My days as a thirty year old are numbered. And thoughts of entering my thirty-somethings has me reflecting on my twenties – the good, the bad and the ugly. Well, mostly the bad and the ugly actually. After this post I promised myself to turn my focus to the good so I can give God the glory He deserves. And yet, even in the bad and ugly, God shines through as a faithful Friend and Father!
Now, let me preface this (I’m the queen of prefaces by the way and my prefacing skills are only being honed by academia! haha). Several years ago, I had a conversation with someone who told me that he had absolutely no regrets from his life. Well, then, you’ve lived a perfect life, I retorted. To which he responded that it’s not that his life had been perfect, but that he had seen God work, even through his mistakes.
A post about regrets does not discount the marvelous ways in which God gives beauty for ashes. Quite the contrary! If you don’t realize that what you brought to the table was ashes, you won’t truly appreciate the beauty God’s created. So I will not go into details about my sooty, nasty, ashes, but they’re part of my testimony of the grace, mercy and kindness of God to me! Funny thing is, even though they’re different, all the regrets are the same…Anyways,
here we go:
Truth be told, I scraped my way through college. Not for lack of mental aptitude. But somehow, between middle school and college, I lost my focus. There were glimpses of potential along the way, but I failed to improve my opportunities. Knowing now, as I do, that our excellent performance in the classroom is a witness for God, my heart aches for the impact I could have had on my schoolmates! Wasted opportunities galore. All because I did not have the discipline to apply myself to the task God had given to me.
Every single dating relationship I have had registers as a regret (well, maybe with one exception…maybe). Each time, I went into it without consulting God. Each time someone got hurt. Sometimes I knew, beyond a doubt, it was not the right thing to do but I did it anyway, in spite of counsel to the contrary from dear friends, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. I regret the unnecessary and irreparable damage done because of my stubborn insistence on having things my way.
During my sophomore year of college, I sensed God calling me to take a year off of school to get Campus Ministry training. There were practical and logical reasons why I shouldn’t…but then there was the call!
I didn’t obey.
The next year was probably the worst year of my 20s – I almost lost my faith altogether. I should have obeyed. No matter what the cost. Nothing is worth losing God for!
These are not the only awful things I’ve done in my life. Oh no, no, not by a long shot. But, I think I most regret these because in each instance, it was clear to me the right thing to do but I chose to disobey. How does a Christian explain the choice to disobey God? I can’t! It makes no sense. It’s like Ellen White says in the Great Controversy:
“Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin.” GC 492
Yet through all the foolishness of my twenties, God stuck with me. He stuck with me. And He is still with me. What a faithful God we serve! It is my privilege to love Him.