I have been feeling sad – probably more due to tiredness and this hectic pace we run ourselves into every day, but still. I have been feeling sad.
And the thing that is making me feel sad lately is that I feel like I have accomplished nothing. Here I am, at the tender age of 41, and what is it exactly I have achieved with my life? Nothing. Well, okay, perhaps not nothing, but it feels like nothing. And the reason why I have achieved nothing is because I had no plans. My plans after school extended to finding a job with pension and medical aid (perhaps a thought inherited from my father, but still). And planning a family? Well, never on my list of things to do. And now I regret it. Because you see, my not desiring a family was me hiding in fear. I was afraid I wouldn’t bond with my child, or that anxiety would fill my days and I’d have no escape. And so, instead of facing my fears, I ran… I hid behind my no and didn’t plan or think I could plan. The irony is though that I didn’t know that I was doing that – only now, after the last couple of anxiety filled years do I see what I was actually doing then.
I was afraid of failing, of humiliating myself, of not coping, of being thrust into the spotlight and all I wanted to do was hide away.
I didn’t plan. I didn’t think further than my fears.
Many of my friends are Chartered Accountants or Pharmacists, because in school they had a plan. And they worked towards that plan. And now they are in their 40’s and are reaping the rewards of their hard work.
And they planned their families. And so when one child came along, they knew that another would be imminent.
Not so with me.
I was too shy to go to varsity – fearing not making friends, or being lonely, or …
I didn’t plan. God had to take me and lead me through my fear to become a mom. And I am so grateful. This precious and beautiful little girl that He has given me has filled my life in more ways than I can ever count or know. She is beautiful and wonderful and happy and lovely and amazing.
But, had I had a plan, she would probably have had a brother or sister.
I saw a picture of my husband’s sister’s two daughters – a photo of them sitting side by side and the photo was titled, “sisters”. And I felt sad that Baby Girl would not have a sibling of her own. I am too old now, and we could never afford another – not unless we won the lotto. And this post isn’t even about having another – I don’t think that is the right decision for us. It’s more about how my lack of planning and lack of courage to face my fears has led to well, a life reflecting one of little planning, and little accomplishment and little achievement.
All because I didn’t plan. And I didn’t have the courage to face my fears earlier. So, I am very grateful that God came alone when He did – I would have sorely regretted not having had Baby Girl. She is amazing.
But, I hope and pray that she doesn’t endure loneliness through life because of my lack of planning.
And although I have friends, I don’t have any friends in my inner circle – besides for my hubby – people I can just really trust to have my back, and my family’s back, and Baby Girl’s back, no matter what.
And so, to get myself out of the state of negative thinking, I am going to revisit #21daysofthanks. Because even though I may have some regrets about the past, and some fears about the future, at the present there is plenty that I have to be grateful for – starting with marrying the most amazing man and have the most amazing daughter. Join me over the next 21 days to give thanks for what we have.
I accept this challenge, because I know that having an attitude of gratitude changes your life and changes how you perceive things. And filling your head with all the positive things in your life is far better than dwelling on the negative – as Joyce Meyer so greatly tells us below:
by Joyce Meyer – posted October 29, 2014
Jesus said] When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest (release, refreshment, ease); and finding none it says, I will go back to my house from which I came. And when it arrives, it finds [the place] swept and put in order and furnished and decorated. And it goes and brings other spirits, seven [of them], more evil than itself, and they enter in, settle down, and dwell there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. —Luke 11:24-26
This word from Jesus can be frightening. His purpose for the warning is not to cause us to cringe and worry about unclean spirits coming back. It’s a warning to tell us that it’s not enough to get rid of wrong thoughts-we must keep the door locked so our enemy can’t return. Not only does evil come back, but it comes back worse than before.
I once read an article about diets, and the author said that most people who diet actually lose weight-until they stop dieting. Then they regain the weight they lost and about 5 percent more. When they stop working at the problem, they not only stop losing, but they’re worse than before they started. The author went on to say that the only way to win the battle of being overweight is to make a lifestyle change by becoming aware of the danger areas and guarding ourselves against making wrong choices. It works that way spiritually; as well. One way to keep wrong thoughts out of your mind is to keep the mind active and alert and full of right things. You can cast out the devil, but then you must remain alert, always aware of his tricks. As I point out in my book Battlefield of the Mind, there are aggressive sins (or sins of commission) and there are passive sins (sins of omission). That is, there are things we do that hurt a relationship, such as speaking careless words. But it is just as true that we hurt relationships by the omission of kind words, those thoughtful words that express appreciation, affection, or awareness of kind deeds others have done. When confronted, passive individuals yell, “But I didn’t do anything!” That’s exactly the point. It’s what they don’t do. Their lack of action actually invites the devil back into their lives.
That’s a strong statement, so I will say it a different way. You can win any time you take action and push away the thoughts and desires that don’t come from God. You may do this on your own through prayer, reading the Bible, or even by resisting the passivity that may be natural for you. But once you’ve been set free, that’s only the beginning. It’s not just one victory that lasts forever. It’s an ongoing battle-it’s constantly rebuking the devil. The best, easiest, and most effective way to rebuke the devil is to fill your mind and your heart with praises to God. When you worship and praise God, you’ve slammed the door in the enemy’s face and put up a “No Trespassing” sign. I don’t want to make it sound as if you have to fight demons every second of your life. That’s a trick of the devil himself to make you think like that. But when you fill your life with praise and positive, healthy thoughts, you can live in victory.
Please read this verse again-aloud-and hear the message of the Holy Spirit: “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 CEV).
Victory over passivity is just that simple: Focus your mind on the good and you will have no space left for the passive or the bad.
God, thank You for showing me the way to win over passivity and live in victory every day. In the name of Jesus, I ask You to remind me each day so that I can fill my mind and heart with only worthy thoughts. Amen.
Reference: Joyce Meyer