I think we women in midlife sometimes struggle with choice. We have this idea of what our life is supposed to look like by now…but we’re a a little disappointed with it. At least parts of it. The good news is you were born a chooser. You may not be completely happy with or proud of all your past choices, but you can choose better from here on out.
Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy
Even in midlife, we face the temptation to compare our lives to other’s. Maybe we haven’t accomplished as much as we’d hoped for professionally. Maybe we still struggle financially. Maybe we have failed relationships in our past. Maybe we feel lost spiritually. If you’re running a comparison loop in your head, stop it! Comparison is the thief of joy. I know….easier said than done. We may know intellectually it’s unreasonable to compare our lives with anyone else’s; our entire life experience is different and has set us on a unique path. But sometimes that thought get lost between our head and our heart.
You Are Not Stuck
Wherever we are today, we are not stuck! God gave us the freedom to choose differently. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but we do have the option to begin doing things differently starting right now! We don’t have to wait for anyone’s permission. We don’t have to pay penance for whatever poor choices got us here. God is waiting for us to come to Him with all our regrets and shame, and give them over to Him. He knows our whole story anyhow; we don’t have to be worried we’ll tell Him something we’ve kept secret all these years. He knows our past, and He knows our hearts. The only unknown is if we’re really ready to make changes; to be a better chooser.
O LORD, You have searched me and You know me. – Psalm 139:1 NIV (c.1978)
This May Surprise You
I know of what I speak. I have a long list of poor choices I could rattle off. But let me tell you one thing that usually surprises people: I have been divorced 3 times. I am not proud of it, but it is what it is. I was married to not just one, but two abusive men, and one that didn’t share my faith. Regardless of their part in things, I know I hold partial blame for those marriages failing. Who’s to say if I hadn’t done some things differently any one of those relationships couldn’t have been saved? But I also know not everything was my fault. I’m not responsible for their choices; only my own. Unfortunately, it took a number of years to really believe that in my heart of hearts, let alone to put those relationships and all the poor choices I’d made behind me. I spent a lot of years hard-hearted; I turned my back to God and shut Him out. I couldn’t pray….even when I first started reading my Bible again. I couldn’t even walk into a church because I felt betrayed by a lot of what I’d been taught in church.
Over the years, I became more and more independent, especially as a single-Mom. But that independence only kept me in a downward spiral. I just kept thinking if I do this, I’ll be able to get out of this hole and I will fix things. Then my kids will be happy. Then I’ll be happy. And if I can just get on top of things financially, I’ll be able to make things better for us. But I never could; the harder I tried to control things the worse things got. I hurt myself. I hurt my kids. I hurt my folks. And I know I grieved God. It took me a long time to realize I would never be able to control my life.
Forgive And Forget
But God is patient….no matter how long we beat our head against a brick wall. Like any parent, our Heavenly Father sometimes watches silently as we make one poor choice after another, bringing pain and struggle into our life. But as soon as we are ready to surrender control, when we are ready to ask His forgiveness, He forgives and He forgets it all….immediately!
Be A Better Chooser
It just blows my mind when I think about it! Every morning I thank God for the opportunity to choose better! No matter how poor a chooser we’ve been, God is able to work those things out for our good….and for His glory. He really is the only One in control!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 NIV (c.1978)
YOU were born a chooser, my friend! You can either choose to hold tight to your past and stay stuck in it, or you can choose to accept God’s promise of forgiveness, surrender all your regrets, and move forward into better things! Starting today, be a better chooser and run after all the good God has laid out before you!Be a better chooser, and run after all the good God has laid out before you! - Kimberly Sutor Click To Tweet
And remember….when evaluating your own life….