Sometimes, we just have to forgive ourselves for being human mothers…
In my own story, I was completely blindsided by the circumstances surrounding the accident that claimed Luke’s life. It’s too complicated to explain here. The point is, this was a scenario I had never considered.
Like all moms, I had gone to great lengths to keep my kids safe. I put parameters and rules in place as a way of addressing the issues surrounding teen driving. Even though I had seemingly dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, I just didn’t see this coming. I couldn’t prevent it, and I couldn’t fix it. Have you ever been there? You’ve done everything you know to do and still something completely sideswipes you?
It can be a hard pill to swallow.
Adding to the pain of the situation, Luke was just shy of his 16th birthday when he died. So, of course we did our fair share of battling over appropriate music, television programs, movies, homework, chores, etc. God’s sanctification process was still in the spring season of Luke’s life.
Conflict to some degree characterizes the adolescent years as teens are testing our boundaries and rules as they move toward greater independence. (At least my teens did.) Luke by nature was strong willed and very verbal. Often we could talk things through, but other times I grew weary of the lengthy ongoing discussions and lost my patience. Sometimes, we exchanged stinging words. I blew it, he blew it, we both blew it.
After he was gone, I regretted those times, and those mistakes stood out in my mind like glaring neon lights that overshadowed the light of truth that Luke and I truly shared an authentic loving mother/son relationship. One that was filled with good memories of laughter, fun, and kindness. Have you ever found yourself with regrets with your children, spouse, close relative or friend?
It can be heartbreaking…paralyzing…soul killing.
These overwhelming thoughts were tying my heart in knots of utter despair; a place the enemy of my soul hoped I would stay.
It was only through the guidance of wise counseling did I begin to let God untangle the mess of my emotions that were choking my heart and my life.
I was carrying a burden that wasn’t mine to bear. Control is an illusion. The world can be dangerous and people make bad choices. We can’t protect our kids from everything. We can’t know what we don’t know. However, God is still sovereign. How His sovereignty trumps the tragedies and evil of the world is a divine mystery; we can’t fully understand. We are just asked to live within the mystery and trust the goodness of God’s heart towards us. Our children are His and their lives are held in His hands. When I struggle here, I have learned to immerse myself in God’s promises.
As I healed, I sensed God wanted me to surrender my regrets, ask for His forgiveness in my places of failure, and trust His grace to redeem my mistakes. I also asked Luke to forgive me for my shortcomings. I believe the veil between Heaven and Earth is gossamer thin. Luke now has a greater understanding of all things because he is with Jesus and has His eternal perspective.
Lastly, I believe that it is God’s will for me to allow these regrets to transform me and strengthen the quality of all my existing relationships. And, my sisters, may your regrets transform you, too.
May we love well, forgive, diligently seek forgiveness, and live freely.
Scriptures of the Day:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Author: Maryanne Abbate