Recently I have been haunted by a choice I made a while back. There were circumstances that I let influence my choice. I listened to my feelings and my fears instead of waiting on God’s instruction. I was only focused on the present and I did not consider at how this choice could affect everything in my life later on. It wasn’t anything big or immoral, just a choice on how I dealt with a specific incident.
Every choice we make has a consequence. Every choice we make sets in motion a course of actions and reactions. Choices that seem small and unimportant can often become a catalyst to change our lives in ways we never thought possible.
That one rash choice fueled by my emotions was sort of like a termite. A tiny, little thing that doesn’t seem like it could do any damage. Then it brings it’s friends and starts to gnaw away at the very structure of your home. It may take months or years to realize all the damage that one little choice made.
The repercussions of that choice have broken my spirit and gnawed at my joy. Bitterness wants to wiggle it’s way into my heart. Regret wants to take over my thoughts. Hurt wants to keep throbbing in my soul. Those voices that tell me I’ll never succeed, I’ll never amount to anything, I’ll never achieve my dreams are starting to get louder.
I want to hide like Adam and Eve did when they saw the consequences of their wrong choice. I want to cower in that dark place of regret. I want to mourn my mistake until I feel like I have received adequate punishment.
That’s how I typically deal with mistakes and regret. Those are the lies I struggle to not believe. Those are the crazy, high, perfectionist expectations I put on myself. That’s me only seeing me, myself and I.
How can we break those chains of regret and perfectionism? How can we move past the pain and bitterness? How can we make things right that we have no control over?
The answer is that we can’t. We can’t, no matter how hard we try, no matter how much we want to.
We can’t, but God can. We can give it over to God. We can ask forgiveness. We can seek wisdom and understanding. We can humble ourselves and accept His grace. We can learn to be better and do better in the future. We can figure out how not to repeat our mistakes. We can learn to seek God first in the future before making choices big and small.
All of that is our choice too though. We can choose to hang on to our mistakes and the pain and regret. We can choose to believe the lies that we are a failure and we don’t deserve happiness and that life will never be good again.
Or we can choose to accept God’s grace and let Him mold our mistakes into something beautiful. We can choose to believe His truth that we are created for more than a life of pain and regret. We can choose to see our mistakes as stepping stones towards helping us become better people.
I’m choosing to stop beating myself up. I’m choosing to humbly accept God’s grace. I’m choosing to forgive myself. I’m choosing to learn a lesson from this and move forward. I hope you will choose to do the same with any mistakes or regrets that are haunting you.
Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:24 ESV