When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself “All is lost. I have to start all over again.” This is not true. What you have gained you have gained….When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started. Henri Nouwen
Meditation: Growing and maturation are not happening in a linear fashion. Looking back at my own story, I see myself take detours or dead ends at time. Maturation and recovery from chaotic family of origins, co-dependency, addiction, unhealthy patterns or unhealthy relationships is not a straight line. I remember times of regression when it seemed like all my earlier gains were lost. At times I felt stuck in patterns that I hated, but could not easily escape. I had moments when I wanted to give up or despair as if new behavior, greater maturity or a broader repertoire of coping mechanisms were unreachable for me. It felt like I was forever stuck in dynamics of myself as a younger person. However, sometimes we have to hit “rock bottom”, before we actually are able to make the changes we have been yearning for so long. It takes more than a thought or a vague desire to truly change and mature. It is helpful to hear that when we come out of our setbacks, our dead ends and our regressions, we do not have to start all over. Do not despair. There is Grace that past growth has not been lost, only forgotten. Former good decisions are not gone, only overshadowed. We can return to those ways and decisions that have been healing and growth producing before. There is Grace. Regression and setbacks won’t have the final word.
Prayer: Grace giving God, you see us struggle with setbacks, wrong decision making and regression. You see us hate the way we have given in to former patterns of behavior that we thought we had left behind. You see us become harsh with ourselves and so disappointed, that we might as well give up. This is when Your Grace wants to remind us whose we are. We are Yours. You never give up on us. You always lead us back to the path of life that we forgot for some time. You want to help us fully recover and help us choose abundant life. And we are grateful. Amen
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2. Corinthians 4:16+18