“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
Starting over. Each and every year we have an opportunity to start afresh. Honestly you have that same opportunity every day. Every moment can be a redirection of attitude. You could create resolutions that will only last a month. You could succeed in changing your life.
I’ve found myself starting over and over and over and over again.
Life is new every day. But we can make it better every moment. When I am upset with my daughter, I can choose to apologize to her. When I’m distracted during breakfast, I can choose to dance with her after the dishes are cleaned up. These are the little things that can be easily changed. It comes down to realizing that I’ve made a mistake in how I’m acting and doing something to make it better.
Sometimes there are bigger issues than being distracted or frustrated. There are addictions and betrayals. We’ve all had some type of catastrophe in our lives. We’ve all dealt with it differently. My question is, do you like who you’ve become? Has that problem consumed your life, your happiness, or your faith in God?
At twenty weeks pregnant, I went in to find out if my baby was going to be a boy or a girl. I found out he wasn’t going to live past the day he was born, if he survived that long. We walked out of that doctor’s office, got into the car to head home and were shocked. We were stunned. But to my dying day I will tell you that the life and death of my son was a blessing. He was a wonderful thing to happen to us. We did everything we could to make his life good. Even through the pain, the challenges, and the uncertainty of what would happen each day, we found happiness and an opportunity to share God’s love.
My son’s death was not my catastrophe. When I was in my early twenties, I was betrayed by someone who was very close to me. Kory and I decided we needed to confront this person and have a face to face conversation about what was going on. It didn’t go very well. Emotions were high and, I had, in the heat of the moment, decided to leave. We were sitting in the car about to pull out of the driveway, thinking “this is it, I’ll never see them again.” I made the choice, the unbearably difficult choice, to go back into that house and attempt to hash it out some more. When we did leave, it wasn’t good.
For the next three years it wasn’t good. We had to choose to be gracious and honoring. I couldn’t answer their phone calls, or texts. I couldn’t hug them. I could barely stand to be in the same room, at times I had to stand in the bathroom taking deep breaths to calm myself. I had to choose to see what was good, even if that meant saying it was a short visit. I wouldn’t allow that betrayal to stop me from having the life I wanted to have. The life that I deserve to have. The life that God has given me.
Because I am a child of God, first and foremost, I can choose to live each day new. I can choose to be who I’ve been made to be. That can be as simple as a mom dancing with her daughter or as difficult as forgiving someone who doesn’t know or want to be forgiven. It can mean never getting an apology and learning to love unconditionally.
Whatever you choose, choose to find the good and be proud of your life. Because that’s where God is, that’s where you’ll see him. He’ll be in each moment that you choose to start fresh, to have a good attitude.
Whenever our family is leaving the Rainforest section at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo we always point out this quote by Edmund Burke because of its truth. “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”
Do a little today.