When Regrets Turn to Lessons

Lacey wedding blog

The phone slices right through the day’s normal.

“She’s in her final hours,” the caller says.

In a dash, I grab purse and coat and head out for the ninety-minute trip. Ninety minutes that hang like shadows, reminding me of the times I never made that trip.

“We’ll be there soon, I promise,” I’d told her countless times. “We’ve got school, and you know we’re heading out of town next week again—but soon.”

Soon.

A simple promise loaded with such good intentions.

Soon.

Oh how those promises disappear into the lie of the daily routine, often robbing us of the things we need most. Can you imagine how our lives would be transformed if we started living out our “soons”?

I love you, my friends, my readers. I truly do. {That’s the sort of thing God plants in our hearts.} Because I love you, we are able to walk together in community; I love that. And because we walk together in community, I’m aware you have some “soons,” as well as a few “somedays.”

Someday.

Someday I will stop long enough to pay attention to these hurts that still percolate inside me. Someday, I will travel more.  Someday, I’ll even write that book.

I have my somedays too. My husband, Matt, was almost one.

Pretty early in our dating relationship, Matt and I felt like God had maybe brought us together, that perhaps we should consider a future. But I was extremely commitment-shy after having escaped a not-so-great marriage just a year before.

Today Matt and I joke about the several “pre-proposals” he threw out before getting to the real one. On a regular basis Matt would ask me, “Will you marry me?” {At the most romantic times, too—right after I’d grabbed a big bite of broccoli salad, or just chomped that last bite of a blooming onion.}

We both knew the “proposal” wasn’t real, but it became a fun running language throughout our time together. And while this warmed my heart, it also petrified me. Each time he asked, we both knew I would simply smile and say, “Someday.” In the days that followed, we did it over and over {and over} and it was fun.

Until the time Matt grew serious about a future together, until the time he called me out on my “someday.” Matt lovingly sat me down, reminding me there was nothing intentional about the word. He challenged me that maybe I dangled “Someday” just far enough out of reach in the future to avoid it becoming a reality.

Once Matt was serious about his proposal, he let me know we were going to have to be deliberate about our relationship. Reminded me how Someday wasn’t actually a day of the week, and how our marriage was going to have to move to a set date or our future would never be.  He then offered his heart {and one fine ring!}. I said yes, but not without spending the next six months of our engagement driving me, him, and God crazy with uncertainty–fears that Someday was now growing closer, closer, and closer.

I did it, though. I made it through the wedding without bolting scared. I couldn’t be happier that I did; we just returned from Savannah, Georgia where we celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. And if you follow me on Facebook at all, you know that Matt is the most amazing thing next to Jesus I’ve ever known. But if I had kept putting him off, my prince would have come and gone. Unaware, I had allowed my “someday,” my fears, to sabotage one of my greatest desires: a safe, healthy, happy marriage.

I’m learning there will always be reasons why I can’t make it or can’t do it {those dreams and simple pleasures that bring me joy} but falling slave to the regret of not doing those things is taking me just about the same amount of time. Looking back, it seems sort of silly not to choose joy instead.

 

What is really important in your life right now? What “soon” or “someday” do you need to make time for? Let us know in the comment section and be entered to win a FREE journal, Write Where It Hurts.

 

 

26 thoughts on “When Regrets Turn to Lessons

  1. To tell my story, both verbally and written … because it will be a part in the process of my healing and perhaps someone else’s too. In my busy life with my amszing husband and beautiful four children, someday I will take time to care for me

  2. Besides my husband & kids … music is important to me. Ever heard of “The Tyranny of Urgent” ? A pastor from years ago shared that with me. It’s about how we can tend to fill our lives with the unimportant and then have no room for the important or urgent … or more importantly, the things that God has asked of us. I needed to remember that recently. I am adjusting my life once again.

  3. A great reminder, as usual Jo Ann to live in the moment. It’s all we have. We’re not promised tomorrow. The thing I need to remind myself to do DAILY is WRITE. I get busy with life and I THINK about writing, even plan out my next blog post, etc. But unless I actually sit down and write, I’ve let opportunities pass me by. Thank you dear one for the gentle reminder 😀

    • Bottom-in-the-chair time is the hardest part of writing for me…lol. But I pray God shows you specific opportunities Caryn where you can sit your bottom in the chair and write, write, write. 🙂

  4. What’s realy important in my life right now is to continue on this journay God has me on -to see that he has a plan and I am to focus on his plan not by what i see in the earthy relm! I need to work on making time to learn scripture- God has been speaking to me about this so I know its a necessary step to take to continue to grow for his kingdom and plan!

  5. I’ve said many a time that I would write something publishable one day. I’ve been published for work, but not for anything personal and my desire to do so now is greater than ever. I will continue to pray that I will make myself find the time between caring for my 16 yo nephew, 3 yo daughter and two jobs to get it done.

    • Oh Patricia, I pray that you find {somehow make} the time. As a desire of your heart, God wants to work in this area! I know the challenges of caring for children are great, but I believe God will make a window. 🙂

  6. I laugh, while I was first reading this, as my older son just came up to me and said, “We needed to start an early morning exercise program together.” And the first excuse out of my mouth was, I already TRY to do 30 mins on the tread mill. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, I don’t want to commit because it will be too hard to keep up. Your blog on Excuses and Someday I’ll, brought back the memory of my husband and I listening to Dennis Waitly tapes on that same subject. It was amusing to us, then. Only as I look back on our marriage, there are many Someday I’ll that never came to fruition. The biggest regret in my life is losing me in the marriage. I trusted my husband’s opinions and the opinion of those around me, more than I did to my inner self. I felt that, Someday I’ll fit in. Someday I’ll be valued and loved. Someday I’ll get it right. Only that Someday Never came. Presently, I am in the process of learning to love and trust that inner me. Through, “Write Where It Hurts”, I write down and journal, using words to heal. Slowly the real me is emerging and I am learning to trust the real me. I am learning that I am unique and special and I do have values to contribute. In addition, I don’t have to fit into anyone’s mold, of who I should be, to be accepted and loved, but me.

  7. My children and my marriage are most important part of my life. I also need to make time for ministry work, but I am struggling with what area to go into and have been in prayer.

  8. Is it bad that I don’t even know what “soon” I need to make time for?? 😉 I’m not sure where I am heading right now and I am just trying to not look too far ahead but do the next thing God lays in front of me.

    • Oh Rachelle, nothing bad about that unless there is something God IS laying on your heart and you keep putting it off. That’s between you and Him. 🙂 Sometimes, though, those “next steps” are the sweetest ones. Enjoy the journey with Him.

  9. I have alot of somedays, someday I will write more, some day Ill spend more time with my daughter, someday i will get the house organized, someday ill lose the weight, someday ill spend more time with family, someday i will scrapbook, the list could go on and on…,

    • I pray that you can make time for these “somedays” Amanda … God has rich blessings tucked inside each one of them. 🙂 I don’t discount it’s tough, so I will join you in prayer that God will help prioritize your “list” and help you find the time.

  10. Regrets and the things (which are not things at all) that are so important in my life are finally coming into balance. I am learning that I cannot have regrets for the actions of other people. Their choices to not spend time with us, for example, are regrets that belong to them. Not to me. If I don’t pursue them, and don’t beg for their time or attention then I have time and attention for those people in my life who deserve it – my husband, our son and our friends and family. By not regretting their choices I am left with time and energy, and peace, to enjoy the important people and times in our lives.

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