Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of black. My heart sank. Not again!
As I turned my head to get a closer look, my suspicion was confirmed.
They were back…
With a sigh, I grabbed a wad of Kleenex from the bathroom and then set out to track down my uninvited little intruder. I found him marching resolutely across our freshly painted dining room wall.
I was surprised at how fast the fat-bodied carpenter ant could move, especially when he sensed danger afoot. He desperately tried to dart away from the rapidly approaching tissue. But his efforts were futile.
I scooped him off the wall and into the trash can. And then I carefully scanned the room for more of his six-legged friends. Where there is one ant, there will likely be more.
Sadly, I’ve learned this from past experience.
I know it’s not a life or death situation that I’m dealing with here. It’s really more of an annoyance than anything else. But ants are an unwelcome irritation in my home.
An unwanted frustration that I thought I HAD already dealt with.
And yet… here we go again.
Isn’t that true of so many things in life?
Just when we think we’ve kicked a bad habit, or turned a corner on an unhealthy relationship, or we’ve finally hit our stride with X, Y, or Z. The past can creep in on us.
Like that itty-bitty carpenter ant that boldly marched across my dining room wall, our past hurts, habits, and insecurities can creep out of the shadows of our mind and whisper: “I’m back!”
When this happens, it’s easy to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and sometimes even defeated.
How often have I bought into those dirty little lies?
“Remember when… you are a bad friend.”
“You’ll never be as good as… you should just quit now.”
“You did that again… you are such a hypocrite.”
As crazy as it sounds, it seems like when I’m really striving to be the best person that I can be – whether it’s the best wife, mother, friend, or Christ-follower – that is when I seem to face the biggest back-lash. That is when the mistakes of my past collide with my present and I am left with a choice.
What will I believe about myself? What will I allow to define my current reality and my not-so-distant future?
I can cave under the weight of the accusations leveled against me, or I can stand strong in the truth of what God says about me.
Have I made mistakes?! Yes! We have all made mistakes. None of us are perfect.
Truth be told, I will continue to make mistakes. Guess what… so will you!
But here’s the good news, while our mistakes and imperfections are definitely a part of us, they do not have to define us!
In fact, if we allow them to, our imperfections and past mistakes can actually help us to grow into better versions of ourselves. There is a lot of wisdom that comes from hard lessons learned.
So the next time those unexpected little dark thoughts start to creep in and across the walls of your heart and mind, don’t fret. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to defiantly tell yourself the truth about who you are in Christ!
As you speak God’s words of love and affirmation over your life, those past mistakes and regrets will begin to fade away.
Here’s a little something to get you started:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you (1 Thessalonians 1:4 NIV)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NLT)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8 NIV)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NIV)
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14 NIV)
Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear your thoughts. What truth would you add to the list?