Oh how I wish I had known that we only had 3 years and 10 days with Austin! Yet, as I ponder what it would have been like to know our time was so short, my heart hurts with a still-present physical pain, and in my gut, all of my insides groan with anguish.
As our younger son’s birthday approached and he counted the “sleeps” until he turned 10, I was reminded of Austin running down the steps on his birthday morning shouting and skipping around the kitchen island, saying, “I’m 3, I’m 3, I’m 3!” – with his little fingers making a three in the air. He was so excited to be 3.
Was it yesterday or have almost 9 years gone by? Sometimes my heart doesn’t know.
And sometimes, the “oh how I wish” feelings, the “I would have” thoughts, and the “I could have” pains pile up in my mind – too heavy to bear.
Like a metal bucket filled with rocks and chained to my leg. These regrets are my “coulda, shoulda, woulda bucket.” Sometimes I drag it around – metal scraping, stones rattling against the sides as I try to move through my day. It gets caught on the bumps in the sidewalks. It is heavy as I lift it to get through my day.
My “coulda, shoulda, woulda bucket” is in the way. How about yours?
Do you have regrets? Do you replay things that you’ve said or done? Do you wish you could take something back? Would you like just one more day with a loved one?
Psalm 139:16 helps me break the chains of the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” thoughts that can weigh me down:
“… And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”
God ordains our days. Nothing I could have done, the doctors should have done, or anything else would have changed losing Austin. Even while Austin was being formed in my womb, God knew he would be with us 3 years and 10 days.
God had a purpose for Austin’s short life. God had a purpose for his death. God has a purpose for our family to live out this life without Austin.
Instead of replaying all the things I wish I could have done or said, all I can do is sit at His mighty feet and let him soothe my soul, heal my heart, and show me how to step forward in His grace.
Here are 3 ideas to stop the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” thoughts that weigh down our days:
- Make a list of all the things you did “right” in the past couple of days.
- Choose a phone screen image that reminds you that you, my friend, are not in charge of the universe ( : God is in control.
- Put some photos together and put them on your fridge to remind you that whatever negative is replaying in your mind, there were positive things as well.
Will you kick the bucket with me? Tell me how you’ll start…