If you could start all over again, what three things would you change?
I’m one of those people who believe we have a destiny, a plan, a purpose for being here. The twists and turns in our lives shape us and make us the person God intended us to be. When I think about the things I would change, it makes me stop and wonder how those changes would affect my life purpose.
In making those changes, would I inadvertently erase something good in my life? Would I miss out on experiences that ultimately shaped me? It’s difficult to say how the smallest changes would affect our lives. But if I could, there are three things I would have done differently.
I would have finished my undergraduate degree right out of high school and before I had children. I think I have reiterated this to my children for the last ten years. I started my degree then decided I could make it without one.
College is difficult enough without trying to study while sleep deprived. I worked hard to juggle small children, my own wedding photography business, and school. But then I think it might also be what made me so determined to finish.
I give credit to God for my marriage on a daily basis. We were young and stupid and thought we could live on love alone. We recently celebrated 25 years together, but I know it was by the grace of God.
We worked hard to have the marriage we do today. However, I wish we could have worked harder. I wish we would have been more intentional. The second half of marriage has been rich because we put the time into the relationship. We would be much further ahead if we had started working on it earlier with greater intentionality.
I hesitate to say there is anything about ministry I would change. In looking back, I see how God used one thing to lead to another. But this I can say with certainty…I wish I had surrendered more quickly.
I wish I had given God permission to move in my life and change me sooner than I did. I wish I had said yes to the call on my life when He first prompted my spirit. I wish I had let go of vices and bitterness and forgiveness before they did so much damage.
The Word of God promises that He will repay the years the locusts have eaten. But repaying the years does not erase the scars. Yet, the Word of God also reminds us that He is working all these things together for good.
These are the three things I would have changed. You probably have three things you would change…maybe even more. Some of you have an opportunity to take this advice and learn from my mistakes. For the rest of us, let us remember we have a God who does great things and who births miracles out of our mistakes.