No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.
Philippians 3:13 (NLT)
Setbacks happen. How we approach them can hold us back or move us forward. Setbacks offer us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and to understand better God’s power working in us. He wants to help us, whether stuck in a setback today or chained to a past setback filled with regret. God helped me resolve a setback and find closure to a struggle I carried as a single parent for years.
During my forties, my dance and gymnastic business took every minute of the day, including weekends, to keep it running. I had two young children and too often felt like a failure as a mother. I thought I was doing my best to balance career and parenting until I found my eight-year-old son’s fill-in-the-blank wish list school assignment. I gasped when I read his first line; I wished I had more time with my Mother. She is always at work.
I felt sad and full of REGRET. I was not meeting my son’s needs. During that time, well-meaning people added to my pain, telling me I spent too many hours in the studio. My mother and sister helped me by attending to my children’s activities while I worked. Every event I missed reminded me that I lacked as a parent.
Today those prickly memories are dim. They no longer hurt, but the regret surfaces occasionally. Relying on God’s promises helped me turn my parenting perspective around and understand myself better.
One morning as I surrendered my thoughts to God, I remembered there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Through Philippians 3:13, I realized that it was time to move on. God used what I thought was a setback to create a setup with positive outcomes. Dance students often told me I helped them build their self-esteem. They learned how to express themselves through movement and appreciate the art of dance.
God’s plan for my earlier years positioned me to help many children to believe in themselves. And with a smile, I now include my children in that group. They are independent happy adults pursuing their own dreams.
Regrets hold us captive to our limitations and imperfections. I have learned that we can never change what was; however, changing our perception of a setback can help us take a step forward to fulfill God’s plan for our lives.
Take some quiet time to consider your setbacks and how they can be converted to setups for something positive.
Join in the conversation:
What insights have you gained as a result of viewing setbacks as setups?