Living Through Loss and Regret
“When my dad committed suicide in 2004 I felt as though the pain would rip me apart. Every day was an uphill struggle. I felt such guilt and such pain for what he must have been going through that night. It happened shortly after Father’s Day and that was the ONE year that I didn’t visit him. I kept feeling that if I would have shown up then he would have known he was loved and it would have stopped him. The thing that got me through it was coming to the understanding that no matter how much I loved him or if I would have been there on that Father’s Day expressing that love to him–he was in a place in himself that would not allow him to recognize that love. I began to trust that God knew my dad’s heart and his final hours and even though it is such a tragedy, I have faith that God was with him and understood his pain in ways that we as his children could never have comprehended. I believe that my dad is in Heaven-and I believe that because I know that God is merciful and that he loves my dad more than anybody here on earth ever could have.” -Betty Humphrey
Everyone has experienced a loss of someone they love whether it is by the death of a relationship or the death of an individual. We process loss by reflecting it inward and convicting ourselves of somehow bringing about that loss. Grief is a natural process and there are varying stages but at the end of that period of processing, we have to be willing to let the experience go. This doesn’t mean that we don’t still miss our loved one-it just means that we let go of the idea that we could have done anything differently at that time.
I am a firm believer in this and I have said so many times in my work-people do not consciously make bad decisions. Everyone always does the very best they can in every situation with the information that they have available to them at that time. It doesn’t do any good to live a backwards life where you are always focused on things you could have done differently. If you could have done something differently at that time then you would have-end of story.
All of our actions are not perfect, of course because we are imperfect beings. Our only claim to perfection is the light of our creator when it shines out from our hearts and illuminates the faces of the people in our lives. Living in the past doesn’t allow you to reflect God’s perfect love in your life and no matter how much time you spend looking backwards, nothing about the past can ever be changed. This is a trick of the enemy that is designed to keep you in guilt and cloak you in the darkness of regret.
When you feel convicted for something you have done or said that you know wasn’t right, confess it to God and ask Him to free you from it. He will show you the way out of that dark place. Leave your guilt with Him. He is the Light of transformation that will lead you into the places where His light can shine upon the faces of the children He so dearly loves-and He will shine that light through YOU.