Regret can be a prison for the mind. “If Only” comes around and goes around and speaks to the places you hurt, where you feel weak, alone, scared and it tells you if only you had chosen differently, maybe things would be better. Maybe if you had made different choices God wouldn’t be so disappointed. Maybe you wouldn’t have hurt so many people. Maybe you would be successful by now. Maybe you would be married. Maybe you wouldn’t feel alone. If only… if only you could erase the past and do it all over again.
There’s a story of a son who left his father’s home. He too made terrible choices in his life. The story goes that when he was left with nothing to hold onto and full of regret, he thought perhaps working as a slave in his father’s house would be better than the life he was living. He had nowhere left to turn, so he returned.
Princesses, regret is a prision that can make you feel there is no hope for yourself, your future, for love or for anything to change at all. It will tell you that your choices are who you are and will always be. It will bring you low and keep you there.
Yet, for every prison there is a key.
When the son returned home, there was such joy in his father’s face as he ran to his lost boy. He waited so long to see his face, to embrace him, laugh in presence, to hold him once more. There was forgiveness. There was grace. And yes, there was love. Such wonderful, unashamed love.
The same love that God has for you.
Princesses, I want you to say this with me: I am forgiven. I have been set free from shame. I am loved. I am no longer an orphan but am a daughter of the King. I am welcome in my Father’s house. I can come home anytime. My identity is in Christ, not my choices, not my past, not in the condition of my body or the status of my relationship, but in Christ alone. I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. Nothing can separate me from His love. (Romans 8:38-39)
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Girls, I am no stranger to regret, but I’ve learned the only thing it wishes to do is keep us locked in shame, fear, and hopelessness. God has such a greater plan for us. I understand we are human and will make wrong choices in our lives, but I have realized that locking ourselves away in a prison of self-hatred and shame only prevents us from looking up. Though we cannot undo what we have done, we can choose to get up, dust ourselves off, and go home. God is here with the key and open arms saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Friend, you’ve been forgiven.
Lay your burdens down, repent, and return to the Father.
He will always be here for you.
Lord, I thank you for your love for us. I’m so grateful, Jesus that we are no longer slaves to sin but are free to be called daughters. We choose to close our ears to the voice of regret and listen only to your voice of truth. Show us how to live in righteousness, teach us your ways, and help us as we follow you. Give us the courage to live this life. If we sink into self-hatred, remind us Holy Spirit that you call us your Work-in-Progress, and we must keep moving forward if we are to see the reward of your creativity in us. Every time we fall, help us to rise again! And again! And again! May we run to you as you run to us, Father. You are so wonderful. Thank you for being our hope, our love, and our home. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away.”
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
“‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.'”