Then there are parents that have never learned what it means to take responsibility for their actions.
I am gonna get gut honest with you here. I raised my children to be good responsible kids, so that they would grow into the young adults that God wanted them to be. Somewhere along the way...they got it and were doing good. I, on the other hand took a step backwards and became irresponsible causing me to make some very stupid decisions. The consequences of those decisions, follow me even to this day. Being irresponsible hurt me and all those that loved me. When I realized just how far these choices had taken me, I was a wreck and didn't know how to get back on track. I know that sounds weird coming from someone that was a leader in the church, sang in a gospel trio and was very respected by her friends and family...but nonetheless true. I knew God loved me, but I was so far away from His purpose in my life...I had trouble seeing the end because I was relying on my feelings instead of God's promises.
I take full responsibility for my actions during this dark time in my life and hope that by writing this it will help someone else know that nobody is immune to the attacks of the devil. You have to understand that if you give him even a small opening, he will come in and kill and destroy your very life. I believe with all my heart that there are times in everyone's life when there are crossroads in your life. How you react can be a game changer. I want more than anything for your game changer to be that you become fully committed to God. When you allow the game changer to be you giving in to temptations contrary to what you know to be right...look out! Your life is about to change...and you won't like what you see.
After 2 or 3 years of trying to figure it all out...I was approached by what I believe to be an "angel". I was now remarried, but just couldn't shake the guilt and regret that was keeping me awake nights. Bobby, my husband, and I had been invited to a picnic with a church group and decided we should go. The game they played was a penny game where you looked at the date on the coin and share what you were doing during this particular year. As we went around and everyone shared, I was dreading my turn because I just knew I'd break out in tears. Almost every single person had something to share about their family and I knew my family was a mess. My turn came and I was able to get through it because my coin date was 2001, so tears were appropriate because I shared about the shock of 9-11.
Toward the end of the picnic time, an older lady came driving up in her red pick up truck. Right away she came up to me and looked me in the eyes and said..."Are you alright?" My eyes filled with tears, someone really cared enough to ask me...she told me she felt that God had told her to come to this picnic because someone needed help, and she said I know that person is you. I shared my story with her...the good, the bad and the ugly. She told me that I needed to quit worrying about the things and people that I could not change...to allow God to do that. She told me when I go to bed in the evening to just start praising God for all the blessings I had and let God do His perfect work in everything else. I know this is not something new, but this came from God directly to me...so I took notice.
Things didn't change overnight, but with each night sleep came easier and rest became sweeter. I was not alone, God still loved me enough to care about what happens to me. My life changed that day at a picnic in a park in Cape Girardeau, MO. I made a commitment to be responsible for my failures, but accept God's forgiveness for these failures and learn how to live in the life that is the here and now. I asked those that I hurt to forgive me and forgave everyone that I could think of....did I still have moments when I let my hurt rule? I regret to say yes I did...but as I learned more about what God expected of me...I realized that He had forgiven me of much, so I should forgive others in like manner.
I am not perfect, therefore I make mistakes every single day of my life. I sometimes let my mouth say way more than I should ever say and regret it as soon as I step back from the situation. I am definitely a work in progress, learning to submit my will, mind and emotions to Him on a daily basis. I ask forgiveness when I fail and learn from my mistakes. I learn everyday and agree with God everyday that I will see His goodness in my life. I will see relationships restored and lives changed for the better.
I am so thankful for my family and friends that love me even in my weakness and lift me up in prayer because they care. If you are one of those people that have prayed for me and continue to pray for me, I can't tell you how important those prayers are. In my heart of hearts, I want to love others the way God loves them and forgive as I have been forgiven.