Three Ways to Cope When Regret Comes Knocking
When We Wish We Could Get a Do-Over
March forth! The only date on the calendar with a command! So a happy March 4th to you!
Fitting, then, that I started my morning quiet time with a mind that wandered back. Instead of marching forward.
When we wish we could have a do-over in an important conversation or decision, here’s one way I’ve learned to deal with any hint of regret, wishing otherwise, or bummed out-ness.
Three Ways to Cope with Regrets
- Pray for Redemption: Remember that God’s Grace is bigger than your missteps. So ask God to redeem it.
- Pray for Perspective: Remember that we’re all on a learning curve, and sometimes, we do learn best the hard way. (Can I hear a Homer say, “D’oh!”) So ask God to give you a fresh perspective on what happened and help you mine every bit of wisdom out of what happened.
- Pray for Determination: With the revelation God gives you, determine now what you will do if you ever face the situation again. We often make our decisions in our hearts over months and years of refining—long before we have to act on those decisions within a split second.
When Going Back is Going Forward
In the chapter, “Switchbacks and Setbacks,” I write of the process of healing from grief, which is often full of regrets. But the same holds true for other regrets, missteps, selfish decisions, and disappointments:
“They say time heals all wounds. But it doesn’t. Time cannot do that. Only the heavenly Father can heal all wounds.
Nonetheless, we’d like to know if we are progressing or regressing on our grief timelines, right? But I don’t think it works that way. Sometimes in sorrow, going back is going forward.”DANITA JENAE, When Mountains Crumble (page 78)
May we all give ourselves this grace today on March Forth Day. May we not stuff our disappointments, regrets, broken dreams, losses, or sorrows to the side, or shove them in a corner. Let’s not entrust them to a dark shadowy hope that just some more time will fix these blunders. Let’s not put our faith in all-elusive time or the false-power of denial, believing they might do some kind of ninja work on our regrets when we are not looking. No, no, no.
A Charge Forward
Instead, today, let’s look back with our Healing Heavenly Father long enough to entrust these blunders to Him. Safely in His hands, He can resurrect dead dreams; He can redeem our mistakes and offenses; He can take our ashes and truly revive them into a new life-giving perspective, determination; He can take our dead ends and rewrite them into a fiercely, piercingly beautiful story.
Alright. This is your reminder that prayer is where it’s at. When we need a re-do, this is how we do it. (Can you hear me sing to you as as I say that? This is how we do it!)
So look back if you need to move forward, but do so in prayer. Now get out of here, and “Go make a difference in YOUR world!” (A phrase my prayer team says every week!)
May the Prince of Peace look back and march forward with you today.
p.s. You’re in for a real treat this week as we dive in to how to tell our stories in a redemptive way. You’ll need this for your next trip to WalMart or the DMV or the Airport. “The harvest isn’t just ripe, it’s desperate!” as Mr. Hughes says. We need to be ready to share our stories for the glory of God, even the grief-stricken and trauma-filled ones, and I’m here to help you know when and how. So if you’re not already part of the Fellowship of the Brokenhearted, sign up below so you don’t miss the rest of this powerful series.