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Today an interesting thing happened.  Someone prayed for me.  At my job.

A woman came in and had me make several copies for her, and before she left, she said, "May God bless you."

That's not really unusual, especially for living in a very Christian area, but she kept going.

"May God bless you and keep you.
May God make His face shine upon you and show you His favor.
May God lift up His face toward you and give you shalom, which means wholeness and peace."

(paraphrased from Numbers 6:24-26)

When she finished the blessing from Numbers, I thought she was finished.

But she kept going.

She prayed several things, most of which I don't remember but sorely wish I could.  I do remember she prayed for long life and that the pain of the past would be removed and bring me to the present.

I was amazed at her boldness, but I was startled by her words.

Lately, I've been thinking about my tendency to dwell on the past.  Words thoughtlessly said, mistakes I've made.  I go back in my mind to specific events where my actions left much to be desired.  If only I had handled that conversation differently, or if I had acted in a way that showed my friends respect and concern when I acted selfishly instead.

In my reasonable mind, I consider that these events are likely long-forgotten, or at least long-forgiven, but time and again I come back in my mind, running them around in my head, tying to solve a puzzle that has no solution, because I can't go back.

The regret follows me.  Really, why did I do "that"?  Why did I say "that"?  And I wonder what these people must think today about what happened years ago.  Because certainly they are thinking about it.  Or rather, they're thinking about their own "why did I do 'that'" and are frankly not concerned about mine.

For months, I've been thinking about my tendency to do this, and I am hoping that, starting today, I can start putting these to rest.  It might take a few uncomfortable conversations, but I think for most of these regrets, it's going to simply take a change of thinking.  When a memory comes to mind, I do want to think through it, just long enough to really consider why I did act or speak in the manner I did and then use it a lesson to my current self to help me avoid future regrets, by responding to situations in a way that I will be pleased with myself once it is done instead of disappointed.

Has a stranger ever said anything to you or prayed things for you that you found timely and appropriate for your life?  Tell us about it if you feel comfortable.

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7 Responses to Regret

  1. Great words of encouragement Kirra...I find myself going back through conversations and past actions and do the same wondering. But I've learned to recall Paul's words from Philippians 3:13-14 when I linger on my past. "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

  2. Wow, that's really interesting that she prayed for you like that - that would make me uncomfortable while it was happening, though lol. (But probably would appreciate it later on).

    I tend to only comb over past conversations/actions right after they happen and I'm being perfectionistic - probably a very bad habit.

  3. It was a little uncomfortable, but this type of thing is practiced by the church I go to now and the church I used to go to, so it's not entirely foreign to me. It just doesn't usually happen at work!

    I go over recent conversations and such, too, but I have "my favorite tracks" that I always go back to from the past.

  4. Sometimes, I have gotten caught up in mulling over mistakes in my past. If kept to a minimum, that can be a good thing if something needs to be worked through. But, when I've run into trouble is when I have allowed myself to let regret over things long since forgiven, stop me from moving forward in Christ. Once I realize that is happening, I pray, asking God to help me move past the issue, release it and to follow Him even more closely! And, God is always faithful to do so!

    Blessings, Joan

  5. What a blessing to have someone so bold to pray over you God's grace and mercy, strength and passion.

  6. Joan, that is my goal for next year, to start letting go of those things as I remember them. It's going to take a while, since they tend to come back, but I look forward to working through them and getting past them!

  7. Hazel, it was a wonderful experience, and I'm so thankful for it.


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