Regret. Yes, one small word that is absolutely awful to live with. Regret can keep you up at night; indeed, it is keeping me up this very night. It’s a miserable companion and one that I wish I could bid farewell to.
There are a great many things that I have come to regret in my life. During my teenage years, I regret my rebellion and the grief that I caused my parents. In my early adult life, I regret things that I did that cannot be undone. As a wife, I regret that I have not been the help meet to my husband that he deserves. As a mother I regret that I have not been consistent enough with my children. As a child of God I regret that I have not done all I could to serve Him. Yet none of these things are keeping me awake when I should be getting a good night’s sleep.
Tonight, my mind is going over the events of the past two years. Swirling around in my mind and through my memory are things that I could have done differently and yes, things that I have come to regret. If I could relive them, what would I change? I would:
- Be thankful for all that I have instead of focusing on what I do not have
- I’d realize that just because I’m right does not mean that I win.
- I would focus on being a friend to those in need instead of waiting for others to befriend me.
- I would praise God, testify of His goodness and do all that I could to encourage my pastor husband instead of waiting for others to do so.
- I would enjoy the treasure of family instead of taking them for granted.
- I would cast my burdens on the Lord instead of carrying them myself.
- I would look at myself first instead of blaming others.
- I would not take for granted the privilege it is to be in the Lord’s service.
I could go on all night. As a pastor’s wife, I have many regrets. I’m afraid that I haven’t allowed the Lord to have His way in my life and now I am reaping what I have sown. How many of the changes in our family could have been avoided if *I* had let the Lord have His way?
See, that is the problem with regret. You must live with its consequences every day. Yes, the Lord forgives but only time heals. Some things can never be corrected or forgotten, no matter how much we’d like them to be. Mistakes often have to be lived with.
Maybe you’re like me and can’t sleep tonight. Maybe you’re asking, "What can I do?" when you’re living out the results of your mistakes? You know, I don’t have all the answers but one thing that I am sure of is that the past cannot be undone.
However, (and here’s the bright side!) tomorrow is a clean slate!!! Praise the Lord! Beginning the very moment you open your eyes, YOU can do things differently! You can be more kind, more thoughtful, more consistent or loving or spiritual or whatever it is that you need to be. Do you regret not being a better wife? Be one today! Have you not been consistent with your children? Be consistent starting NOW. Is your walk with the Lord lacking? This very moment, spend some time with Him in prayer. You don’t have to live the rest of your life with regret.
The future has yet to be written. So stop living in the shadow of your past. Ask forgiveness where needed and purpose in your heart to take "regret" out of the pages of your future’s vocabulary!