So it’s New Year’s time and making resolutions is the big thing. I’ve got some news for you…
You will fall and you will fail, but that is not what is going to define you this year. You are not the sum of your imperfections, rather you are your intentions.
Perhaps you want to lose weight, stop a habit or let go of a hang-up. That’s your intention.
You eat more than you should, you continue the habit or you just can’t let go. That’s your imperfection.
My wish for you is that your next intention (your back up) be to forgive yourself and move forward every time you fall behind.
Last year when I was suffering the heaviest from self-imposed guilt from Dan’s suicide, I went to his grave. I didn’t want to go alone, so I took my dog Deogi to make the journey with me. I pleaded with the ground and his marker to forgive me. My dog sat patiently beside me, patiently but quizzically. Then some other people showed up at another spot and got his full attention. While I was battling with the silence and praying for a miracle for my soul, he began to pull at the leash. He’s 100 pounds so when he pulls at the leash, you notice.
The people at the other grave began watching Deogi, so finally I got up and went to make introductions. Nobody wants a huge dog staring at them unsure of its intentions. As soon as we got close he turned into his typical wiggling happy mess of a self and the people began smiling and asking about him. We began talking about him as he got lots of belly rubs and I found myself laughing with these strangers. Talking about why we were there, the heat wave and talking about life. They asked if I had any other family and proudly I told them of my children, Brian and all those I call family. Peace began wiggling into my heart as we talked.
My imperfection, guilt, had led me to that place. Looking for a moment of peace from what I continued to push on myself.
My intention, finding peace, led me somewhere else. I found my eyes taken from the silent ground and laughing with strangers about the life waiting for me to return to.
I fell behind during the times that I struggled with his death and all the questions that get left behind after a suicide. It’s very easy to blame yourself when there is nobody else around to blame. As I navigated the last year, I sometimes found myself torn between my pain and my passions. Times when I should have been enjoying life, I was focused on death. I wanted so much to be freed and forgiven, but it would creep back and I would feel like a failure.
Yet each time I felt like a failure and prayed in despair, I found myself in situations that reminded me of the life that I have. Whether talking to some strangers in a graveyard or an email from a friend, God would put things in my path that showed me my intentions and not my imperfections.
So this year when you are beating yourself up when you fail or fall and are reminded of your imperfections, take a moment to forgive yourself and focus on your intention. Remember God’s intention for you to live fully, be covered in mercy, forgiveness and grace. No matter your imperfection, you can’t take away His intention for you.
…and frankly…you are never your imperfections, hurt, habits or pain. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. There are plans for your life that exceed your expectations and show His intention for you, His child. Forgive yourself this year, because He already has.
Categories: January Diary Entry