So I was playing on Facebook this evening, which is a common enough occurrence for me once Neal has gone to work for the night, and ran across a quote in the "bumper stickers" application which I thought was worth noting. It said, "Never regret something that once made you smile."
While that statement can obviously be taken way beyond common sense, I agree with it for the most part. Looking back on the many decisions I made, things I did, people I befriended, etc. I realize that it would be a very sad life for me to constantly be focusing on those things that I should have done differently. After all, those things got me to where I am today. And it's a great place to be.
While it's never fun to look back at things you'd rather forget about, I think that those things make a person who they are, and there are many life lessons that can't be learned otherwise. It brings to mind how awesome God is, that he is actively involved in things being just right for our good. No, I don't like some of the things I've seen/done in life, but God allowed them to happen so that I would learn something, or to put me in a place to meet someone, etc.
I once met a girl in a desperate situation. I was on my way to a friend's apartment, but was running late from work. I was supposed to go to the bank to make a deposit that day, but had missed their hours and had to use the ATM instead. I didn't like making a deposit that way, and seriously considered just waiting, but I didn't want to have a lot of cash on me, so I went. While I was there, a girl with an infant in her arms walked up to me and asked me to take her baby. I was shocked, but asked her why.
It turned out that she was heading back to her parents' house after being kicked out the year before. She had gotten pregnant, and because she wouldn't break up with her boyfriend and have an abortion, her parents kicked her out. Unfortunately for her, she realized too late that her boyfriend was not all that interested in being a father, and abandoned her just after the baby was born. She had no friends, and had no choice but to go home. But she felt that she couldn't take the baby with her, and was trying to "give" it to someone. I tried to reason with her, telling her that her parents must be horribly worried about her, and will just want to know that she is safe. I told her they wouldn't turn them away, but she was adamant. She told me that if I didn't take her, she was just going to leave her somewhere.
I ended up taking the baby. Knowing how it would look if I then gave her money, I offered to buy her a meal before she left. I was secretly hoping that I could stall her long enough to come to her senses. But she refused, and the "deer in the headlights" look in her eyes told me that she really would just leave the baby. In the end, her bus came, and she got on and left. I knew one of the police officers in the area, so I reported what had happened to him. I then had to hold the precious little girl until Children's Services came to take her. I asked if they could inform me of what happened to her, but because of privacy dealing with children, they couldn't. I really wished I had been at a point in my life to have adopted her myself. But it wasn't in God's plan.
It broke my heart to see this girl. Yes, I was sad for the baby, but her mother weighed more heavily on me. What must her experience in life thus far have been like to convince her that she had to abandon her baby in order to survive? She had to be in denial, given her actions. What guilt must she be living with now. I often think of this girl. I wonder where she's at, if she's managed to make a living for herself, and I pray that God will heal her heart from such a rough life. This experience for me was one of the biggest lessons in God leading you to the right place at the right time. Who knows what she would've done with that baby girl had I not taken her? It was a horribly traumatic experience, but if I learned anything from it, it was how much God loved that baby girl, and how much he trusted me.
I am still learning the lesson of God's timing. And every time, it still amazes me.