I gave her one last hug before she walked into the next chapter of her life. As I drove away, it finally hit me that my years of raising her were over and that a new phase of mothering an adult had begun.
Over the next several weeks, I mourned my daughter’s absence from my daily life. There was one less place to set for dinner and one less child in the pew with us at Mass.
I was excited for her and all that the Lord was doing in her life. But I also missed her.
At one point, while reflecting on 18 years of motherhood, I began to think about all the things I would do differently if I could. I spiraled into regret, and I struggled to find my way back to the present moment.
Thankfully, my annual silent retreat came about a month later. During a weekend of prayer and spiritual direction, the Lord showed me the error of spending too much time looking back, especially with regret.
The reality is that no matter how much I dwell on the past, I cannot redo it. I can't take back my less-than-ideal mothering moments and the harsh words I spoke into my daughter’s tender heart.
I cannot relive the good times either. And there were plenty of those to celebrate and praise God for, too.
Moreover, focusing too much on the past (especially in a state of worry and regret) left me unable to appreciate the present moment. It hindered my ability to settle in and remain attentive to where God had led me, right here, right now.
Returning to the present moment resulted in my ability to once again accept Christ’s invitation to remain and abide in Him. I renewed my prayer life. I became mindful of ways to love and support my adult daughter. I began talking to my husband about midlife and what that meant to us.
The words of Jesus rang true in my ears:
Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. // John 15:5
Remaining in the present moment meant I no longer glanced back or inward on myself. Rather, I lifted my gaze toward God, who took my regret and made “all things new” (see Revelation 21:5). He restored my motherhood by making “a way in the wilderness” (see Isaiah 43:19). Because mercy is deep and "He works all things together for those who love Him" (see Romans 8:28).
This, my sisters, is what Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade calls the “sacrament of the present moment.” And today, I invite you to consider what that means in your own life.
// How is God calling you and how will you respond to His invitation to remain in Him in the midst of a major life transition?
// Are you clinging to past regrets or confessed sin and defining yourself by those things?
P.S. Grab this free wallpaper for your phone or computer to remind you of your focus during this summer series (and beyond)!