I tried to look in my post archives earlier to see if I had written something similar to this recently, but WordPress or my Internet service (not sure which) were being stubborn, and I couldn’t find anything. I think this might have been God’s way of telling me I needed write about it anyway so that’s what you’re gonna get today. 🙂
Most of us like to look at Facebook memories, right? Things we posted a year ago, two years ago, and so forth and so on. In one of my memories from a year ago, I read about how I was excited about something I had finally gained the courage to try. It was bittersweet to read that today because it didn’t work out for a number of reasons.
Didn’t work out. I’ve used those words for many things during my life. Sometimes, I’ve been happy to use those words, like when things would have ended up being more difficult than I had thought. But, other times, I’ve been sad to use those words, like today.
There’s been a meme with this quote going around Facebook that I think is appropriate to share here. Said by Thomas Edison. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This certainly applies to the things I’ve tried, but not succeeded at. There have been many ways that haven’t worked for me over the past few years.
This was brought into sharp focus for me yesterday. My son and I went to watch the football game his youth group was playing in honor of the Super Bowl. He wasn’t participating because football has never been a big thing in our home. We are more of a baseball family. Anyway, I told him we needed to try something different so we went to watch. It was interesting. Fun too. But, as I observed the game, I realized something. We are about to age out of youth group (He’s a junior.), and the parents and teens left in the group will have a lot more in common. A sad, but realistic observation. And also, an observation, I think, as to why I’ve been floundering. I don’t feel like I fit…anywhere, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do once I have an empty nest. I’m working on some ideas, but nothing has been solidified which makes me nervous. I don’t want to get to the point where I’m pressuring either of my sons to give me grandchildren. That’s not fair to them or to me. God gave me a mind to use, and it shouldn’t be dependent on fulfillment through anyone else.
But, the fact remains that I will have an empty nest in a little over a year, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. This brings me full circle back to the things I haven’t succeeded at during my life. I’ve been a mother and a wife for so long that other titles don’t come easily. The desire is there though. A desire to have something of my own. A desire to leave something of myself behind that is not just related to my being a wife or a mother. Something I might do at church or in the community or with employment.
Since the desires I’ve had so far haven’t succeeded yet, it would be easy to get discouraged. It’s hard to think that I’ve failed at things I thought God was calling me to do. God led me to some verses in Scripture that encouraged me. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
In Verse 7 of the same psalm, the psalmist says, “I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”
And with these verses, something has become clear. I need to praise God through the failures and through the pain. The toughest thing in the world to do. But, God is teaching me through the failures, and it will lead to something better as long as I stay in His will. Help me, God, and help us all as we seek to listen to your voice.
God’s blessings on you all today!