over the errors of my past and cringe. What is my life? What have I accomplished? I quake inside over the inevitable questions that will arise that I want to refuse to answer. Days creep into years and soon now, it will be too late. Scared to be accountable for all that lost time. What if I come up short, wanting?
My tea is cold and bitter now.
I have three daughters to raise to not be like me…despicable me. Let them be bonny and blithe and lovely and loved. Let them not ever have to understand the choices I made.
I have a son to raise to choose a wife who is not at all like me. May he grow up to be a Godly man and choose a virtuous woman from a loving family who will accept him as their own.
May these precious children never know alienation or be disavowed. May they only know love and acceptance.
I know God has a plan. I know God always had a plan. He was with me through all those wretched times when I didn’t call out to Him and all the times I did call out and didn’t hear or heed His answer.
I can wish all I want that I had met my husband when I was, oh, like fourteen…because that would have made some things ever so much simpler, right? I wish he was the only boy I had ever dated.
I often wish I could just erase the 14-28ish years…so many troubles. But, I guess it makes me who I am, even as messed up as all that is.
So, now I pray that God can use my past for good.
He promises that, right? Romans 8:28
Kids growing up in sheltered and safe households with little knowledge of the evils of the world don’t know how great they’ve got it. I often wish I had not known the world so intimately.
I pray my kids have a linear and easy road to adulthood.
I wish I hadn’t gone down so many broken roads.
What would I do differently if I could do it over?