Just as I wrote about in my devotion today, regrets can be overpowering. Nobody likes to think about regrets let alone dwell there. In fact, I asked a group of my friends to write about regrets to share here today, and only one brave soul replied. LOL! But I’m happy to share my friend Rey Cooke’s thoughts with you. She’s a wise woman who has been a mentor to me– so much so that there’s a pivotal story in my book about Rey. So here are some further helpful thoughts about regrets…
Personally, my biggest regret led to my biggest insecurity which led to the greatest spiritual growth and faith/trust adventure of my life!! The regret was that I did not get a college degree. I took some courses at the local Community College but never transferred into a 4-year College.
I married young, at the age of 18, and started a family at age 20. I do not regret marrying at a young age, I loved my husband and wanted to do marriage God’s way. I do not regret having my children young. I look back on that time of life with warm memories and I praise God that we have been married 38 years and have 9 grandchildren and still growing!
However, I do regret not receiving a degree. While I was at home raising my 4 daughters, I dreamed of going back to school and becoming a nurse. That’s when God invaded my dreams and called me into a ministry as a Bible Teacher for a very large class with hundreds of students. I was convinced that I was not equipped or capable of doing such a job because I did not have that piece of paper which indicated that I was qualified or good enough to do the job. The class was filled with hundreds of students and every possible profession was represented, including those who taught on the college level.
Do I have to tell you how intimidated I was when I stepped up to the microphone for the very first time? I argued with God many times trying to convince Him that He was making a mistake to put ME in that position! That’s when God whispered to my heart, “When you open your mouth to proclaim truth your audience will know that I AM speaking through you”. Not because you have a degree, but because “I AM who I AM” and I can use anybody. Even a mom who got her training being at home with her children!
I was more afraid of God than I was of leading a group of His people. My utter dependence on Him grew as I walked by faith through the 7-year journey. I never did become a Nurse who ministers to the sick, but I am a Bible Teacher who ministers to the spiritually sick. God’s sovereignty trumped my regret of not getting a degree and no one can look at my life and say, “God chose her because she had a XY and Z degree!” All to say, yes I do regret that I did not go to college, but I do not regret obeying God!
Another BIG “regret” that I have is being so HARD on my children spiritually. In my mind, I placed spiritual expectations on my children and didn’t allow them to mess up. Looking back, I realized the culture changed drastically between my first two children and my last 2 children. The issues the girls faced were different because technology was advancing rapidly, the community/church changed (not everybody went to the same HS in youth group) even their birth order makes a difference. Unfortunately, I maintained the same ridged/legalistic expectations, and expected God to protect them and me from anything bad.
Because I am a rule follower, I regret, that I superimposed my faith on them. I remember saying to one of my daughters who was struggling “Of course you can handle pressures at school you have the Royal Blood of Christ flowing through you!”. Somehow I missed her pain! I hate thinking about how that must have made her feel, instead of validating her I just made her feel like something was wrong with her. That’s when I learned the Biblical principle, “Rules and Regulations without Relationship leads to Rebellion”.
I don’t blame myself for parenting mistakes that I’ve made nor do my daughters, but I do regret being so hard on them, BUT I do not regret God using rebellion in their lives to bring them to Himself!! And isn’t that what we all want? For our children come to Christ on their own?
Final thoughts, my regret list is short. I believe in God’s sovereignty and His intimate involvement in our personal lives. He uses our mistakes for our good and His glory, He is a Redeemer of time, a Restorer of relationships, and in my life He has used my greatest regret to lead me to utter dependence on Him. I’m in good company with many great men and women of the faith! Hallelujah!!
Thank you so much, Rey. I hope you’ll encourage her with your comments.
Life isn’t perfect, so we’re bound to end up with some regrets. The important thing is how we deal with them. Instead of letting them shut us down, let’s hand them over to Jesus. For more thoughts about how to deal with our imperfect lives make sure to subscribe to my blog today and receive Five Days to Himperfection, a mini-ebook, for free. Click here to subscribe.