Let’s just admit it right here and now….life never turns out the way we plan.
I know this sounds oh so gloomy and pessimistic, but I hope you will read on and capture the freedom found within this statement.
Things were looking good for most of us back when real estate values were rising rapidly, and homes sold within days of being listed. My husband and I joined the happy sellers and made the decision to put our house on the market because we needed to make some educational changes for our oldest son in order to position him well for college.
The realtor scheduled the walk through, complimented us on the condition of our home and told us he expected it would sell quickly and at top dollar. It all seemed easy enough right? Not so much!
A few days before listing , we received a phone call from the school. The principal wanted to meet with us as soon as possible. When we arrived, we were escorted to a conference room where she and a number of guidance counselors were waiting to greet us, and they wasted no time in delivering the news.
Being completely understanding of our situation, they affirmed their desire to do whatever was necessary to keep our son enrolled. And to our surprise, they informed us of their immediate commitment to make some drastic changes which would positively impact his ability to “get noticed” by colleges over the next couple of years.
So, long story short, we decided to remain in our home and keep our son enrolled.
You can guess what happened next….
Within the next couple of years, the real estate bubble burst, and our home value plummeted with everyone else’s. We kissed our top dollar goodbye, and with that goodbye came a heap of regret and “what ifs” as we watched our investment rapidly lose value. The future became muddled and blurry, and we doubted our choices.
What if we had just signed the papers when we said we were going to?
How could we have been so foolish?
How will we ever afford college for one child now, let alone two more in the near future?
What if the school doesn’t follow through with their promise?
Now, I know many lost so much more than a fictitious number, but at the time, I could not see past our own situation, and I wasted far too much time fearful of losing what could have been. Because my default setting has always been fear, I began to fear God would not be there to help pick up the pieces because we had made the wrong decision.
How about you? Does this self-sabotaging thinking sound familiar?
What situation comes to mind which sends you head on into regret and wondering how different or better things could have been if only….
If only you had made a different choice.
If only you had married someone else.
If only you had taken that new job or stayed with the job instead of leaving.
If only you hadn’t said those words.
All the wondering and second guessing is maddening! The list plays like a broken record in our mind, causing us anxiety and doubt and leaves us feeling like a failure.
God does not intend for us to live life held captive by regrets. (Tweet This!)
He is not waiting on the outskirts of our life to see if we make the perfect decision. He doesn’t reject us or turn away with an eye roll. What scripture tells us He is doing is working all things together for our good. Not just some things….ALL things.
If I relive the details of the story of my boy getting into college, I am stunned and awed by this precious truth. So clear was God’s hand in the situation. Because we made the decision to remain, yes, we lost all of our equity in our home, and it will be years before we recover this, if ever.
But, in the place of this imaginary figure came a real and tangible blessing. Not only was my son able to graduate Valedictorian, but he received a full academic scholarship to his first choice university. In the end, the amount surpassed the equity we lost in our home! I remind myself of this when I am tempted to look back and wallow.
Was God going before, working all things together for our good? Absolutely!
I wish I could say that I learned my lesson, and I never look back, never wish I had done things differently, never second guess my choices or linger in regret, but it would not be true.
However, I am learning to turn away from this dark and hopeless place much quicker as I release my plans and dreams to the One who has it all under control. Every moment, every decision, every mistake can and will be transformed into a glorious opportunity to praise! (Tweet This)
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. “Romans 8:28
What regret continues to play over and over in your head?
What do you fear you have lost?
How can you release it and choose to anticipate instead of regret?
+++photos by Mathias
+++photo by lestaylor
+++photo by brxo
I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee today for #TellHisStory