No Regrets

No Regrets

Life is a battle.

Sometimes the battle is more in my mind and heart than in the world where I live.

To do or not to do? Was I wrong or right? Could I have done it differently or better? These are questions I am tempted to ask myself all the time. And if I don’t watch it, I will camp here.

Not a good thing.

Praying and pondering is a good thing. Seeking the Lord’s guidance, well, what could be better? But at some point, we’re required to “do,” to move forward. If you’re like me, I do take action and then replay the entire scenario in my mind, question how I did something, wonder if I could have done better, and then sometimes even ponder forever over whether it was the right thing to do.

In the Army, they have something called an AAR (After Action Report). Following an event or exercise, they go back, make notes, and write feedback. These are helpful because if and when these things are required again they ideally do it better the second time—that is if folks actually read the AAR.

In real life, an AAR is helpful. Even as individuals we really desire to do things better the next time or help keep others from making the same mistakes we do. These are good things. But there is some line in there where it goes from being an AAR to being a list of regrets.

This is not good.

Last time I checked I was pretty human, making mistakes on a regular basis. I have yet to follow the Lord perfectly every time. I know you’re shocked.

Dwelling on those mistakes, replaying them over and over can take me from a life of abundance and grace to a heart of failure and fear. In about two seconds.

Fear then keeps me from wholeheartedly doing what God has called me to do. It’s a cycle none of us desires, but one in which we can easily get stuck.

But how do we go from the AAR to moving forward in faith, skipping the sinkhole of regret?

It comes down to one easy word that we have a hard time getting our brain around. It’s called grace. God extends it so freely to us on a regular basis. We extend it to others pretty regularly as well, but we don’t necessarily extend it to ourselves very well.

Today, let’s do that. Realizing that we are human and desiring to do better the next time than we did the last, let’s step forward in faith and hope, trusting that God can take even our worst day and do something good with it. We have to remember, too, that God is looking at our heart and not necessarily our actions.

King David is a great example of this. Dude messed up. Over and over and over. He didn’t just mess up in little things, he had some zingers! But God saw David’s heart. It tells us just that in Acts 13:22, “And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’”

Even in the midst of all of David’s failures, God took an ordinary life and created an extraordinary legacy.

Can you say Jesus?

If He can do that for David, He can do it for me. I don’t desire to mess up regularly, but I know that I will. Today, I am determined to live a life without regret. I want a life that learns from the past but still has courage and faith to step forward into the future, knowing He has called me to more.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

 

Ten Years

Ten Years

I never could have imagined I would be here.

In this moment in time, in this place, in these circumstances, I could never have imagined it.

Life can be difficult and challenging and hard. It can feel like a continuous battle more than a victory. A battle fought against my own emotions, fears, and weariness as much as it is against anything else.

Surely you’ve been there.

Yes, it’s a battle. But if I look at it another way, ten years ago I could never have dreamed I would be here. Take a few minutes with me and remember where you were ten years ago. Personally, I was almost three years into a marriage and over halfway through with that first deployment. With a new little one just turning one, we waited patiently in Clarksville, Tennessee for my sweetie to return home, while working full-time for the local municipality.

Where were you?

At a mere thirty three years of age, I had never planned on marrying some Army guy, living through deployments, and parenting solo for a while, yet that’s where I was. Today, ten years later, I sit in an apartment in Germany with two beautiful children and they same amazing Army guy. Having been through multiple deployments and even more PCSs, learning to homeschool my sweet children, and working with a ministry for military women, God has brought me a long way. Most of the adventure and growth from the Lord has nothing to do with geographic locations or deployment statistics, though.

I know very well what I used to be, don’t you? I also know where the Lord has brought me over that time. Through His grace, love, and patience, He has taught me, blessed me, strengthened me, and grown me more than I could ever have imagined. The longer I am a Christian, the more I can see what the Lord has done in me. I love it, because the longer journey gives a bigger picture of how has worked and continues to work in my life – and I am so very thankful.

Are my eyes on Him? Is my focus on what He is doing and teaching? Do I remember His faithfulness to me and am I reminding myself to continue to trust in His faithfulness? Is my life about Him or am I getting distracted by circumstances or personal feelings?

The Bible tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

What’s crazy is that I think sometimes this battle rages in my heart just as much as it does in the world. When I don’t feel like enough, when I remember my failures more than my successes, when I start comparing myself to those around me, I get caught up in the battle. You’ll notice that this battle is fiercest when my focus is on me. That’s where the challenge lies.

Life is about Him.

Whenever we take our focus off of Him, we get caught in the mess. I have zero desire to get caught in the mess. So I am determined, with the Lord’s help, to do this less and less. It’s a matter of relationship, time with the Lord, and the continual sanctification He does in my life. It’s about Him.

This week, my prayer is that I will remember what He has already done, trust that He is still doing it today, and walk in hope and victory because life is about Him….and He wins every time.

So, where were you ten years ago? What has He done in you since that time? How are you being intentional about walking with Him today?

 

 

 

 

This post is part of the Monday Minute Linkup at Planting Roots.