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Moving Past Regret

Hello Friend,

This may shock you – I’m not perfect. Crazy, right? There was that one time I was wrong...wait, no, I just realized I was mistaken. (I got that from my dad.) Obviously, I’m not perfect. I’m not going to give examples. Nor will my husband. He’s a smart man without a death wish. (I better go and remind him of how smart he is.)

When thinking of what to write about, the topic of regret came to mind. (God must’ve known I’d be personally dealing with this in a matter of days, so He was preparing me.) I mentally began pulling up lessons learned from regret dealt with long ago. I was chugging right along, and then “it” happened.

I did something I quickly came to regret. I didn’t plan (or hope) to have a recent instance to share from, so I guess what I’ll be serving up now will be fresh instead of warmed-up leftovers. Yay. (Note the sarcasm.)

First, regret is the feeling of deep disappointment that happens when we realize we did (or think we may have done) something wrong. I’m not talking about the regret that occurs after eating a second brownie. It’s more than that. It’s what prompts us to hope for the discovery of the “redo button.” Oh, I’ve looked for it with no luck. If you happen to come across it, let me know.

As I’m walking through this anew, I’m going to let you know what happens up until I have to submit this.

MondayThis morning I came across a verse on Facebook that I’ve known for years. It was in a different version than I’m used to. When I read it, God spoke to my heart. (For the record, I was going to use different verses before the tragic event. But it seems God had others in mind.)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

“He will make your paths straight” hit me, because right now things seem a little messed up. The path ain’t looking straight to me. “Lord, help me to surrender to You, so You can work in this situation with my cooperation.” God reminded me that the situations that cause regret don't have to remain as they seem.

The next thing God did was tell me He loves me. I was sitting there, minding my own business, surrounded by people, and He just “tells” me. In that moment He said: "I love you even when you feel you don’t deserve it. I love you. I do."

TuesdayThis morning I decided to take a moment and ask God where I should read in the Bible. I didn’t get a specific book, just the impression to open up the Bible. So that’s what I did. I landed in Isaiah 57:14-21. Listen to this:

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite’” (Isaiah 57:15, ESV).

I had to look up what contrite meant. It describes someone who is filled with, expressing, or affected by guilt. Sounds familiar. I was touched to hear He was with me and had a desire to revive my spirit and heart. (That’s great because my morning caffeine wasn’t touching this.)

WednesdayA word came to mind this morning: perspective. At first I was confused, because I thought God was telling me to keep things I regret in proper perspective to everything else in my life. “But God, sometimes the things we regret are BIG things that hurt others and ourselves. In light of everything, they still seem major.”

God pulled back the curtain further until I understood. We don’t keep our regrets in proper perspective by comparing them to other things in our lives. We keep them in their rightful place by comparing them to the greatness of our God. (“Oh. Now that makes sense, God.”)

It’s easy when we grieve over something we’ve done wrong to let it dominate our thinking, affecting our entire day. (Currently fighting this.) That’s not its proper place. Its place is being brought and left at the feet of Christ. We need to release our burden to Him and remind ourselves WHO HE IS. (“Remind me, Lord.”) What we focus on we empower.

ThursdayToday I waited and waited for something. Finally, at the very end of the day I caught sight of it – God’s redemption. I saw a glimpse of a good beginning to come out of my mistake. It hasn’t fully emerged, but it’s enough to encourage my soul and remind me that God is at work behind the scenes. It can take time before we’re able to perceive God’s work. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean He’s not busy. Know He IS at work.

FridayIt’s time to submit this. I’m sorry you won’t be hearing “the rest of the story” today, but I appreciate you spending the week with me. In closing, (Yes, I’m almost done – that second brownie is calling my name. Ha!) I’ll be making more mistakes I’m pretty sure. I also know that you’ve made some. (No one ratted you out. I just know you’re human like me.) May we encourage each other to remember: Our story isn’t finished – God’s working on our behalf. He’s bigger than our mistakes. He desires to comfort and revive us as we grieve over things we’ve done. And He loves us.

Lord, we invite You into the territory of our mistakes to do what only You can. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Proverbs 24:16, ESV).

Standing up again with God’s help,



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