There’s so much to say, yet so little, so redundant a place I was in.
Has something ever turned out differently than what you thought or felt it should? Have you ever found yourself in a place of taking responsibility for what you thought should be, but didn’t prove true?
Stubborn and bitter, holding on? Calling it regret because somehow that seems better…like it’s still yours to hold onto and that must make it okay? At least it’s still mine to keep, this regret over different than, of can’t possibly be as good as what could have been.
So, we squeeze it tight, carry it, revisit it and sit with it.
Thoughts rewinding to regret. A song of what if? why not? what should I have done more or less of? The song of remorse stuck on replay. An annoying song, aggravating and lingering, self-condemning.
I’d wake with a new song, a prayer. I’d carry it through my morning; nevertheless, the ballad of bitterness was my chorus again by sundown.
Writing, at least journaling had become a habitual chore. An every morning, new page pencil-marked with date list of the circling of why.
Most days countered with good, solid words of hope of motivational truths, verses and prayer.
Yet, that same list every day for a while now, letting go and coming back to the useless hard truth of regret. Knowing God would not have me stuck in this bad place for as long as I had been and the two steps forward, five or six back surely had to pass…with time, acceptance, new perspective.
Vacation came and every single day I walked the path to our spot, this morning glory path, I named it. My feet sinking in a cushion of sand to be greeted by the open armed shore. Me, still burdened with regret.
Seven full days, sitting shaded yet wrapped in, absorbing and being absorbed by warmth of coastal summer.
Feet and face pointed towards blue, grey, green water stirring up billows of crispy, frothy white. I sat staring, deciding to leave then beckoned by whoosh and whisper of waves, to gaze again for hours.
Recalling words from daily, jotted down prayers mixed with notes from sermons and songs as I sat, positioned just behind those I love, the young two and the one who yearns for sun, this season he adores.
Sitting, no idea of the gift of this time. Remembering words recorded earlier from a sermon the Sunday before our trip.
Corresponding and correlating on this first full day in the sun.
Everything I have been given or have obtained is from God.
When God puts something in your hand, he puts it there with an open hand. If we hold too tightly, He will pry it from our hand.
I sat, facing the Atlantic ocean, opened my hand and let go.
Let go the regret, as warm tears streamed behind sunglass shielded eyes. I sat, silent with open hand.
Hand open, clearly, finally resting.
Journaled then what I knew was my truth.
“Regrets are really nothing more than a hard truth, a place of clarity, and clarity is good. A place of now I understand and I can be better.
Now that I see regret as it is, a place to see my bitterness, my pride and self-condemnation I can be okay with the truth of my regret.”
On Wednesday, I walked with music for the first time, careless about the overuse of cellphone data. Walked on the beach instead of meandering streets with pretty, shingled houses. I walked with intent and freedom. Struck out on my own, no route, no plan.
Then this song, “What do I know of Holy?” and I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by God. By the beauty of this walk on this day, this timing.
“What do I know of you who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood but the shore along your ocean?
What do I know of holy?” Addison Road
I guess I thought I had figured it all out. I loved to talk about how mighty to save my God was and my words, they had become just empty words on a page. I tried to hear from heaven, but I’d talk loud rants of doubt the whole time. I think I made you too small. I made me too big, my clinging to why not? what if?
Then I caught a glimpse of who you might be. Who you are, Holy. The one who at the slightest hint has brought me down to my knees. The one whose wounds heal my shame, my regrets.
And I knew of Holy, again.
I remembered you and I opened my hand again. Unwrapped my tightly fisted hand and let go regret.
Gave up what was not for me to hold
The thing I’d made so big
Opened my hand to a heaven blue sky, teary eyes more clear now.
Losing me and finding you.