Today I was lucky enough to meet Jane Jayroe. She is truly an inspiration, and I am a better person after spending a few moments with her.
Living with regret is hard and sometimes overwhelming. Often I find myself wishing I could go back in time and undo all the things I have done wrong. I wish I could take back the hurtful things I have said to others. I wish I could take back the times I have hurt my family and friends. I would give anything to travel back in time and make better choices, but I can’t. I use to think that if I dedicated my life to serving others it would make all my mistakes go away. I use to think that if I helped enough people, just maybe I would feel better about myself and move toward peace and finally let go of my mistakes. I now know that nothing I do today can undo my mistakes of the past. I have to accept that I have hurt people along the way and there is nothing I can do to change that.
What I can do is work extremely hard at making sure I don’t make the same mistakes in the future. Control my temper, be patient with others, demonstrate grace whenever it’s needed, love unconditionally, learn to forgive those who have done me wrong and most importantly, learn to forgive myself. As for serving others, I love to serve others but I need to make sure that my motivation is the right one. I need to remind myself that I am serving because I am called to serve by using my not perfect self, to glorify God. Live today like there is no tomorrow. Set aside your regrets, hurts and fears and live today knowing that God loves you no matter how broken you are, no matter what you have done.
When I was 8 years old, I heard a judge tell my mother that she was unfit to keep her 5 children. When we left the court room in 1978, I promised myself that I would never give a judge the opportunity to tell me I was unfit to be a father. Growing up without a father has made me question my parenting skills and I have made 10,000 mistakes along the way. Unlike my father, I chose to stay around and watch them grow up to become amazing young men. I am not perfect, but I am present in their everyday life and enjoying it while it lasts.
photo by Janelda Lane
Some days are better than others
Some days friends are closer than brothers
Some scars take longer to heal
Some days my dreams seem so real
Some moments feel incomplete
Some challenges are filled with defeat
Some days I keep my head held high
Some days I feel the need to cry
Most days I find a way to survive
Every day is a day I am glad I’m alive
Today I refuse to let pain win
Tomorrow brings a new day that I can begin
by Alton Carter