Untangling The Webs of Regret

I could tell story after story of opportunities I have missed:

  • To have conversations or meetings that I should’ve had when I knew people were struggling or hurting. 
  • To go out of my way to tell someone I appreciate them, because I knew they were facing a difficult time and could use some extra encouragement. 
  • To visit someone in the hospital who I knew was sick and might not have the opportunity to see again.
  • To invite someone to church who I know, for a fact, did not attend church.
  • To call someone who was on my heart.
  • To talk to that person in the coffee line who I just felt the Spirit pushing me to converse with. Maybe they were facing a divorce, maybe they just lost their child, maybe they were struggling with depression and just needed someone to notice them. We don’t know what people are dealing with. 
  • To take a leap of faith – with writing/career goals, parenting, or in my marriage. 
  • To stand up for what I believe in. I tend to shy away from conversations when I know the person has a complete opposite viewpoint. 

Who do I always do this? I wait for things to happen before I realize (too late) what I should be doing (or rather, follow through with actually doing what I know I should be doing). Has this ever happened to you? Do you ever face obstacles like this where you are unsure of how to handle a situation or a difficult conversation? Do you tend to avoid it or try to press on and take that leap of faith? 

Sometimes we receive the “life-changing phone calls”: the moments when we realize we waited too long to do what God was urging us to do. Perhaps it was visiting someone in the hospital who just passed away, losing a loved one we haven’t talked to in a long time, or perhaps checking on that new mom who we found out later was struggling with postpartum depression and her situation worsened.

I have wallowed in the pain and frustration of regret far too much.

I often become overwhelmed and consumed with the worst case scenario that I forget what God has called me to do in the now. Why is it so difficult? I can’t live worrying or living a life of timidity. I cannot live in unending and hopeless webs of regret. I cannot live afraid, insecure, or a hermit-crab lifestyle, always running and hiding when things become difficult or when the pace changes.  We cannot live consumed with uncertainty, rather, hand over the uncertainties to God and let Him be the voice of reason, the giver of words when we have no idea what to say. 

He is our guide, our light, our hope on the gloomiest of days.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV).

What’s in the past cannot consume our present, but we can work on following through with the callings God has placed on our lives today.

We can’t wait until it’s too late to realize that we must follow through with the unique callings God has placed on our lives:

Let’s follow through on that visit to the hospital.

Let’s invite that person to church.

Let’s say hello and (genuinely) smile to the person in the coffee line. 

Let’s ask someone if they are ok (and mean it) if they leave the sanctuary crying on a Sunday morning.

Let’s submit that article we are so afraid of being judged for – maybe God put it on your heart just to reach one person. One person matters. Every person has a name and every name matters to God.

I have been listening to Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say” over and over again:

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know 
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
I believe
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, 
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
Oh, I believe
Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory,

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours

God has really been using these powerful lyrics to remind me that even if we don’t feel like we belong, even when we feel weak, even when we are afraid to stand up for what we believe in – He will give us the courage, words, and discernment to follow through, to stand up, to get through difficult times. He is where we draw our strength. We are HIS.

I want to challenge both of us not to wait for those life-changing phone call moments. We do not want to wait to do what God has called us to do and reach out to those He has placed on our hearts until it’s too late.

The time is now.

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