Regret: verb-feel sad, repentant, disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).
How many times in our lives do we use the word regret? Why?
Not to long ago I had a learning opportunity to speak with my children about that word. We discussed that regret should not be a word that they use in their lives. It’s one of those words that is like the word Hate. We should never hate anything. We may dislike something, yet we don’t hate something. Regret is much like that. It’s another strong verb used to describe something that is unrealistic. You’re likely asking me what I mean by that.
Well, I have said for years that using the word regret, only makes one then realize that if they regret one thing, they have to regret a whole lot of things. If you regret a decision you made that had disastrous consequences, then you have to regret a lot more things that went along with that decision and you also have to regret the lessons learned from those decisions. It’s like a gerbil wheel that keeps on spinning and never stops.
If you regret marrying someone, then you would also have to regret having children as well as those years spent with that family, likely calling them wasted. If you claim to regret that you didn’t get a higher education, then you also have to regret the path you then chose to take, even if it was a necessary decision to make you realize you needed that higher education. What about a decision made regarding health? Goodness knows that doctors, family and friends can all make us feel guilty about how we eat or how we take care of ourselves. Yet, when the time comes that our eyes are opened to better ways, if we regret the earlier path we would not be able to see how far we’ve come in progressing to a better place. Or even when it comes to some pretty serious medical decisions. Should chemo be the best option? Should alternative medicine be the best? What about those mammograms and preventative screenings? If and or when something changes with our health and we become seriously ill, what is the first thing many people say? “I regret not doing that….” Like I said, a strong verb that can only bring about more sadness than necessary. A word that contains a whole lot of disappointment and many times can be tied in with a whole lot of guilt.
I remember some years back when my mom and I had discussions regarding some decisions I had personally made in my own life. I was young enough to be under the roof of my parents yet old enough to be considered an adult. My mom said she had regretted allowing me to do this or that and that she felt guilty over not guiding me in a different direction. I remember thinking about that and also saying that I didn’t regret it and that she shouldn’t either. That the decisions I made, no matter the outcome, were learning lessons in my own life. I needed to go through those things in order to become the woman I am today. If I had not learned through that school of hard knox, I’m not sure who I would be now nor where I would be. I’m not saying that it’s not sad that I made some wrong decisions, yet those wrong decisions led to an understanding about how I needed to grow. They helped me to see who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.
I’ve used a lot of “I’s” in that last paragraph, of which is normal when speaking of one’s self. However, it is with great joy that one of those lessons learned was that “I” was not in control of any of it. Something greater was awakening within me of which I was not even aware until a few years later. A generic definition of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning”. To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. (BibleStudytool.com) When God opened my eyes and began to show me who He is, I also began to realize that I could not have gotten to a place of peace and understanding in Him until I had gone through the things that most people want to call “regret”.
There are so many blessings that have come out of my personal walk on this journey in this life. All of which I can honestly say came from “lessons”, not regret.
You may be asking yourself where in the world am I going with this and why blog about this. Well, to explain, the last week I’ve intermittently been listening to a documentary on the truth about cancer. I have watched many in heartache over their own “regret” in lack of knowledge. It has made me consider how many people go through their days regretting how they live, what they say and what decisions they make. Sorrow overtakes them and they forget that each decision or action or word spoken that makes them have that regret has actually led them to a place of recognition. So I felt that I needed to share with others that rather than letting sorrow or disappointment over take you and your future, pray about what you have learned and ask for guidance in going forward.
Don’t waste your energy and time in regret or spend time in bitterness over disappointment, be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. Perhaps, this recognition of the past is the beginning of a new journey going forward. Perhaps also, a door has been opened to see something new and to learn new tools in dealing with situations going forth.
The Ransomed Shall Return
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.a
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.