by Brandy Webb
I find myself sometimes asking, “What if I had done so and so differently? Where would I be now?” Or “What if such and such didn’t happen?” Basically, I have a tendency to say “what if” as if I could go back and change the present outcome. It is all hypothetical nonsense, really. It also causes me to keep looking backwards instead of watching where I am going, which may cause me to “run” into something or miss out on things right now. The truth is, there are no what ifs, there is only what is.
My husband does not allow himself to ask “What if…?” He actually makes a point in saying he has no regrets. Has he made mistakes? Oh, yes. He is human. He doesn’t mean “no regrets” in a prideful way. He has no regrets because he likes who he has become today. Does he have things to work on? Definitely, and he knows that. But his point is that to regret things in the past, things that we can’t change anyway, is like not accepting God’s forgiveness and His work in our lives. God has really worked in my husband’s life to create a very wonderful young man. Many who would have known him in his teens would not have expected for him to have grown up and become who he is today. Therefore, he doesn’t regret his past because he has a testimony of how God can turn you around, and that God does forgive, God does heal, God does cleanse, and God does help you get back on the right path.
I have learned a lot from my husband’s viewpoint on his life. I realize that when I linger on the “what ifs” of my life, I am focusing on my regrets. Yes, I have made mistakes, but it is far more important to learn and move on from my mistakes rather than lingering and wondering what I could have done differently. Plus, having regrets is basically saying that I don’t like who I am today, and in a roundabout way, I am saying I don’t like how God has helped me to overcome and to grow. We may have plans for our lives, but God is the one to direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
I also have learned that when I linger in the past, I am trying to make sense of everything. However, I am not to lean on my own understanding. I must trust in God with all my heart, and in all my ways I must strive hard to acknowledge God because only He can make my path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Truth be told, I don’t know when I honestly was supposed to go left instead of right, only God knows. Thankfully, though, when I do go in the wrong direction, He is able to set me in the right direction. I must just hold to the truth that for right now “we see through a glass darkly” and only know in part. However, sometime in the future, we will see “face to face” and fully understand all things (1 Corinthians 13:12). Therefore, let go of the “what if,” enjoy the “what is,” trust God, and live in love.