Do you ever wish you could take back something you said?
Do you think about what would have happened had you done something differently?
Do you hold onto regrets?
Holding onto the regrets of my past keeps my mind in a place of frustration. It keeps thoughts swirling and then spiraling until I convince myself that everything in life is horrible. I know it’s not, but when you combine the neurological symptoms of Lyme Disease and co-infections with normal insecurities that people face, I can quickly get into a place of deep, deep melancholy. This kind of mentality isn’t healthy.
When I hold onto things I did wrong and think about ways I didn’t “measure up,” I miss out on the present. Not only that, but negative feelings regarding my past keep me from embracing the woman God created me to be.
Throughout my time of living with chronic illness (pre and post diagnosis), I have made a lot of mistakes. I’ve said and done things that were not kind. I became the needy person I never imagined I would be. I tried to control in whatever ways I could because nearly everything in my life was falling apart.
On a lot of days, I wish I could change my past. I wish I could go back to the hardest moments with the knowledge and assurance of God’s goodness that I now have to tell myself that everything is going to be okay.
I wish I could take back the things I said on days when symptoms were the worst.
This past weekend, my boyfriend, Jonathan, and I spent a full day together. We had a wonderful time talking, laughing, cooking lunch together, shopping, and then going out for dinner. It was so much fun! It was the first date we had in a quite a while, so I had been looking forward to it all week.
At the end of the night, though, we realized we may have pushed things a little far with my energy levels. By the time he brought me home, I could barely keep my eyes open. I didn’t have enough strength to walk up the stairs to my room, so Jonathan had to carry me.
The overexertion from Saturday made Sunday a hard day. I was an emotional wreck. Pain was flaring, anxiety was taking over, and I was growing discouraged about my current life situation.
In all of my struggling, I started to question Jonathan’s love for me (even though he probably told me he loved me 100 times the day before). I became the insecure person that I don’t like.
The whole day was filled with a roller coaster of emotions – from insecurity, to regret, to feeling secure again in Christ, to feeling ashamed, and so on.
I wished more than ever that I could just erase the past two days and start over fresh. If I had a second chance, I wouldn’t have exerted myself so much on Saturday. I wouldn’t have even opened my mouth on Sunday. I would have detoxed more. The whole situation would have been different.
But that’s not the way life works, is it?
Once each day is over, there is a new day. We can’t go back and change the past, but we can make choices as we move forward.
On Monday, after the fogginess began to clear and I could look at the situation from a healthier standpoint, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t change the events of the weekend. I went to God to repent of my sin and ask forgiveness. I had already profusely apologized to Jonathan on Sunday throughout the cycles of craziness, but had a deeper understanding of the situation come Monday.
I had to let go of the weekend in order to move forward. It wasn’t easy. I still have a deep sense of sadness about my words and how they affected Jonathan, but I can’t dwell on the past and be who God created me to be.
Here’s what we need to remember during times when we wish we could reverse the past:
1. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
I love this truth.
Romans 8:1-2 tells us:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (NIV)
When we are followers of Christ, we don’t have to worry about being condemned for our sin. Christ has already pain the ultimate price.
2. God doesn’t waste anything.
Romans 8:28 is a verse that has been a constant reminder of God’s love throughout many seasons of my life.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
From walking forward in faith to live overseas in Asia, to dealing with family disagreements, to enduring life with chronic illness, I have remembered that God works in everything. He uses every situation to draw us to himself so that we can rest in His presence. He has a plan for our ultimate good, even if we may not be able to understand it at the time. He desires for us to come to Him so we can have true hope! He doesn’t waste a thing!
If you’re struggling with regrets of your past or are looking for more support on your journey with chronic illness, please know you don’t have to walk through this tough season alone! Grab your free copy of my eBook, Finding Hope Through the Fog, and join our email community of hope!