I Regret

large-2I’m 1 month shy of my 29th birthday and I have grey hairs. More than a few, like enough to warrant never parting my hair on the left. I’ve never really bought into all the “oh no, I’m 30 :(” hype. But in entering the last year of my 20s I’m starting to understand what they mean by being perplexed about it.

We all have our bucket lists and things we woulda-coulda-shoulda done by a certain age. According to my calculations I should have finished grad school at 24, married at 25, been a mother by 27, and be a great career woman working as a journalist in the city trying to have it all. Needless to say, I’m falling a little short.

I hate when people say “never have regrets”. Especially when they interrupt you while you are actually confiding “You know, I really regret XYZ”. The only thing they mean by that, is that you can’t change it so why waste time talking about it. Well I’ll tell you why I want to regret the things I’m not proud of – I don’t think it’s harmful – IF they lead you to wiser choices next time.

Regret, or sorrow over my past mistakes can be holy, and even pleasing to God because it means that you understand that whatever happened caused you to miss out on God’s blessings.

For me, the prospect of turning 29 makes me want to simultaneously weep with regret and jump for joy. Having personally lived through those years, I can tell you I made plenty of bad choices, but also, I wouldn’t be where I am, wouldn’t have grown the way I did had it not been for those choices. And knowing that I might have missed out on many blessings then, being so blessed as I am now, only makes me want to walk rightly all the more.

small courage

I went to dinner with a few friends from work. I generally like the people I work with but this dinner made me think twice.

The conversation began continued, and ended with malicious gossip. Not just stupid he-said, she-said, but hateful degrading comments and names. Things that were said were probably not far from the truth, and admittedly I’ve probably thought the same things in my mind, but I had never heard them voices aloud. I never allowed those thoughts to actually take root in my mind to the point where I see a tangle of mistakes and sins instead of a human being.

For these girls, a person is their past. When someone sleeps with someone else, or in this case, many “someone elses”, that person is dehumanized and labeled according to the act. If someone was known for being oblivious, they jump on it like vicious cats on fresh kill. The conversation was so angry, mean and dead, I felt awkward and strangely younger than them. All too conscious of my differences, I never felt so out of place.

I did have a choice to speak up but I sunk down and stayed out of it. I was cowardly I thought of what they might say about me after I left the table. Besides, they would never understand what it is to be freed by Jesus unless they are.  I never desired their friendship but I see them every day. After leaving, I thought about the confession prayer that Catholics say every Sunday. “I confess to almighty God, and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault…in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and what I have failed to do…”

This is a very insignificant story, but it is indicative of the very small choices we make every day to do the right thing. I wish I would have said something. I’m not sure what, but in failing this, I’ve realized what a difference it could make. What if I had just acted surprised that they were talking like that? That would have been a clue right away that the sentiment wasn’t shared. I hope that I can make myself stand out just a bit more with courage.

Have you stood up in courage for the Lord lately? Have you failed in this area? I’d love to hear your story!

This is the Gospel-

That Jesus Christ has a perfect record, and when we believe in Him, he gives it to us. he lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died in our place, so that when we believe our sins are pardoned and “we are counted righteous in his sight”.

This is the source of my confidence, fulfillment, comfort, opportunity to serve, happiness, deepest foundation.

When God sees me, he sees his son Jesus standing up for me and he says, “She’s good! Get you to Heaven!” And when I get there it will be even more beautiful and wonderful than I could ever dream.

If marriage is not the fulfillment, and career and success and money are not the fulfillment, nor would be travel, writing, exercising, being pretty or having nice things. No.

“I will rest in the righteousness if Christ and learn to rejoice in it. Then I can look at males or careers and say, “What makes me beautiful to God is Jesus, not these things” -unknown

Therefore since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…And our hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out int our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-2,5