Friday, March 16, 2012

i wish i had lived my life

Another interesting search term that made Google think of me and this blog and send someone here. I hope they found what they were looking for because they sure left me a great gift in return with this great topic! I hope it turns out to be something of an even trade!

Because I don't know the emphasis the searcher placed on each word, I'm going to try a few on for size. Different stresses give this phrase different meanings.

i wish i had lived my life. But I didn't and now I can't change it. I'm looking back filled with regrets over missed opportunities and lost challenges I didn't take. If that's the thought of someone reading this, no, things can't go back and be changed, but lost opportunities may be able to be redeemed and transformed into something you can do now where you are. What is it you wish you had done but didn't for whatever reason? Is it still doable? If so, what's stopping you? If there really is a list of things stopping you now, what steps can you take to remove those roadblocks? If your dream is no longer doable the way you dreamed it, how can that lost dream be transformed into something that may be even better than your original dream? Do some serious thinking and praying over that one. Where there's a will there's a way. For me, I wish I had taken more chances and stepped out and tried out for cheerleader in high school. I wish I had stepped out and sang more in various settings and school clubs. But I was tall and clumsy and couldn't have done a cartwheel if my life depended on it. And  while I can "sing," I'm no singer. But God has redeemed and transformed those teenaged dreams into something better than I could have imagined. I get to "cheer-lead" the melanoma community with Melanoma Prayer Center on Facebook, thereby also giving purpose to my melanoma. I get to sing every Sunday with my congregation, loud and strong, and in November will get to help lead singing of Hotel Melanoma's Greatest Hits with the melanoma community that participates in our Aim Walk the 17th! God never forgot my dreams and He hasn't forgotten yours either!

i wish i had lived my life. But I didn't and I let someone else, usually a parent, live their life through me. Or, maybe, I patterned my life so strongly after someone else's that I loved that I got lost in the shuffle. That's what I did. My mama's younger sister-in-law, my aunt, was a woman I absolutely adored. She was only 18 years older than me and when she died of brain cancer when she was just 31, I was beyond devastated. Lou was a proud graduate of a certain college so that was the only college I applied to when the time came. I knew nothing about the college except that Lou had graduated from there and loved it and that she wanted me to go there. So I did. For one year. It was not a good fit for me at all! It wasted a year and money. None of which could be gotten back. But it taught me I have to be who I am created to be. I'm not Lou. It took a while to get my college career back on track and figure out what I really wanted to pursue and do and be. But I've got what we've all got: a lifetime. It took a while, but I'm where I'm supposed to be, doing what I'm supposed to do and loving every minute of it! While there are definitely minutes I don't want to relive, I'm moving forward and life is good. What do you, if this fits you, need to do to be who you are created to be and do what you are created to do? God is great at getting us back on track!

i wish i had lived my life. But I didn't live it. I played it safe. I went through the motions. I didn't live it to the fullest for whatever reasons. I didn't give it all I had. Now it's too late. I'm older, maybe I've got responsibilities that prevent me from pushing life's envelope. Maybe health is a deterrent. While this can be similar to the above two paragraphs, this one has it's own unique shades of gray. This one tends to be the emphasis that throws in the towel and says, "It's too late. Really." Notice the past tense! I wish I had lived like it's all over and nothing can be done about it! We're all different. Some of us are go-getters. Some of us are laid back and take life as it comes. Some of us have to make life happen. We're all over the map when it comes to our unique personalities. But no matter our personalities, no matter our dreams, no matter where we are right now, we can still have that fatalistic attitude that looks at ourselves and our lives in the past tense! If this rings a bell, you are not past tense! You are here. Life may not have turned out precisely as you had planned, but no one's life ever measures up to the plans we make and the dreams we dream as children. Some are better, some are not, things may have turned out great but different. You're alive. You've got a life now live it. This one is a mind-set and as such, it's one you have to decide to do something about. Instead of looking at life in the past tense, look at it in the present tense and in the future tense. God resides in the present and in the future just as surely as God sees the past. He knows how to move you. So move!

We all have a lifetime. Some are shorter than others; shorter than we humans think is fair. Whether our lifetime turns out to be one year or less, or somewhere between one year and one hundred years or even more than that, we all have a lifetime and it's a precious time. It's a time that once we live one minute of it we cannot it get back.

Live it who you are as you are and be who you are created to be. Appreciate your life and its times.

And be grateful.