Skipping over a plethora of times I trained without understanding or joy, we came to addition at 5 years old . . . “One plus one equals two. “One plus two equals three” is the gist of how I introduced the first concepts of math.
I have lamented this time in my life and hers when out of utero she was still forming and needing patient instruction. My heart sags 6 inches and weighs twice as much when I think of it.
I’m told I did the best I could and she’ll turn out fine, but why don’t those words cradle and hold up my heart?
My best has been tainted by ignorance, selfishness, busyness, impatience, and fear. How can it be good enough or even okay?
You’ve been there, right? Your child hurts and your best has done it. When you’re alone and all comfort and encouragement from others is gone. You’re left with a saggy heart, a bowling ball stomach, the truth. The four walls know your best is unacceptable.
If we’re out for coffee and my failures come up I’m not looking for a pat on the back and, “It’s ok!” Please don’t pull out that sign “My Best” for me to hide behind and feel falsely better. I’ll try to do likewise for you. I’m ok with regrets.
I’m ok with them because the bitter truth, while painful as it shoves me low, has revealed the dwelling place of grace. Squeezed through a cavity of darkness and thin oxygen I discover a hidden and marvelous world.
It’s like a birth.
Standing up, dressed in my best, fighting the wrinkles and refusing to bend from the pain never took me to a world so unexplained. Passing through such a door hunched low however, my grievous heart lightens. For a moment there’s a feeling that I’m imposing and don’t belong, but it’s just then I remember, the girl who knows she doesn’t belong at the ball gets chosen to dance. So if letting my regrets push me down leads me to another place I can stand for real, I guess in a curious way I see them as friends.
Are you weighed down by regret? Are you trying to keep yourself up and missing out on really seeing what grace is like?