God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).


Saturday, March 6, 2021

4 Lessons I Learned From a Painful Mistake

4 Lessons I Learned From a Painful Mistake

by Barbara Latta

Antiques have a way of reminding us of our past. Whether good or bad, memories surface that take us back in time, create laughter or pain, and connect us to friends and family.

I saw this old washer on display and immediately the reminder of a childhood decision popped into my mind. Memories that taught me 4 lessons I learned from a painful mistake. 

Some older women may remember what a wringer washer looked like. My grandmother used one of these for her laundry. While this was better than using a scrub board, there was still a lot of work involved. A hose ran out the back of the machine that had to be connected to the water faucet so the tub could fill. Once the clothes were washed, a drain hose was placed in the sink to remove the water.

After the tub churned with detergent and the clothes were clean, each item was placed between the rollers at the top of the machine to squeeze the water out. This was repeated with a rinse cycle.

My mother and aunt helped my grandmother on laundry day, and I didn’t want to be left out. I begged and begged to be allowed to help. After my mom’s series of no’s, I finally wore her down and was allowed to make my contribution.

I picked up a wet towel and put it near the rollers. I held on. A few seconds later the wringer held on. My arm was caught along with the towel. My eyes grew wide, and I was speechless. Tears pooled in my eyes.

I thought I was trapped forever because I didn’t know the rollers could be released.

After my mother and aunt freed my arm from the prison, I was so embarrassed I hid for the rest of the day. I think my mom was as frightened as I was.


Did I learn a lesson? Yes, but it would have been better to have trusted my mother’s instructions and watched the laundry process instead of getting involved. My eight-year-old rebellious mind got me into trouble. Pain did not have to be my teacher.

Of course, God is the best teacher. He used a wise man named Solomon to give us this instruction. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV).

When I leaned on my own understanding and demanded my own way, I suffered for it. And not just this time. Unfortunately, life brings out the worst in our decisions if we forget the words of the Lord.

I learned these 4 lessons from that painful mistake:

  1. I was trapped. I couldn’t get out without help. Giving in to temptation traps us in the devil’s snare like my arm was caught in the washer rollers. Once we fall into sin, it takes our Savior to rescue us.
  2. I missed an opportunity to learn by observation. Instead, my insistence to participate caused me to hide for the remainder of the day. When we follow our own leading, we can be in the wrong place to receive advancement in careers, education, or in meeting certain people.
  3. I caused delays. My little shenanigan caused delays in the laundry process because the washer had to stop so I could be released. Mistakes and sin are bumps in the road that slow us down, and in some cases, stop us for a while.
  4. I was forgiven. Thankfully, my mother acted as savior and released me from the trap. I suffered for my rebellion, but I was forgiven.  When we disobey the Bible’s instructions and repent, our dependence upon His Word releases us from the trap of the enemy. Yes, we suffer our own consequences, but condemnation from God is not one of them. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:33).

Our heavenly Father’s instructions are the best way. Following His plan prevents the pain of wrong decisions and temptation’s payback. It’s much better to learn from obedience than the pain of rebellion.

Those of us who have lived a few decades can use our life’s examples to advise those coming behind us with ways to avoid the roadblocks we hit. It's easy for us to condemn ourselves when we fail, but from one who has been there, this is not what God wants. He doesn't condemn us, and we shouldn't either. 

As older women, we can show young women that failure is not a reason to hide in the closet of shame. Painful mistakes are not the end. God’s plan involves bringing us back to wholeness through the balm of forgiveness and healing.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV).

Our ability to overcome the rocks on our life’s journey can leave a legacy of comfort and peace to others.

What are some ways you can influence younger women with your life experiences?


As older women, we can show young women that failure is nota reason to hide in the closet of shame. Painful mistakes are not the end. God’splan involves bringing us back to wholeness through the balm of forgiveness andhealing. (click to tweet)

 4 lessons I learned from a painful mistake (click to tweet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 comments:

  1. And the terror in a child's eyes when they're caught in a towel or something and they're being pulled toward those crushing rollers. The broken fingers and badly bruised forearm; before I could get those rollers opened. A lesson my older half-brother will never forget. Great object lesson here Ms. Barbara; sin can pull us in and cause great pain, but God can release us from its bond instantly! Amen ma'am. Re-subscribed. So excited to see these notifications. God's blessings ma'am.

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    1. I see I am not the only one who learned that painful washing machine lesson. Those rollers can grab before you know what has you, just like temptation can. Thanks for sharing, J.D., and for re-subscribing. Blessings!

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  2. Katy Kauffman3/9/21, 9:05 PM

    Thank you for this illustration, Barbara, and the hope in your post.

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  3. You tell that story powerfully. We learn the easy way or the hard way. I tend to be a hard way learner too. God bless!

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    1. God must shake His head at us sometimes after He has given us instructions and we still want to go the hard way. Thankfully, He is there to pull us out. Thanks for sharing, Nancy. Blessings!

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  4. Thanks Barbara. What a good lesson to be reminded of. I loved the line: "Pain did not have to be my teacher."

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    1. Pain is a hard teacher. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Sylvia. Blessings!

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  5. When I was very small, we had a wringer washer. It terrified me! What a life lesson you experienced and you have wisely shown us that we can learn from our mistakes. Not only to help us, but to share with our children and grandchildren. You've pointed out something of great importance--as God's children, we are called to share our wisdom with others, not just our family, but with anyone we can. My prayer is that we can fulfill that calling.

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    1. Those washers can look like monsters to small children! My prayer is to fulfill the calling of leaving a godly legacy to my children and grandchildren too, Katherine. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

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  6. This a great reminder of how to observe and use life lessons to grow. As women, we do need to be pouring into the next generation.

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    1. My generation learned from the older ones about respect, faith, and honor. The only way to keep those virtues alive is to keep passing them on. As older women of faith, we may be the only generation left who will do that. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly. Blessings!

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  7. Barbara, I could feel your horror and your mother's with you. Great illustration and lessons.

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    1. Debbie, it was scary! I thought I was done for Lol. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Blessings!

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  8. I could easily visualize this scenario, Barbara. Thank you for sharing a great lesson and for reminding us to accept God’s forgiveness.

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    1. I can still visualize it too, Jeannie! I think of that experience every time I see a washer like that. And yes, God's forgiveness releases us from sin the same way the rollers opened and released my arm. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

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  9. My grandmother had one of the old washers stashed in the corner of the basement. It was a mysterious machine and your story brings it to life. What a wonderful illustration and series of lessons, Barbara!

    Blessings,
    Tammy

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    1. Those machines are mysterious, especially now when fewer people have seen them. Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Tammy. Blessings!

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