Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Regrets

I am drawn to autobiographical books, so naturally my last trip to that "big famous" bookstore, found me in that section, trying to choose new items for my wish list. (Especially important since there are now only 85 days until Christmas, right Don?) Anyway, I was leafing through this one book, the life story of a very famous man, one who seemed to have it all together, a successful life, a long marriage, healthy and prosperous children, a man well-known and respected amongst his peers. As I scanned the table of contents, I was most surprised to find that the biggest chapter by far, was entitled, "Regrets". Because they frown on one reading the entire book without purchasing it, I do not know the details of his life's regrets, but because I am me, I began thinking about what regrets I have about my life.
At forty-seven years old, I am considered neither young nor old and my life, like that of others, has not gone exactly as I'd planned. Although I grew up in the church, my life has not been exempt from the effects of death, divorce, violence, drugs, illness, sin, or stupidity. Many times have been to the mountaintop but I have also been known to reside in the desert. And yet, I cannot truly say I have a lot of regrets.
While in the desert, struggling with the elements of sin and its consequences, regrets circle like vultures, waiting for one to succumb to hopelessness and despair. The desert heat plays tricks on the mind, trying to confuse one and make us believe that there is a source of Living Water ---a source other than the Savior, but it is nothing more than a mirage, a simple self-delusion. While in the desert, one could choke and die on regrets.
But the view from the mountaintop is different. From there, we can see that God did indeed work good things from our bad choices. We see that the time in the desert made us stronger, made us more reliant on Him, and gave us some practical wisdom. And while we should feel remorse for our bad choices and repent of our sinfulness, I am not sure there is any benefit to regrets.
I often think about Moses, this young Israelite of Pharoah's household. He sees his countrymen being abused and responds with violence and then in fear, runs away. He runs away and spends the next few years as a shepherd----most likely a job he was unfamiliar with. I would not think the son of the Princess would need shepherding is his skill set. But the leader of God's people would----he would need to know how to lead God's sheep, how to protect them and how to get them to follow him. He would need to know how to get them food, how to provide shelter and how to get them to listen. It would be quite a step down from the son of the Princess to a herder of sheep. And perhaps, Moses did regret his time in the pasture. It does not appear so since he made excuses to not lead God's sheep. And it was as a shepherd that he married and fathered children, that he developed what appeared to be a loving and respectful relationship with his father in law. No, I don't think Moses regretted being a shepherd. I believe he was able to see God's divine ability to use our choices to further His mission.
There is great comfort in knowing that God is working in our lives, and even through sinful or unpleasant circumstances He can make something good. Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded out of the senseless loss of a child. A man who was once a drug and alcohol addict is able to sponsor another as they each struggle with their own addiction. The abandoned mother may not have all she dreamed but she has beautiful children from the relationship. The abused wife is not only able to heal but to help others heal. She has more clarity, she now knows exactly what she wants and what she does not. The widow goes back to school and is able to get a college degree as a non-traditional student and is able to teach others. The young man who is paralyzed in a sports injury is able to go on the speaking circuit, insipiring other youngsters to focus on more than just sports. On and on the stories go--stories of the mountain top experiences that began in the desert.
As renowned philosopher, Jennifer Aniston, (smile) said in American Actress, "there are no regrets, just life's lessons. " And so, as we are faced with more choices, perhaps we can make them with prayerful confidence, knowing that as we are seeking to serve God, He is already planning to work things out for our good and for the good of those who love Him. Perhaps we are to be a people in the process of growing and changing, a people with no regrets.

Peace
Neva

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
You are so right, looking back I can see how the rough times made me walk closer to God. This is a great post!

Pat

11:32 PM  
Blogger Larissa said...

great post! You know I agree!!!

8:19 AM  
Anonymous John Dobbs said...

Excellent as always, Neva. You know there is great truth in the value of suffering and pain. It's a school no one wants to attend. The benefits are way ahead, beyond our vision, sometimes beyond our faith. The preparation time in the desert is the only real help many of us will ever benefit from ... it's the only thing that touches the heart. Blessings for sharing this so boldly.

9:00 AM  
Blogger DJG said...

Beautifully put. I posted one time that although I had messed up royally on more than one occassion and could hang my head in shame..instead I look back and see how God used the tragedy of my temporary trip to the dessert to prepare for some greater good. It is truly amazing.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

neva-
{Sappy warning]
I was taking with the little misses just Saturday wondering if there were still giants in the mountains left for me. {I'm four years older than you.)

I know people who claim to "still have a lot to do in life". But what about those who have "done" a lot and like you said sometimes too much? I don't have "regrets" so much about what's past as I do what's ahead or not ahead. I think this is kinda, part of what you are talking about.

____________
Yeah, 85 days. I think we're going to Texas for Christmas. Got Mannheim on right now :)

Don

1:04 PM  
Blogger Abiding In Christ, Amen! said...

"The desert heat plays tricks on the mind, trying to confuse one and make us believe that there is a source of Living Water ---a source other than the Savior, but it is nothing more than a mirage, a simple self-delusion."

What an awesome analogy and correlation! That grabbed me.

Its funny you should write about moses. Something I read last night led me back to Exodus 1 and the life of moses. (that was another reason why your post caught my eye.)

*Thumbs up*

*BUMP!

7:47 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Neva,
Wonderful post yet again sister.
You keep us challenged and inspired.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Monalea said...

Excellent post as usual.

Love you 2-3-6,

Monalea

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having my own regrets over some of my actions or words or dealings with family problems work problems or even with a friend at times makes me examine myself with a more critical eye. Realizing that I have no power but through our Lord Jesus Christ and my faith in Him was learned by my regrets. Through my own bad behavior I was forced to come to a point that I finally got willing to let Him make changes so I could seek some peace and joy in my life. I had to have those regrets to humble my own pride to let Christ work in my life to get out of His way and seek to do His will not mine. My pride was killing me and making all of my loved ones miserable.

So today Christ has given me a new life and with the experience of what not to do I can sometimes help others by being a support for them. For this I am grateful for all my regrets, it keeps me looking to Christ daily, wanting Him in my life and fully controling my heart and mind. I am not saying I can do it perfect but when I let Him lead I can follow!

Thanks Neva this post made me ponder and remember those regrets and hopefully not to repeat them.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about your post. I believe you are right. Regrets don't really seem to have much of a place in Christian lives==but learning from our past choices and the preparation that comes from the desert are powerful things.

Kel
PS I think you might be having trouble with your blog again, I have tried to post for three days and it hasn't appeared here. Or do you have your comment moderation on?

7:53 AM  
Blogger Mommysmart said...

Neva,

Beautiful post! When Moses and Jennifer Aniston make your point you know that you have a good topic. I enjoyed it as I do all of your posts. Do you speak at ladies nights? We are working on some ideas.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Neva dear friend,

Again, right on the button! I'm so thankful for God's gift to you and your faithfulness in exercising that gift. You bless us with each entry!

I agree, regret has its place to bring us to acknowledgment of sin and then to repentance. But once brought to the Throne of Mercy we do well to accept God's mercy and grace, and God turning those regrettable and forgiven situations into tools to help others. It's living in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11.

Again, thank you and bless you for blessing us with your gift.

In His love, grace and mercy

Kathy

10:53 AM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

Neva ... your way with words leaves me in awe. You know how to make a point and make it stick. Pain and suffering have become something we're afraid of ... God's just wanting us to realize how good heaven's going to be ...

10:57 AM  
Anonymous carol said...

Neva,
this is an excellant post. You never cease to amaze me with your ability to make it so practical and so easy to understand. The decisions in my past whether good or bad have contributed greatly to who I am today.
Blessings
Carol

5:13 PM  
Blogger Sista Cala said...

Regrets are like the last flake of a scab falling off. They are the last part to leave us when we are healed by God. Sometimes regrets leave scars, but those too can be erased by the Savior.

Excellent post, my sister.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Scotti said...

Hi Neva,

I finally have internet access and some time to surf the blogs! Another great post. I am looking foward to catching up on all your recent posts.

God Bless!
Scotti

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, sometimes suffering is necessary
Great post!


Rachel

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Georgian Peach said...

I have seen so many people swallowed up and paralyzed by a life full of regrets. I think that Jennifer Aniston just might be right, (grin) there are no regrets, just life lessons.
Good post.

Georgia

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
I have been missing your inspirational posts. Thank you for this one. It seems like what could have been often keeps us from living today.

Bless you,
Corinne

12:40 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

Great thoughts! When I look back on my life, I don't see regrets. For me, it's kind of like labor pains, you forget most of the bad stuff and all you remember are the great blessings! Have a great weekend!

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeam said...

Getting caught up on your blog-this is a greatn post. I love the idea of living without regrets and learning from all our choices,

Jean

10:27 PM  

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