I feel like I have lived five lifetimes since this picture was taken. I mean, if that four wheeler could talk! So much has happened and there are moments when I wish that I could “go back” and do some things differently.
Do you ever wish that you had said more, done more to make the people you love know just how much you really do love and care for them?
This year I will not have my dad on this earth and sometimes it hits me out of nowhere. It’s so hard to think about not having the opportunity to call him anymore, to tell him I love him, to hold his hand, to hear his voice, to tangibly feel and see him… The funny thing is that growing up, my dad was never overly affectionate. I always knew he loved me because he always told me, but even so, sometimes I just wish I could “go back”. Sometimes I wonder… What if we had spent more time together, doing the things he loved to do? What if I had made him more of a priority in his later years? Would it have made me feel like I was ready to let him go?
The “what if’s” can haunt us and cause us to spiral down to a very unhealthy and bitter place if we stay there.
The time I had with him before he passed away was precious and I would not trade it for anything on this earth! I could very easily spiral into regret; wishing we had done more of that while he was living and not just while he was dying. The whole family gathered. We sang songs with him and to him. We read the Bible to him, played his southern gospel music to him and occasionally slipped in some Hillsong and Bethel music! There were precious moments of prayer, tears and laughter. My sister and I sat and watched Frazier with him. It was his favorite show and we belly laughed together! I loved to hear his laugh, but they were unfortunately, too few and far apart. You see, my dad suffered with depression my whole life. His laugh was music to my ears and he was a lot of fun to be around. He loved to play games and loved to be outdoors, but his lows were hard. Depression is not something you can just snap out of and it has nothing to do with how much your family loves you. It is a thief. It steals away spending time with the ones you love, paying attention to your people who are desperate to love you and be loved. My dad was a fighter. He always had been since his childhood, but as he got older, the fighter had his last fight with the thief that slowly stole his body and his mind way too early, in my opinion.
There are so many missed opportunities for all of us.
I know my dad spent a lot of his last few years mourning this very thing. Don’t get me wrong. We are not the perfect family and there are, like I said before, things I wish I could go back and do over, but if I really think about it, we had plenty of great times together as a family. My dad valued family time and demanded it while I was growing up, but isn’t that just so ironic and just the point?
No matter how many great moments you have, the enemy always wants to keep you in a perpetual state of regret, “what if” and disappointment. The truth is that if you dwell on the opportunities you missed, it will keep you from taking advantage of the ones that await you in the very present and future.
It is a stealer of joy because it only allows you to see the lack instead of the blessing. The cares of this life can so easily hold you back from so many things that matter. It can take a beautiful memory and wrap it with darkness, so that you cannot see what is right in front of you. Most of all, it can completely steal your destiny and what God has purposed you to do!
Whether it’s loss, fear, a never ending appetite for more possessions or achievements, anxiety, anger or even something that is as simple as being unwilling to let go of the past.
Be determined to continue! Find purpose in the journey and not just the destination. God doesn’t waste anything! He uses it all to give you a future full of peace. Not a life without conflict, but one that is at rest, knowing his plan is way bigger than your regret!
Remember your blessings along the way and give thanks for your happy and fruitful memories.
Learn from the experiences. Look at the present as if it is your last opportunity!
Your purpose, destiny and opportunity is right in front of you. Waiting for you to see it and follow it with joy and purpose!
Love your people. Allow them to love you.
Disciple others. Show them their value and how much God loves them!
No one has ever regretted the joy of living in peace.
Be attentive to your present.
Look to the future that God has prepared just for you with a grateful heart!
Mark 4:18-20– “And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”