Tag Archives: Romans 8:28

To Grieve or Regret?

I caught myself grieving my life this morning.  Do you ever do that? I grieved the fact that I made horrible choices when I was younger – I just didn’t care about anything or anyone, not even myself. I just wanted to be happy, to feel good, to be loved at whatever the cost.

One of my first memories was my parents telling me, a 6-year-old child and my 4-year-old sister they were getting a divorce. I think a part of me died or at least changed me forever.  That may sound foreign to the reader since divorce is so “normal” now.  Back then it wasn’t.  There was no therapy available; coping skills were “suck it up and go on”. Because it was so hard on Mom and younger sister, I buried my feelings and told no one how I felt. That was just the beginning.

I’m knocking on the door of 60 and to this day, I look back and see every wrong turn, every decision made out of self-righteousness and self-loathing.  If no one else was going to care about me and what I do, why should I so I pursued self-destructive things and habits and because of MY choices (not because of anyone else) here I am today.  Alive?  Yes.  Saved and changed?  Yes, thank God. But I can’t help looking back to what could have been.

I stop short of regret, but grieve more than I care to admit. I think there’s a difference.  Grief allows me a healthy awareness of sorrow over things in my life.  Regret is, well regret.  I do regret – but I can’t wish it had never happened.  Regret would lead me (I fear) to resent my life, and all the things that led me straight into the presence of Jesus.  How could I regret anything?  I wish I had lived differently; I wish I had KNOWN to live differently.  I grieve the years I could’ve been different and the things I could’ve done differently.  I grieve the death of myself but I don’t regret who I am now.

Would I have been saved or had the privileges of seeing the hand of God in my life and in my son’s life had I (or my circumstances) been different?  Would I have ever written for Him, live to honor Him?  I know this:  I wouldn’t have this powerful testimony to share about a “wretch like me”.  I wouldn’t know what I know.

So there you have it – the point of it all, the beauty for ashes. All that ugly is turning into something beautiful…in EVERY life, not just mine.  Look back occasionally and no matter what you feel, see how God has brought you through it all for His good pleasure. Grieve a moment, but don’t regret.  Believe all of it has a grand purpose:  for His glory and for you to know He is the One True God and that He’s faithful to see His plan through to the end. Always.

Jeremiah 29:11-13; Isaiah 61:3; Romans 8:28; Philippians 2:13

The Other Side of Terrible

After my last blog, I felt “nudged” to add an addendum.  Just because terrible visits, doesn’t mean it has to be a permanent guest.

I’m here to tell you wonderful and beautiful things come out of the worst times in one’s life.  Sometimes they’re glaringly obvious; other times we must search for them with the same passion we look for our lost keys or cellphones.

With all the loss and pain, God has more than proven Himself true to His word about recreating beauty, solidifying His love for me, giving me brand-new relationships with people to the extent that I no longer mourn over what and who is gone.  Sure, there’s a season for that – a time when we grieve and hurt, but as promised if we’ll “let go and let God” I assure you, healing and refreshing will come.  Loss can’t compare to the joy of healing, believe it.

Pain sometimes becomes our best friend because if we stay in it, nothing’s required of us.  It’s easier to dwell because climbing out requires a lot of effort and even more faith.

Choose with me to believe He’s working on our behalf in ways we can’t even think of.  Choose to focus on Him and His goodness; His promises that if we’re reading this (or typing it, as the case may be) He has lots of lessons and even more love, personal touches and provision for our future; we’ve survived the past.  We choose to learn from it and seek Him through it all, and He’s working it all out for our good.  For our GOOD…no matter how terrible it’s been, there WILL be good in it all and we will see it.  When we see it, then we will KNOW differently than we did before His great love, grace and mercy for us and we’ll actually be thankful we suffered!

It may be a stretch to believe like that if you’re “in it” right now but if you hang on and hang in, trust me, you will.  At this point in my life, my faith in Jesus is more solid than it was nine years ago…more solid than it was a year ago.  I KNOW HIM…and want to know Him more than I did even an hour ago.  No longer can I be made to doubt – even in the worst times – that He has a glorious plan for my life.  I can’t even make myself doubt what a wonderful, loving, personally faithful and providing Father-God I have.  So.  Hang on and believe.  Anticipate what beautiful things will come from the ashes. It’s coming, I promise.