Mistakes. Regrets. That’s today’s topic on Titus 2 Tuesday.
T2T is where we answer a question. I’ve asked one of my BPF’s (Back Porch Friends) Christina Carter to share her thoughts on this issue that hits close to home to so many..and if you haven’t experienced this yet, give it time. I just thought of a regret I had yesterday. Time for me to call my older kids and share my heart with them.
Allow me to introduce my friend. This beautiful lady above is Christina. That’s her husband Mark. We met in the “young couples’ class” at our church when they had two children and we had zero. We have fond memories of many day trips with their family (of 4 at that time) on the houseboat. I’ve always admired their joyful spirits, laughter, and love for each other. They’re now at a small church in their neck of the woods (literally) where Christina teaches ladies’ Bible study. Mark is the grill master and the Encourager Extraordinaire. You can find both of them spotting needs and meeting them by serving others. Christina loves the Lord, digs deep into Scripture, and is a faithful prayer warrior. She has been one of the greatest prayer supporters and encouragers in my life and in Cultivating A Home. To get a letter from Christina is an automatic KEEPER. She is a mentor in my life…and I know you’ll enjoy the benefit of her wisdom as she tackles this question with grace, gentleness, and Scripture.
“I made so many mistakes and such big mistakes. How do I handle my failures?”
Are our faults, errors, and failure insurmountable? Is there hope, or is it hopeless? Maybe you would verbally answer those questions in a positive way but experientially you have become an expert at walking backwards, always facing where you have been and only occasionally glancing forward. Would you stop and consider a few points that may help you turn around and move forward.
Examine why you are overcome with regret
Is it the conviction of the Spirit because you stepped away from the Lord’s ideals, intentionally pushing God away? If it is a transgression that has not been addressed Biblically, start right there and make whatever change is needed.
Is it a social issue of not fitting in with the conventions of other or embarrassment over a misstep that you have let spiral into a stronghold in your identity? Then recognize that you have an area in your life where you let others, or self, sit on God’s throne. Make your concerns center on what God thinks. Galatians 1:10 says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
Share your heart with those involved
The more the Lord taught me about Himself, the more aware I became of the many ways I had fallen short. I saw the consequences of my errors in the revealing light of truth. I gazed backwards over the landscape of failure and was terrorized by the implications of my actions. Gazing became mesmerizing and mesmerizing built strongholds of regret. When James addressed spiritual healing he wrote, “confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another” 5.16. The word translated “confess” is to bring forth from the heart freely and without reservation. Trusting my spouse with my heart through confession broke strongholds. Then, at appropriate times, I confessed (shared my heart) failures to my children and asked their forgiveness.
I had been warned against taking up offenses of others, being vengeful on behalf of someone else. But I was blindsided by the fact that we can also wrongly take up the guilt of others. We are not responsible for the sins of others, and it is not our place to guarantee that our children will grow up wise, productive, happy, educated, with great friends, pretty hair…and on…and on…and on. We are not the family “god”. That is self idolatry. Even the Perfect Father, who created a perfect environment for His children, did not have the perfect response.
Know that God restores
“On that day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.” Ezekiel 36:33
God can restore the years the locusts have eaten and in His economy, a dry, broken stick is changed into a blossoming, fruit bearing branch. Numbers 17. Waste areas are prime ground for tilling, seed sowing, and fruit bearing. God is not helpless among the ruins.
Embrace resurrection power
The word gospel means good news. Interestingly, the origin of the Greek word euaggelizo is rooted in a military connotation. It is the heralding of the good news of VICTORY! The good news IS victory! The war is won and the battles are minor messes. Christ arose victorious. In Him you have His victory. That is the gospel story in your life. Victory. Dead areas brought to life. Dead rods that bud. Empty tombs. Broken strongholds. In Ephesians 2 when Paul prays for the church he wants them to know the “riches of the glory” that they already possess and the “exceeding greatness of His power to us”. That power is the resurrection power “which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead”. And that is…the gospel truth.
Let your scars tell the gospel story
I have a long and wide scar that crosses each of my knees. They have been the subject of many questions over the years. When I was younger I considered creating a dramatic and interesting escapade of how I got them, because the real story was the boring tale of corrective surgery. Every scar tells a story. Your scars can tell the gospel story. It is dear to my scarred heart that The Lord, in the glory of His resurrection body, kept the scars on His hands, the scars on His feet, and the scar on His side. His friends recognized those scars. They told the gospel story.
Dear sister, God is the author of your faith, He is writing your story. It is a thread in The One Story of the gospel. There is no area is that is beyond the gospel narrative. There is no failure so big that it cannot be encompassed in resurrection victory. Be encouraged. Live the gospel in your heart and in your home.
Do you have mistakes and regrets that you need to take to our Father?
Rhonda Ihopeyou’vebeenencouragedbythistoday ellis
Dear friends, let me tell you as this guest author’s daughter, that she walks the talk. Mama and I have grown through a lot of experiences together. She has never been afraid to apologize and then giggle with me about all the craziness we’ve walked through or mistakes we’ve made. She’s the first to think of a better way to do it next time and encourage me when I feel down about my own mistakes. Love you always and forever, Mama! Next time, avoid the old photos …. 🙂
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah… Your mom is not to blame. It is I who located the old photos in my family photo album. I was going to put a picture of your family being straight cray- the one where you’re in pink tights and fun rainboots? LOL. Thanks for your comments about your mom. She indeed oozes with grace. I love you both!