Yes, some questions are best left unanswered
Lately, I've been running across that meme that asks you to give advice to your 18-year-old self. I don't care for that one. Actually, my feelings are stronger. I hate it.
I don't even want to entertain the thought of what advice I'd give young Megan. That's not because I wasn't in need of advice or because all the decisions I made were stellar. I could have used some good counsel, and I made some poor choices. But I did the best I knew at the time.
My biggest issue with that meme is that it seems to beg for an answer about what you might have done differently that would have enhanced the rest of your life.
I can't even go there. If I had strayed from the path I have taken, then my greatest blessings would have never been realized. What if I had never chosen to follow Christ? What if I had never met my husband? What if we had never had our children? What if we had never moved into the neighborhood we've loved for decades?
Sure, in a fantasy, the choices I made would have led me to be more successful, living a life others only dream about. But would that have been a better life? Would my life have as much warmth and laughter if I had chosen not to marry or chose a different man? I can't imagine a day, much less a lifetime, with my honey.
Honestly, I wish I'd have had more wisdom when I was younger. There are attitudes and philosophies I've adopted as I've aged that I wish I'd known about earlier. But, such is life. We learn as we go, and the missed opportunities or disappointments of the past are now an opportunity to pass on wisdom to children, grandchildren, and friends.
For all the missteps and missed opportunities that have shaped my life, I wouldn't change a thing. Nope. I'm that content.
However, I know that some are reading this post and screaming, "Yes! I would change the past." People who have been victimized by others, and their own choices, wish they could have taken a different road. I understand that. The scars of some wounds never seem to heal. I get that.
A little over twenty years ago, I had an experience that was traumatic, tragic, and lifechanging. It drove me to seek counseling. I was nearly broken, perhaps I was broken. With every fiber of my being, I wish that hadn't happened. I wish I didn't lose nearly three years to grief. I would not have survived without the love of my husband and children. And during that time my relationship with God grew sweeter and stronger. I still think of that period nearly every week, and every single time I am encouraged by the memories of my fellowship with Jesus. Do you know that poem/picture of seeing only one set of footprints in the sand? That's exactly how it was.
Yes, I know I'm a fortunate one because I still wouldn't change my past. I understand some suffer still from choices made in the past. I pray that you can move beyond your history into a more beautiful life. Truly. I just prayed those with hurting hearts.
Through healing, I've discovered that it's good to find gratitude for the struggles and challenges we've endured. Didn't we learn much along the path we've taken? Haven't we become who we are today because of the choices made yesterday?
Perhaps I've charged through the years without the greatest of care, but my journey has allowed me to create a beautiful (and at times bumpy) life.
My wish for you, friends, is to look at your past with rose-colored glasses and forgive yourself for any missed opportunities or poor choices. Forgive the people who had a hand in bringing hardship or hurts. Be grateful to have grown beyond those experiences.
Today, find a reason to be glad for the choices you've made. In the long run, you'll be happier.
But tell me, if you could change your past, would you?