Story by Katie West
Regret. Such a generic word for such a strong emotion.
It’s an emotion that visits me as often as certain smells, songs, places and people trigger memories that flood my brain and bring me back to darker times.
The list is so long. It varies on the spectrum from turning down a fantastic job opportunity to getting drunk and having a one night stand with a guy whose name I don’t even remember.
But all the same, regret weighs me down. It limits my ability to move forward, leaving the past behind and continuing on in my new identify and a daughter of the most high God.
Regret. It haunts me, follows me.
But, it is not who I am.
Something that I’ve begun to realize recently is that much of my inability to let go of regrets is stemmed from expectations of how my life should look and turn out. I have unspoken expectations for literally every situation that I walk into. And those expectation are almost always left unmet.
My expectations that I have for myself put ME in the driver’s seat, clamoring and clawing around trying to control things and make them turn out the way that I envisioned them. But, as my list of regrets confirm, having me in the driver’s seat is a pretty volatile and unreliable way to go about life.
As I come to the understanding that my expectations are what continually weigh me down, I also come to the realization that my Abba Father wants me to lay those expectations, those regrets and my entire life at his feet. And only there, will I find true reconciliation and peace from my past that haunts me.
Isaiah 53:6 — We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
No, those regrets, those memories, the mental images that flash through my brain that cause me to wince in pain…. they will probably never go away.
But as I daily lay these experiences down in surrender and acknowledgement that I am broken and flawed, I hand my life and regrets over to God to carry, to heal and to redeem.
He is the author of creation. He keeps the planets spinning and the trees growing. I’m pretty sure he can do a much better job of setting the expectations of my life and directing my path. Life becomes much less daunting when you know that you are protected in the shadow of your creators wings.
— Katie West
Isaiah 40: 31 — but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Come back tomorrow for the next piece of the “I have, not I am” series.
If you would like to share your story of “I have, not I am,” feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beautiful Taylor. It is so where I am right now and I appreciate your words and vulnerability (as always). I will be sharing my story (on this topic) in my blog for this month and will of course share it with you. I started it this morning right when I awoke and excited to see it through.
I am so thankful that Katie shared her story with us. Her encouragement to surrender our will, to dissolve our expectations, is so powerful. I am glad that it encouraged you, as well!