A dear sister asked me months ago to address the topic of regret. How does anyone get over their regret? I have been sitting on the subject, praying for the right words to communicate God’s Truth accurately and compassionately. Writing words which involve people’s feelings is an intimidating process. Without face to face conversation and the benefit of listening to voice inflections and body language; I know how easy it is to misread the writer’s intent. So, I approach the topic cautiously.
As I posted previously, (http://www.womangonewise.com/2012/01/20/will-i-ever-get-past-my-regret/) there are two kinds of regret. The first category comes as a result of our sin and neglect, the second category is the result of personal loss and disappointment. Someone who has had an abortion likely experiences both kinds of regret.
Once someone experiences forgiveness for having an abortion, does she ever get over the sorrow of a life that no longer exists? I listened to a few women share about this intense regret. They testified of their solace and freedom, through the words of Isaiah 61:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
for the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:1-3
Only by Christ’s work on the cross are we able to experience true freedom from regret. Let me say, I respect psychology. After all, God Himself creates our minds and emotions. He has given us the ability to understand these. But, psychology has no complete answer for guilt and regret. Only the Spirit of God can replace our mourning with festive praise. He alone is able to forgive our sins and set our spirit free. A supernatural transformation takes place in our lives. We then have the ability to move forward and take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.
Get over your regret with spiritual and mental choices
It is your spiritual choice to go to the throne of grace and ask for God’s forgiveness through the cross of Christ. You make a spiritual choice when you ask God to replace your mourning and give you praise.
It is your mental choice to dwell on past opportunities. Whether you continue to feed your regret–this is up to you. Regret is a painful pet. You nurture it with repetitive thoughts, and it bites you in return.
“What if …….I married him?” or “If only….. I pursued that career” or “I wish….I paid attention to my kids when I had the chance”.
The time you spend mulling over past regrets is a waste of energy. It keeps you stuck in the past. Instead, put your thoughts to good use. Consider what you will do differently today which will propel you forward into a life of passionate living.
Say goodbye to “what if” and “if only”. Ban these phrases from your mind. As long as you are breathing, God has a plan and a purpose for you. It is a plan full of hope. It’s time for you to join Him.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves–regret for the past and fear of the future”,
Are you ready to move forward? Ask God to release you from mourning and regret. Ask Him to help you embrace His forgiveness and grace. Let Him know you are ready to move forward and live each day with purpose. With the help of the Holy Spirit, practice taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.