Some unexpected and uncomfortable self revelations came up yesterday. Suffice it to say that the Lord is molding me and showing me myself. I think we all know what it feels like to have God show us things about ourselves that are painful and oh, so not what we thought ourselves to be.
In an apt bit of timing, at the same time I was undergoing this revelation, a picture was sent to me on Facebook of myself when I was 17 years old at an end of school year party. The picture was taken by one of my former schoolmates. For some reason - I think shame at the many stupid and wasteful decisions I've made in my life - it was as if someone had punched me in the stomach. I looked at myself and thought two things. The first was how young I was, how my life was ahead of me, how all the possibilities in the world were mine at that moment, long gone - and how I knew what I was about to do for the next five years that I would pay the price for - for the rest of my life. The second was embarrassment at what I could see with my adult eyes of the girl in the picture. Even though there were reasons for who I was at that time, it didn't make it any easier to see such a lovely, yet self-absorbed and selfish girl. I immediately thought of even the body language in the photo - how if I'd only been more involved with others and less inside my own head, how much happier my entire life would have been. Less self and more others.
And so here I am today, a little bruised on the inside, a great deal chastened. The only way to drain some of the pain out was to write the following, and then, hopefully, to move on with new knowledge and hope.
I'm looking for a place to put my heart.
Some top shelf where it won't remind me.
Out of sight, hidden.
It's been about used up
on earthly beauty and youth
and other ephemeral heartbreaking things.
I've let it lead, a foolish act.
It loved too well all that passes,
Itself in the center, crowned and lonely.
A rest from vanity in some forgotten corner,
my mind with my faith awhile to drive
uncharted territory, the noble and selfless.
Thy strength, oh Lord, impart to me
whose shallow frame has wasted life,
to spend what's left as You would will
And not in tears for what might have been
had my heart been safe under Your care
instead of seeking eternity in self.
I think everyone has regrets, and wishes they had made wiser decisions in the past.
Life sucks and then you die.
Then again, it is Monday....
For some reason, recently I kept having things pop up from when I was much younger. Almost as if the old me was haunting the today me.
As I prayed about it, I knew God was showing me two things. Once, I am who I am today not in spite of past mistakes but because I learned from them.
Also, He reminded me I have asked forgiveness for the past bad decisions and motives so everything is "under the blood of Jesus" and already forgotten in the books of Heaven.
So bit it for all of us. :)
Thanks, Brenda - I have to remember that it is indeed the past and let it go. Sometimes I wonder if Facebook is such a good idea....
I reaad your peom too, sister mine and I had to stew on it awhile. One thought was absolutely clear though, and that is that when God shows us things about ourselves, it is in a loving way - when we have these encounters, if they are from God and not satan, we will have two immediate responses - one, a feeling of sorrow immediately followed by a feeling of love received and forgiveness and a sense of hope because of what we now have AND finally a sense of joy that we are in a different place because we are known and loved by HIM. . . . . So, your poem was very well done, but rather look at that young girl and know how far you have come and no regrets! Yesterday is what it was, but today is what you make it with God beside you, and tomorrow is your future - rejoice in it!
You know - I didn't think of that, but you're right. Every once in a great while, I get hit with some reminder of what was - how much potential I had then and squandered....that cannot come from God. First of all - I was not a believer then, so whatever good was there was of the earth, not heaven. God promises to give beauty for ashes - not remind us of our ashes so that we feel hopeless and condemned.
Hugs hugs hugs - thank you SO much for putting this whole episode in the right perspective.
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