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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Regretful Life

 Since the beginning of time, there has only been one person who even lived a regret-free life. That man was Jesus Christ, the perfect and sinless Son of God. Ever since the dawn of human history, people have gone to their graves, wishing they'd lived their lives differently. Sadly, many of them feel so ashamed of their mistakes that they despair of even bring healed or restored again. For them, reflecting on their past is nothing but one, giant guilt trip. Often, these people turn to various additions, hoping to drown out the shame and regret, feeling like it's better to give up and die than to carry on with such haunted memories. I want to be clear here that these are not just little failings such as we all have: the job we ought to have taken, maybe even the move we should've made. No, these are the deep wounds: the unfaithfulness of a spouse; the abuse of a loved one; the friend we tried to save but couldn't; the baby we could've put up for adoption but aborted instead. It is this kind of regret that scars us for life and often keeps us tormented by its presence as we sit in darkness on the other side of the door. Too often, others don't even know the burden we're carrying. 
 This is the misery that the consequences of bad decisions bring upon us. Even though we may hold the secrets to ourselves, the effect it has on those around us - through our words and actions - can be clearly seen. No person can live a whole and fulfilling life while harboring such shame and guilt. Feeling this way can often lead us to believe that we are the objects of others' judgement and harsh criticism, that our behavior has led us to a place of facing people's rejection and misunderstanding. Unfortunately, this is often a literal reality. This world can be a very cold and insensitive place. Even the most well-intentioned people who are simply trying to help you to get real with yourself can go a little too far sometimes, doing more harm than good. You already know how had things are, how different it would've been if only you hadn't done such-and-such. 
 You lie awake at night, thinking of the boyfriend you never should've said yes to. The cries of the unborn pierce your thoughts; you remember your former spouse - the one you cheated one, or who cheated on you, which led to an ugly divorce that are not proud of; your mind wanders to that sibling of yours that is now behind bars, serving a criminal sentence. Whatever the situation, whatever brought you her to this place of regret you now know all too well, you just know that you don't need more condemnation. You don't need others to remind you of these horrible mistakes and failures. All you really want is redemption...just another chance to make life right, just another opportunity to repair what's been broken. The path to that place doesn't seem clear, but you know you desperately want to find it. 
All you ask is, 
Somebody please show me the way...