Month: August 2014

Please Don’t Measure Me by my Failures

After 2½ years of grieving, I’ve decided to consider dating. But not without a great deal of trepidation. After investing forty years into a relationship, I fully understand the cost. That love is a risk and not all roses and champagne. As much as it satisfies, it can also hurt.

I’d become so comfortable being Tim’s wife. I liked the security and looked forward to settling into our senior years together. We were at peace with each other’s failures, eliminating the need to discuss them. And we deeply relished our successes. His loss wiped out the vision I had for my future. DSC00348

So a large part of me wants to tuck myself in at night and protect my vulnerability. To thwart off any potential rejection before it creeps in. After all, do I even know how to build a relationship from the ground up?

At my age, I’m not sure I can control my emotions. I’m not sure the reasonable side of my mind can lead the feeling side. That I can logically evaluate a persons life experiences and choose wisely. Can I even follow the relationship advice I gave my children?

But somehow, that all feels too judgmental. Because, if I’m going to size up a man based on his failures, then in turn, he’s free to do likewise with me. And at my age, who hasn’t failed? At least in some part of their relationships.

And do I want someone to judge me on the sum of my short comings? Or, am I allowed to show how those experiences molded and shaped me into a better version of myself?

Many people my age are picking up the pieces of broken lives. And like Tim and me, they’re adding them up and applying the necessary grace to move into a very difficult season. But if those around them continue to hold them to the fire of their short comings, what does that tell us about the God who ultimately redeemed us all?

So, I think I’ll not look at a man’s failures, but seek to understand what he has learned about himself. After all, I know exactly what I would do differently with Tim. I know how I hurt him, and I’m committed to not go down that path again.

It takes a lot of grace to go the distance in any relationship. And if God counted the cost up front, would mankind ever have existed? What if it pleases Him when His children remember the grace offered them, by passing it on to others?

For that grace heals those deep wounds. It binds us together at the foot of the cross. And it reminds us, we can never give more than what has already been given.




My Buckets of Regret

It crept up on me, this aging thing. When young, my goal was to get through life with as few regrets as possible. To do my best to not step on any toes. To survive with everyone still liking me.

Now in my late fifties, it’s safe to say, I failed.

My primary stumbling block? Passion. I’ve never been the quiet one in the corner. Nor the one to hold back an opinion. Nope, I’m not the one who waits to speak after everyone has shared their view.

Get me in a group, and my passion rears it’s ugly head. Make me mad, and off it goes. Risk challenging me, and I’ll do my best, but will probably give you a big chunk of my passion. I’m sorry to say, despite my best efforts; I still fight to rein it in.

To make matters worse, I have a good memory. And many nights I lie in bed reliving the streams of thought that should never have left my lips. And as they come back, I see the faces of those privileged enough to receive them. There’s nothing more dreadful than the image of your words bouncing off the face of someone you love.

Unfortunately, my passion not only impacts what I say, but what I do as well. More than once, I’ve unbridled it and indulged in activities that brought shame on me and my family.

Over the years, I fought it off by seeking wisdom. I read a ton of books. I attended bible studies and worship services. I went on the retreats. I even pleaded with God to change me. To make me different. To freaking calm me down. But sadly, He never did.

So now, when I look back, I face buckets of regrets. And like King Solomon, I’m realizing,

“What is twisted cannot be straightened; What is lacking cannot be counted.”

Clearly there is nothing new under the sun. And a quick reading of Ecclesiastes shows I share the same struggle as the saints of old.

So this week, I soothed my regrets by letting David Crowder remind me to lay down my burdens and my shame. For I needed to remember, that earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.

Come out of sadness from wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted let rescue begin
Come find your mercy, Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal
So lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are
There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That Heaven can’t cure
Come as you are
Fall in His arms, come as you are
There’s joy for the morning, Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal