If you could rewrite one thing in your past, what would it be?
Me? I can’t pick one.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist. (That’s an exaggeration).
I’m also very in tune with people’s emotions, and I take things quite personally. Combine these together, and one person’s reaction can leave me doomed and broken emotionally for a day, often more.
I tried to think of one instance to describe, but simply bringing them to mind has brought me to tears as they flood my mind, one after another. The moments where I have hurt or failed people. The moments where sheer seconds after I said or did something, I knew it was wrong. The sinking feeling in my stomach when I received “that email.” Thinking of what a fool I was. There are too many.
I want to be perfect, but I am completely and utterly fallible.
And yet, worse than these moments of human mistakes and errors are the nights (and sometimes days) I’ve spent weeping over these regrets. I ask for forgiveness from God in His Son and I’m forgiven (if it was even necessary). But my heart and mind refuse to forgive me. They hold me to a standard I cannot attain, and demand retribution. I beg for forgiveness from them and they leave me to my sorrow.
Regret. It drags me down. It stops me in my tracks. It renders me ineffective. I’m drowned in a mire of “Why didn’t I” thoughts that scream at me until I’m useless.
Too easily I believe the lie, that the past determines my future. I am too easily convinced that because of my mistakes, real or imagined, I am a terrible person.
Have you believed the lie? The lie that because of X, whatever that moment was, you have forever lost your credibility? Your effectiveness? You have no purpose? You are forever a sinner? You are forever failed?
In Christ, there is victory. And while I know that, sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to remember it when it is against myself that I need victory. Nevertheless…Christ is not too weak to reach past us and through us, despite us. Christ is not so weak as to see what we have done and stand back, aghast. He is waiting for us to cry out and take His hand, and rise above what we have plagued ourselves with – regret.
Regret is a monster that makes us useless. Do you know what that means? It is not of God. God sets about to water and prune us to grow us, not to make us useless. And there should be moments of repentance, but those moments bring about a change for the better. Regret? It drags us down in the race we run. Therefore, we should not let regret control us – they are a weight that is ruining our lives.
Cast aside your regrets. I know they hurt. I know you are ashamed of those moments. I know you want to change the words, the scene, the chapter. But looking back at our stories and wishing it read differently does nothing to help us write the rest of our stories better. We can’t edit the past. But we have yet to write the future.
Don’t write regret into your future. Write hope.