Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Regrets

"God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."  Romans 11:29


    Continuing on with "Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away" by Robert A. Schuller we come to the chapter on regrets.  In his writings Robert suggests that "regrets and remorse are a part of the fabric of everyone's life".  He goes on to point out that there are two kinds of regret:  debilitating regret and incorporated regret.    The first kind of regret anchors you to your past;  it haunts you and holds you back from becoming all that you were made by God to be.  It causes you to hold on to the ideas and the images of "what could have been."    I recently experienced this kind of regret and I thank God that through his mercy,  the power of prayer,  a faithful and strong husband, great kids, and the support of many friends worldwide, I did not dwell in it for long.  For months after we left the Crystal Cathedral I actually had dreams (nightmares) where I would analyze and try to figure out the "what-ifs".   Those thoughts could have become obsessions and the obsessions could have paralyzed me and held me back from my life's purpose which is to "connect people one to another for common, worthwhile, God-centered goals."   Instead of being debilitated by my painful regrets I made a conscience decision to incorporate my regrets and to use them to grow closer to God and to the many people who still loved and supported me.   My twenty-four years of experience as a pastor's wife has allowed me to connect with people on a global scale and has further assisted in my appreciation of people's diversity yet similarities in their struggles and triumphs.  Some days I had to pray and dig deep to believe these things.  I reached out through this blog that I started in March 2009 and this too has been a major source of eliminating debilitating regret.   I cannot speak for my husband Robert but during the later part of 2008 and most of 2009 I witnessed months of emotionally and spiritually challenging times for him.  Throughout he kept true to his calling and he relied on the mercy of God to see him through.   Today you can read where his new show, "Everyday Life" has been nominated for the "Epiphany Award" by MovieGuide (movieguide.com)  I am certain that his faithfulness and his patience through prayer saw him through.
God doesn't hold on to regrets and he doesn't want you to hold on to them either.  Instead he covers them with his mercy which is never-ending.   If you have debilitating regret today you can translate your  past into incorporated regret.   One spiritual exercise that has worked well for me and for the groups which I have led is this:  Find an undisturbed place where you can find about fifteen to thirty minutes of solitude.   Sit with your eyes closed, your legs uncrossed, your arms relaxed at your side.   Concentrate on your breathing and as you inhale imagine inhaling the peace and mercy of God in Jesus.  As you exhale imagine all of the regret in your life disappearing.  Continue to inhale and exhale as you purge your mind, body and spirit of all the past regrets that might have a stronghold over you.  You should do this as often as you can and you will see how easy it is to accept the grace and mercy of a loving God.
  Remember God does not change his mind about you and His purpose will be fulfilled.  Leave your regrets at the foot of the cross.     God is blessing you always, Donna

8 comments:

  1. Thank you Donna for the reminder to let go of past regrets; also for the breathing exercise!

    Dreams are only truly ended, I believe, if we stop believing in God's abundant and never ending blessing and Love. True, that our dreams usually change at our choosing or by "life" or other circumstances. The challenge is to use the good steps already taken as a useful lesson and a step-up toward fulfilling the dream in an even better way!

    We have all likely had harsh blows in our lives (I know I have) and at those times it certainly can obscure the reality of the wonderful times and blessings also experienced.

    I pray we all see that good times last forever if only in our memories and they far outweigh the harsh times for me and most people, I think.

    That said, I certainly will be trying the breathing exercise as I can always use any new way to stay focused and ready for the good opportunities HE has or will offer up to me in my life.

    He is blessing all

    Jan-Michael

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  2. My regret post should have been here. Anyway , I have written a comment. Maybe it can be putted on the right place?! Blessings, Rose

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  3. It was a hard time...people cared and we missed both of you!

    Good insight on the breathing exercise--I might have to work on that one...lol As I like releasing stress by working out...it helps me stay focus more in my path-

    Love Robert A. new show and you are doing something fantastic in your work & blogs!

    God does work in mysterious ways sometimes...

    Thank you for your blogs!!!

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  4. Dear Donna as you speak of yours and Roberts past in 2008and 2009. I think of the harsh and tough times everyone has had at sometime in their life. But not all are able to leave it all at the bottom of the cross. That takes courge and strong willpower to relie on the mercy of God and the faith to pray and know God will see you through it and in time you will see why it all happened. As your Blog has help you it is helping many of us to reach out and face alot of things.
    god Bless You.
    Cysradill

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  5. Thank you Donna for your insightful and prayerful words, we at Rancho Capistrano need that now! ~a Rancho Capistrano Employee

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  6. I have read your entry Donna with great interest. I have been hurt a lot in the past various people. Then this came to me "I wasn't facing this hurt by myself God was and is with me. I also had anoher thought. Ok these people were hurting me but if I didn't strike back and ignored what they said to me or about me. They were showing themselves up not me You both have a lot of people praying for you both everywhere in the world. God bless the both of you and all your family
    Blessings Barbie M

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  7. All will be made known in time...be absolutely assured of it...I cannot for the life in me understand the decisions withing the cathedral but in some way, much as the Catholic faith has been rocked by poor leadership, all will be made known in its time. I continue to pray for Robert and Donna, The Gathering, and the CC. Jim

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Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D