Monday, April 9, 2012

Five Things

I recently read an article about the five most common regrets people express as they are dying and that got me thinking about what I would regret. So here is my list:

1. I wish I had been more faithful to God. I was saved at ten but my pathway hasn't always been a straight one towards God. It has had bends and turns and times when I got caught in the briers along the way, but I would find my way back and God would always take me back. When I think of the times I have disappointed Him, it makes me wish I had been more faithful. 
2. I wish I had been more patient. Patience has never been my strong suite. I have tried and tried to emulate my father's patience and quiet, methodical ways but I come up short every time. He is a VERY patient man. Now that I am almost 50 I can say that the things that at one time bothered me, don't anymore and I am becoming a more patient person but I do wish I had been more patient earlier on in my life.
3. I wish I had had more confidence when I was younger. I spent so many years thinking I wasn't thin enough or I wasn't pretty enough and other such silly things instead of being content with who I am. I'm comfortable in my own skin, now, but I wish I could have been when I was younger. I wonder how different my life would have been.
4. I wish I had been a better daughter. My stubbornness and rebellious attitude was so ungodly! When I think back to my teenage years and how I talked back to my mother it causes me deep regret. How I wish I could take those words back! But words spoken can't be called back. I am thankful that I still have my parents with me so that I can be a better daughter now. 
5. I wish I had been a better wife. Again stubbornness and a rebellious attitude caused so many problems. I have been blessed with a godly husband and yet there were times when I didn't want to give him the leadership in our home and my actions caused so many unnecessary hurts. We have been blessed with almost 27 years of marriage and I'm learning every day to be the wife God wants me to be. 

It's hard to come up with a list of only five regrets because once we start thinking about all the things we would change if we could we realize there are so, so many but we can't focus on those things. What we need to do is to learn from them. A very wise woman once told me that everything in life is a lesson, if you choose to ignore it you are bound to repeat it but if you choose to learn your lesson you won't only avoid repeating it but you will be a better person because of it. And I guess that's true. Every situation, every problem, every trial can be a learning experience or it can cause you to become bitter and bitterness not only eats you up on the inside but spills over onto the people around you. 

What's done is done, there's no fixing the past, we can only make our present and future better with the Lord's help. I am so thankful that He is willing to forgive us and take us back time and time again. I am thankful that I have parents who have always shown me a godly example and forgave a disrespectful teenager. I'm thankful that I had people come into my life to build up confidence in me over the years so that now I can do the work God wants me to do. I'm thankful that the Lord has put good examples in my life so that I can emulate them and be more patient, more understanding, more loving. And I am thankful that I have a godly husband who loves me. I have never doubted his love and I am thankful he has never stopped loving his fallible wife.

What's your list? If you were facing death tonight what would you wish you had done differently? Let me encourage you to start living the life you wish you had lived. Don't live with regrets, just make today and tomorrow and the next day and so on and so on, better. Be a better person. Be the person you wish you had been. It's not too late until you breathe your last breath. Today is the new beginning you've been given, make the most of it with God's help.

Isaiah 43:18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence."

Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

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