There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven– A time to be born and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to keep silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8 AMP
Just let go.
It sounds so easy.
But it’s been incredibly hard for me.
So many unanswered questions.
So much doubt, fear and second guessing myself.
All the shoulda, coulda, and wouldas are hard to let go of and move past.
Rather they feel like a hundred knots in my stomach that just twist tighter the more out of control I feel.
A family member warned my husband a few years ago, you can live with a lot of things, but you don’t want to live with regret.
Regret feels like a prison cell.
One cannot change the choices that they have made.
One can only say to themselves, If only I’d done it differently.
Therefore do everything you can to avoid regret.
Sometimes there is just too much water under the bridge.
Sometimes our choices result in things happening that profoundly impact the direction that our lives will go.
Sometimes we lose things and people we care about, and no matter how much we would like to have them back we cannot.
I heard someone say recently that God always desires reconciliation.
Does that mean we keep trying to somehow change the outcome even with those in our lives who continue to hurt us?
Does that mean that we open up old wounds of others that we have harmed?
All because we don’t want to live with the regret of irreconcilable differences?
Or does it mean we just accept things as they are and move on?
These are questions that I have been wrestling with lately.
My mother passed away last October.
My father-in-law is nearing the end of his life.
The finality of death brings up many unanswered questions.
What can we do to keep ourselves from becoming overwhelmed with the shame of regret?
I have to believe that if God is the loving Father that the Bible portrays Him to be, then His desire is for us not to live in regret.
If God had wanted us to be stuck in the consequences of our sin, He would not have sent Jesus.
His forgiveness has set us free from the prison of regret.
Because of Jesus, there is always a way out.
Sin no longer leads to death.
We are promised resurrection and life.
But new life can look different than what we think.
And it can look different for all of us depending on the appointed time or season of life God has us in.
Sometimes it means we still lose what we wish we’d had.
Sometimes it means we find what we always wanted.
Sometimes it means a lifetime of unmet needs.
Sometimes it means God meeting needs in ways we never imagined.
People believed that Jesus would be the promised Messiah who would fix a broken political system and make things right.
But Jesus wasn’t at all what most people expected.
His ways were past finding out.
They still are.
But I confess I still try to figure them out.
My mother is gone.
My relationship with Jesus never brought about reconciliation between me and her.
Was it because I didn’t pursue reconciliation hard enough?
Was it because she couldn’t handle the truth of how much harm my adopted father’s sexual abuse caused me?
Was I simply too afraid to trust Jesus in my relationship with her?
Or did He show my mother mercy by sparing her pain in her final days?
Honestly, I don’t know.
But what I do know is that God does not want me stuck in regret.
Nor does my Mom.
There is a time to give up what has been lost.
My mom didn’t meet my needs.
I think she tried.
Even if it wasn’t hard enough.
I didn’t try hard enough either.
Sometimes there’s just too much water under the bridge.
Sometimes all we can do in the end is offer one another peace and forgiveness.
This is acceptance.
This is the only way I can live with myself.
We are all in different seasons of our lives.
Some of us are called to reconcile.
Some of us are called to accept what we have lost.
Life is difficult, complicated, confusing, and painful.
The universe is broken.
Let us stir one another up to make better choices.
But let us also accept that we do not have all the answers.
Let us point one another to the One who does and be kind.
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]–yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
ECCLESIASTES 3:11 AMP