We once owned a beautiful German Shepherd that could not be still. Not for a second. Tiesha constantly paced the backyard, or the front yard, or wherever we happened to be. Her doggy mate, Eli, would lay quietly in his shady spot and watch her, heaving a little sigh every now and then.
If I were a dog, I’d be Tiesha.
I recently had a Tiesha revelation of sorts. This past week I was with my husband on a trip to Florida. He on business, me stowing away on flier miles. As we traveled through the multitude of airports it took for us to venture from rainy, dreary Oregon, to blissful, paradise-like Florida, I saw many moms with babies and toddlers.
Moms cuddling their infants in front packs, softly petting those downy little heads. Moms patiently managing busy toddlers. It tugged my heart, making me miss my kids. But behind the longing was a pang.
Had I adored them enough as babies? Was I patient when they were toddlers?
Those early years of mountainous loads of laundry, toys strewn from the living room into the kitchen, and the previous day’s dishes making it difficult for me to find counter space to make dinner—toasted cheese sandwiches, again. (Those of you who were adventurous enough to have three children in twenty months can probably relate.)
As I watched those moms, a spasm of guilt clenched my heart. If only I’d held my kids more, played with them more. Not been so concerned with the doing of life. The endless pacing and picking up and putting away.
But I have now.
A glorious now. A reclaiming now. A now of promise.
“What’s that?” you say. I have the now moments with my eleven-year-old son, lying on his bed as we read a book. I can be fully present in each now moment with my nine-year-old twins as we play one more game of Yahtzee. I can set aside whatever unending project has captured my attention and have a now moment when my six-year-old comes up holding his latest find.
I can live in the now.
Without looking back. Without wishful regrets. Without beating myself up for mistakes made. We can’t recapture then. But we have every opportunity to enjoy and cherish the gift of now.
For you it may not be regret over parenting, but other choices that left scars on your heart or regrets that plague your mind. Maybe a career opportunity missed. A boyfriend you let go of. An abortion. A divorce. A drug addiction. A man you wished you hadn’t married.
Forgive yourself. Let yourself off the hook. You did the best you could with who you were at the time. I forgive you. God forgives you. Grace is waiting with arms open wide.
Go ahead and take that step into them now.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17