As another year has evaporated and a new one is beginning, I find myself once again trying to resist being mired in nostalgia. Our youngest child just moved several states away, and the other four are also already established in their adult lives. Having five children who are making their way in the world is indeed cause for rejoicing, but I instead am resisting a tidal wave of nostalgia that borders on sadness and could very well end in self-reproach, if I allow the undertow to drag me there. However, Jesus has set before me an open door that no man can shut (Isaiah 22:22). I can choose, if I like, to remain in a former season of my life, but my desire to dwell there does not change the fact that it is over. The lights are out in that room of my life; I am no longer a mother of five young children, five young adults, or even one college student. The end of that era has arrived. I can shed tears over stories I didn’t read and games I didn’t play because I was busy washing dishes or folding clothes (the business of survival as a mother, which clouds legitimate priorities such as game-playing with one’s children), or I can believe what God says about me: that I, too, am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and that He knows everything about me (Psalm 139:3), and that, what’s more, He still LOVES me (Jeremiah 31:3).
God has opened another door, a door into a new season, and He has turned the lights on, HIS light, in that new place. He urges me to enter through that door and “Come up here” (Rev. 4:1). However, the choice is actually mine. I can choose to stay in the old place, which is no longer filled with the daily routine of tending my children and feathering my personal nest; it is now filled with treasured memories, which will be tainted by acute pangs of regret over things I did or did not do, should I choose to dwell in a hollow room and refuse to walk through the door God has provided into this next season. The Lord cautions us against remaining too long in the womb before allowing Him to birth us into the new place (Hosea 13:13). From the baby’s perspective, every birth feels like a death until the light of the new place is fully experienced.
Do I want to stay in the darkened room and begin to believe my own opinions of myself (I didn’t do this or that right; I didn’t love my children enough; I wasn’t a loving and tender wife and mother; I was too labor-oriented, etc.)? — OR, would it not be better to take a step through the door into the light of this new season God has ordained and experience, together with my husband, grown children, grandchildren, and precious friends, the delights and challenges He has appointed for me? I don’t want to miss anything for wallowing in the past (with or without regrets that may or may not be unfounded). The fact is, if I allow myself to be mired in the pit of regret and sorrow (nostalgia gone bad), I am calling God a liar, for yielding to the undertow means I reject the Truth of His love and His Word, the truth of what HE says about me. Now THAT is a serious place to be.
Father, I choose to walk through the open door You have provided for me into this new year and this new season of life. I choose to believe the truth of Your love and care for me. I choose to believe that You empower me to bear fruit that remains, in spite of my inadequacies and failings. I choose to believe that You are more than able to compensate for any and all mistakes I have made, for You love my family far more than I do. I thank You, Father, that You sent Jesus as the Door to ALWAYS being in Your Presence. I embrace You, the Truth, and invite You to carry me over the threshold into whatever You have chosen for me to do!
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it;” Revelation 3:8a