Yet, yesterday as I looked at pictures, I was flooded with an emotion that I wish I could say I was a stranger to, regret. Unfortunately, I can’t say that as my life has been full of “I wishes” and “if onlys.”
They had variations, “I wish I hadn’t fought so hard” “I wish I learned faster so that God doesn’t see second degree burns and weeks of being sick as the only way to get my attention” “I wish I didn’t stress out so much over not doing well, that instead I actually took the time to enjoy the amazing and tiny moments of life” “I wish I had been more encouraging to those around me” “I wish that I had looked outside of my own issues to help others” “I wish I’d been a better teammate”
But they all come back to one subject… me. They come back to something that I did or did not do. It comes back to Alaina. It comes back to her personal failures, some big, others not so.
And I guess, that is the whole problem. I cannot fix me. I cannot fix the past. I cannot fix the present. I cannot even guarantee that I will not make some of the same mistakes in the future. Truthfully, I really cannot do anything.
I suppose that is where God wants me to be. Realizing the mistakes I’ve made when I tried so hard to live my life on my own. It doesn’t work. Really. In fact, it’s failure in big red blinking neon lights! Because, I did try to be a good friend. I did try to be willing to let people in. I did try to not stress out over perfection. I did try to encourage and help and support. I think that sometimes I succeeded in my goals, sometimes I did surrender and let God work through me, but not always. Because I cannot succeed without God’s help, to be blunt, anything without Him is a failure.
In the Disney movie, Meet the Robinsons, their family philosophy is that failure is actually the greatest success, not because of any achievement that one reaches, but rather because you learn far more from a failure than you do from a success.
I think that over the last year I have had plenty of failures to learn from, hopefully I have indeed learned from them. Yet, if the only thing that I have accomplished is the knowledge that I cannot achieve anything without God, then all has not been in vain. Sure, there are still things that I would like to have done differently, but wishing won’t make it so and all that it serves is to keep me in a place that is gone forever.
In the midst of my regret, I remember that my God is bigger than my failures. He is bigger than my weakness. He is even bigger than me trying to do the right things and say the right things and completely forgetting my Source. He is big enough to work in them, through them, and to still use me after them.
Kinda cool, isn’t it? ;)
And so, I have decided to live without regrets. I do very much wish that I could stand, and declare to all of cyberspace that I will maximize the rest of my days to never have the slightest chance of regret again. But I cannot. I would be kidding myself and lying to you. Rather, I will learn from every failure, and seek God’s will through it, knowing that my God is big enough to create a success out of my failure.
In short, I will…
Keep Moving Forward!
“I understand why regrets are in vain – they keep your mind and heart in a place that is no more and prevent you from living the life you have.”
Kofi- The Captive by Joyce Hansen
Non Nobis Domine!