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How to release regret and move forward

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“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 

 

Chances are (if  you’re human), you have regrets from the past. 

 

Goals unattained.

Opportunities unclaimed.

A sin-festered soul.

Unkind words.

Boundaries overstepped.

Discontentment.

An unwise choice.

Wasted time.

     ___________________ {Insert regret here.}

 

We wish we hadn’t.  But we did.  Paths taken we cannot undo.  Hindsight is 20/20, so they say. 

 

We wish we hadn't, but we did. Paths taken we cannot undo. Click To Tweet

 

It’s also painful. 

Remember, Paul had a past.  He was in charge of persecution of believers in the early church.  He knew what he had done. 

 

     But He also believed what Christ had done.

 

 

Forget the past

He ran into people from His past – Christians who feared him because of what he stood for in his early days.  I’m sure there were others who judged his motives and thought he was out of  his mind. 

 

“This one thing I do.” 

 

Paul knew he had to give it up.  Christ had redeemed and set him free, and he was off and running. 

Leaving the past behind and reaching forward to the call of Christ ahead.

“How can Christ forgive me for what I’ve done?  How can others forgive?” 

We rationalize in our limited, human thoughts.

 

It's not our call who Christ forgives, how much He has forgiven in the past or will in the future. Click To Tweet

 

He decided to love us and give us a chance. 

If I mess up today, God will still be with me tomorrow.  He will still give me another chance, because He’s God, and that’s what God does. 

Then, it’s my turn to forget what’s behind – get back in the race. 

 

Don’t just walk – run!

 It’s a race, and there’s a prize.

That means full throttle, all out abandonment for Christ, even if we are scared. 

We run.

 

When my kids were young and I disciplined them, afterwards I tried to show that I was over it and moved on.  (Granted, some days were worse than others – but I tried.) 

I knew how much I’d been forgiven, and I also knew how good forgiveness felt. 

It’s important our kids get that from us, because we’re conveying a picture of Christ’s ultimate act of forgiveness.

 

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When the town harlot came to Jesus with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at His feet, weeping, raining tears on them, the Pharisees were appalled. 

 

“She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful.  If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.” (Luke 7:46-47, “The Message“)

 

Grace for moms, too

We parents also know what it means to blow it with our kids.  It’s a terrible feeling when you lash out in anger all over your kids like Mount Vesuvius. 

I’ve been there. 

I’m not proud to say it, and my kids remember some of those times. 

And yet – they offered their forgiveness.  Oh, I’m so glad they did.  They know “ugly me”. 

But they still love me.  They’ve given grace to me. 

 

I certainly haven’t arrived, and I still have set-backs. 

But I keep putting my hand back in my Savior’s and looking forward, accepting His grace and mercy. 

It’s not easy – some days are better than others for letting that regret go.

It’s then that I reach for the Word and my treasured memory verses – and they’re everywhere.  In my phone, on 3×5 cards above the kitchen sink, in my prayer journal.

 

Refute the lie that God cannot accept or forgive with the Truth. 

It’s the only way. 

Christ forgives no matter what. Big or small, He is ready and waiting. Click To Tweet

 

Anticipate the prize

And then, we have to be ready to reach forward. 

Because reaching forward means we are moving on in the strength of the Lord, believing Him at His Word that we are forgiven, and owning our salvation by living for Him. 

If others don’t forgive, we still press on.  We must own our calling and do what is right

We serve the Ultimate Judge, and He says,

 

“And that is what some of you were, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:11, NIV.)

 

Don't let your feelings dictate the truth about your past. Click To Tweet

 

Even if your past was just yesterday, or this morning, or even 5 minutes ago. 

Forget what is behind, and replace it with reaching forward. Remember, Paul also said,

 

“I can do all things through Christ.”

 

How will you reach forward today?

 

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 3:13-14

 

{Hi.  I hope you’re having a great Labor Day weekend!  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  You can receive more of this kind of “mom” post in your email each week by signing up at the top right of the page, just underneath my picture.  If you would like to share a burden, or ask for prayer, you can do that here.  I would be happy to correspond with you or pray with you about your need.

After all – it’s what Christ asked us to do! (Bear one another’s burdens.)

God bless – and have a safe holiday!}

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Jan
    September 7, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Good Morning, Ruthie! Hope you’ve got that special Labor Day breakfast/brunch cooking… 🙂 The older I get, the more I see those things that I ‘should have done’. My husband tells me regularly ‘stop shoulding on yourself’.
    Thanks for the reminder to look forward…something I am being forced to do with this move. Prayers for you and your family, and congrats on the baby granddaughter!

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      September 7, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Hi Janice, I’m always excited to hear from you! Looks like a picnic out to Plum Orchard Lake, how about that? Hayley just left this morning though – so it’s back to having most of the crowd, but not all. I’m getting used to it. I bet you’re just wishing for any instead of none today.
      Your husband is a wise man. Your boys adore you (that is evident), and you were a strong, supportive, present mom! Stop “shoulding” on yourself indeed! (I love that, btw, don’t be surprised if I use it on the blog sometime.)
      Thanks for the congrats, wow, we are excited! It’s gonna be PINK everwhere!!! 🙂
      Praying for your transition!

  • Reply
    Kristi Woods
    September 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Paul did have a past, didn’t he? That’s an impactful truth, full and overflowing w/hope because it shows what Jesus can do. Enjoyed visiting with you today, Ruthie, via #raralinkup.

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      September 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Yes, he did, Kristi and that’s why we an take heart! I’m so very thankful for that truth! Thanks for stopping by, I saw this morning where we are neighbors today (before I dashed off for my flight) but I will be heading over to see you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tayrina González (@TayrinaGzlz)
    September 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for the reminder of letting go of the past and continue further resting in what Jesus did for us! I’m visiting you from #RaRalinkup

    Tayrina from http://www.hispurposeinme.com

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      September 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      It’s the only way, Tayrina, and it’s God’s way, even though it doesn’t make much sense to us. He is so far above us and our ways, we mustn’t limit Him. Thanks for stopping by from #rara!:}

  • Reply
    betsydecruz
    September 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Ruthie, this is an encouraging word you have here today. Receive God’s grace and move forward. Extend that grace to others. So important for moms. As my son just left for college, and I have probably two more years (maybe less!) with my girl at home, it’s easy to think back and wish I’d done this or that. But I want to receive grace and move forward in faith!

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      September 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Betsy! I’ve been meaning to visit you today, it’s been a while. Sorry, with all the computer issues the whole blogging world has been quite daunting. And yes, young moms need to hear this, but seasoned moms (such as ourselves) need it too, because now we are looking back with the “shoulda’s”! Remember, God chose YOU to be their mama, and no one else. That means He enables you to do what no one else can! 🙂

  • Reply
    A sister in Christ
    June 16, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Hello I found this article just at the time I needed it today! God is so good to let our eyes see what he’s speaking to us his kids. I’ve been given this verse several times and yet I have issues with forgetting my past because it seems so close. Yet far away too with regret after regret and shame! I guess I’m falling in the shame category where Christ doesn’t shame us. Yet why do I still fall for that shame thing satan throws at me? Please pray for me as I feel so shamed by my past that I can’t move forward in Christ. I desire to though?

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      June 16, 2016 at 7:19 am

      I am praying for you, dear sister, for I know your pain personally and have overcome this by saturating myself with Scripture memory and Scripture prayers. Feel free to click this link to sign up for Scripture prayers for the overwhelmed mom http://bit.ly/1sAbeOt
      Also, I highly recommend Beth Moore’s book, “Praying God’s Word”, as it speaks of overcoming strongholds and guilt. It has been an instrumental tool in my walk with the Lord!
      You can move forward, you CAN do all things through Christ. The key is your faith. We must believe that He is stronger and able, and act on that faith through the things I just mentioned! You can do it, there is HOPE!!

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