I woke up with a heart and mind full this morning. There were a ton of things to do to get ready for a MOPS meeting I had to lead. Usually my heart and mind are full of good things and happy thoughts, but a sly trick of the devil is to bring to my mind past regrets, failures, low points, hurts, mistakes, etc. In a flash I saw people's faces the moment after I said something thoughtless or hurtful, opinions I shared that would have been better left unspoken, judgments I had made about others, things I had done that brought guilt and shame, things done to me that make me sad.
And then the line of a song sprang into my heart, "I have no time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us...". Thank you Holy Spirit! And after that I remembered friends, family, mentors, counselors who have helped me get past these times in my life that I'm not proud of. God is sooooo good! In a moment my heart went from full of shame and sorrow to full of the mercy, grace, and love of God offered new everyday and the knowledge that He doesn't see me broken or stained. He doesn't hold my words and actions against me. I don't have to drag these regrets through my day or through the rest of my life. But, I can use them as stepping stones. When they come to mind I will let them remind me of what not to do, what not to say, and that I'm not the person that I once was.
Everyday in my walk with the Lord He is changing me. Little by little, day by day. I don't want to be the same. I still have PLENTY of quirks, rough edges, imperfections, uglies...but He's not done with me yet! How grateful and blessed I am to have such a loving and caring Father!
As a parent I try to make everyday a new day. I don't want my kids to carry their mistakes of yesterday into today. Today is a clean slate. I want them to learn from yesterday's spankings and time outs, but I do not want to hold over them or against them. What a wonderful example God is to me in this.
So today, if you are remembering past mistakes, failures, regrets...know that God is willing, able, and faithful to forgive us, if we are willing to ask Him. He loves us just as we are, but doesn't leave us that way.
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 1 John 1:9 (AMP)
One more thought, I can't help thinking of the people who may read this and think back to a time that they were on the receiving end of something hurtful that I did or said. I may remember or I may not even know I hurt you. Just like I know there are others who have hurt me and didn't even realize it (and still others who could care less). I just want to say I do care, and I'm very sorry. I hope you will forgive me as I too strive to choose forgive others. Know that I don't want to be that hurtful person! I hope you can see me for who God is molding me to be and not for who I have been! :)
Wishing you peace and joy today!
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)