I’ve been spending a lot of time lately remembering… remembering my childhood, specifically.
For every good memory I have, there’s a jar of heartache that sits beside it. That’s what comes from growing up in a dysfunctional family: laughs and good times are never far from terror and tears.
Thankfully, my heartaches were covered years ago by a gracious God. Now, in my adulthood – in this place where I stand as a woman, wife, parent – I know without a doubt that those that walked me through my early years did the best they knew how. I take comfort in that – comfort in the fact that none of the heartache was maliciously inflicted… it simply came with the territory in a land of brokenness.
Now that I am farming my own land, however, it’s my past perspective that wakes me up to the bitter roots I need to diligently purge from my present ground: chaos, selfishness, envy, fear, pride, separation. These are the roots that shoot up through the toughest of concrete, destroy the path, and cause others to stumble along the way as they follow in my footsteps.
My goal is to be a rebuilder of the broken roads I walked, thereby giving my children steadier feet, brighter eyes, and wider wings than I was ever given. I want them to step boldly, confidently…
I’m sharing this today because I’m in a season where I’m face to face with a 12-year old young lady coming up behind. She is strong, she is beautiful, she is determined… and, for all my good intentions, I often fail at being the love she needs. When struggle ensues, I find old ways of relating well up in my chest: I harden… I get weary… I shut down.
I hate it. I hate feeling like I’m perpetuating the cycle of my past!
But, the good news I’ve learned – and the truth that keeps me going – is this: every moment is a gift and a chance to change. Every moment is an opportunity to be more patient, to love more, to have compassion, to offer kindness, to rebel from the the junk of my past that I swore I would never perpetuate. No matter what I was born into or ‘born to be’… I have a choice: I can continue to walk a broken path… OR, I can choose to rebuild.
I can ask for forgiveness.
I can exercise self-control.
I can be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
I can be love.
Brick by brick. Moment by moment. Word by word.