I am 45 years old, and my life is not all I hoped it would be by now.
I thought I would be the best son ever. I knew I would at least be better than my siblings. Yet, I recently forgot to call my mom after I told her that I would. A week passed, and I totally forgot to engage my mother in conversation.
I thought I would be a great husband. I believed I would have it all figured out after 23 years. Still, I find myself lying quietly in the bed at night feeling so many regrets about things I have done and not done. I struggle daily to understand the woman next to me and make her happy.
I thought I would be the model father. I have been in this role for 20 years, and I should be a better leader. This year has been the most difficult yet. It has been full of failures, frustrations, and fatigue that leave me questioning my family legacy.
I thought I would be a better Bible scholar by now. I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness, but I recently fell asleep in Ezekiel as part of my Bible reading plan. I am still not sure how to understand much of God’s word.
I thought I would simply be a better Christian. Recently, sin has been banging on the door of my heart every day quite loudly. The moment I shut the door on one temptation another stands ready to enter my life. I wanted to be free of the chains that bind me and hurt all my relationships, especially the one with my heavenly father. I am not free; I am still struggling with the same old sins.
I do not write this for sympathy. I do not want you to feel sorry for me in any way. This is my life, and I have not become the person I dreamed by 45. I am just being honest.
I would bet that if you are honest, you feel the same way too. As I talk to people regularly, I hear the stories of hurt, confusion, and disillusionment repeated. It is entirely possible today that you are struggling to hold it all together. The gates that hold back your anger and tears are ready to break.
At moments when the reality of my life hit me the hardest, I return to the core of my faith. I throw myself on the grace of God. He forgives and makes new. He heals and redeems. He takes the mistakes and forms a new future. God uses my failures and shapes me into a better person. I am not the person I hoped I would be, but I thank God, I am not the person I once was. I honestly cannot imagine how bad things might have been without God in my life.
Every day I get up and look in the mirror with a level of disappointment with myself, but I know God is still doing a mighty work in me. Whenever I feel dissatisfied with my life, I grab ahold of God in faith and find joy in the journey. One day I will be better, I know he is forming me as I follow him.