Diagrams of the Past

16 Aug

Grunge Football Diagram

Breaking News: I make mistakes.

Update: I make a lot of mistakes. 

If you’ve been to my blog at all, you know I have made more than a few mistakes since I really started working on my finances.  I have spent when I shouldn’t have and haven’t applied my envelope system to its full potential.  I am a work in progress, and sometimes the picture of the unfinished work seems daunting.

In Celebrate Recovery, I am learning to live one day at a time.  I didn’t have a true understanding of what that meant until I started this recovery process.  With my finances, I can look at my mistakes and remember them, or I can move on to the next day and realize I have a fresh start. 

I should evaluate what mistakes I made and make a better decision next time.  But this journey to become financially fit may be a long road.  I’ve been tearing up the pavement of this journey for most of my adult and adolescent life, and I am still learning how to pave the road ahead of me.  I can look at the bumps in the road and try to avoid them next time.  I should! I just can’t keep looking back at the mess I’ve made.  When I turn around and then look ahead, those images are still seared into my vision.  I can’t see the path ahead if all I do is look back.

The breaking news earlier is one we all struggle with, and I am no different.  One thing I struggle with that may not be a struggle for others is forgiving myself.  I have a hard time letting my mistakes go.  I shared earlier this year about a “failure” in my life.  I dealt with a heartbreaking situation, and I still haven’t been able to forgive myself for the loss in my life.  I would like to say that it’s out of my control, but I don’t truly believe it.  I have played the video over and over in my head trying to see where the mistakes happened.  I guess I’m sort of like a football coach dissecting plays after a hard-fought loss.  I can see the X’s and O’s and even diagram the play, but I can’t control what each individual player does.  I have to rely on the training camps and the practices and hope the ball bounces our way when things go awry. 

I’m still working on forgiving myself.   All the diagrams and rewinding in the world can’t fix my mistakes, whether it’s a financial mistake or something else.  I should diagram each play and then move on.  The next time I face the foe in front of me, I can rely on what I have learned from practices and the diagrams, and then I try to execute the plan to the best of my ability.  Not every play will go the way I draw it up, and that is okay.  Life is full of surprises and second (and third, and fourth, and fifth, and…) chances.

I thank God every day for His new mercies (Lam. 3:22-23).  I thank God for His grace and the grace of His people.  I am so thankful that I am not defined by my failures but by the One who called me into relationship with Him.  I hope that I will look back one day and see pavement behind me.  I will still see bumps, but it won’t be the dusty roads that I see now.  I am going to keep seeking the Lord and asking for His guidance on how to handle life, including my finances.  And I will keep asking Him to show me how to forgive myself.

How do you forgive yourself?  What do you see when you look back at your path?   

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