Hey all, back for another rattle this week.
I have been doing a lot of thinking in the area of regret this week; this was all triggered by reading a novel called the Midnight Library by a very talented author called Matt Haig.
After reading a lot of Christian books recently back to back, I thought I would mix it up a little with a novel, like a little reading holiday.
But before I go on to talk about the Midnight Library, can I just give a shout out to a book I finished last week that was so good for me to read. I just know it will be a go to book for a long time.
The Book is God on Mute by Pete Greig. Such a truly gifted and anointed writer, who bravely addresses the subject of unanswered prayer through the transparency of his own life and his many trials and traumas.
I’m not sure I know one person that wouldn’t benefit from reading this book, and the newly revised 2020 edition has a 40 day devotional included as an added bonus. I highly recommend this book, to the point I’m sure my friends are a bit tired listening about it, but seriously, it’s a great investment.
So back to the novel that was intended to be a little bit of light reading for down time and ended up activating a week of deep thinking and soul searching, much praying, and repentance, lol. So maybe I’ll just stick to the Christian books, ha ha!
Would I recommend this book? I’m honestly not sure. There is no doubt it is a masterpiece of creativity; it touches on some real life issues such as depression and suicide and addressing regret, so I think it was good, but at the same time, it doesn’t quite align with any biblical teaching. although It did contain some profound truths, so as long as you are not pulled into some new belief, I think it’s a good read.
I don’t think I should lay out the plot, to avoid any spoilers, but what I can tell you is, when all her odds are down, the main character, Nora, decided suicide is her only option, but before passing on to death she is taken to the Midnight Library. and there she visits her other parallel lives, addressing the many regrets “she thought” she had that ultimately lead to the decision to overdose.
Like I said before, the novel led me to think A LOT about the many regrets I have accumulated. I have years, both of things I’ve done and things I wish I’d done. It made me think of what my life might look like had I made different choices.. it was a rabbit hole. There were things I could hand on heart say, I’m thankful for that, even though it was tough or sad or bad. Sadly, there were a lot of things that came to mind that I really truly wished I had done, and I thought about what difference it would have made to my life now. And, like I said, it was a rabbit hole. I had to take a lot of stuff to God, some unforgiveness had to be addressed, others matters I had to repent for. I’m still working on some bumpy bits in my heart, but by Saturday, siting writing this, I can say hand on heart, I am thankful for the process of regret. I’m thankful for the decisions, good and bad, and well, while I acknowledge my life could be miles better, after some dodgeball decisions, it could also be a heck of a lot worse than my current situation.
I’m so thankful for God’s amazing saving grace that brought me this far and I’m also excited for the plans he has infront of me.
So this week, I just wanted to say, unless you are super human, or perhaps a little narcissistic, I’m betting that you have had some regret to deal with in your life. While, yes there may well be natural, unavoidable consequences of our bad decisions, the real beauty of the cross and being a child of God lies with Jesus dying on the cross to give us that ultimate midnight library.
On accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, the Bible tells us that we are a new creation, that our sins are forgiven and we have been given a new life. This is the good news, our second chance, the opportunity and right to reside with God for eternity. Not only all the good stuff for our time after the grave, but now for here living on earth, we have been gifted with a new chance to live a life full of joy and peace and love and happiness.
Sadly, for a lot of people, even Christians, they believe that their mistakes disqualify them from God’s redemptive grace, when the Bible clearly instructs us that is not the case. In fact, we have been given a written manual of God’s word, his commands and boundaries to keep us safe, and the more we follow these instructions the less we are going to have to deal with regret.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
The Bible tells us that there is no mistake too big that God can’t forgive, the Bible tells us that the enemy or any force in hell does not have the power to keep us from God’s love. However, the truth is we stop ourselves from embracing it and recieving it because we believe our mistakes are too big for God, lack of belief or the enormity of God’s power and forgiveness.
Believe me when I say I could write my regrets down starting now, and this time next week I would still not be done. When God took up residence in my heart, things changed. By the grace of God, I was able to address bad decisions. I was given the chance to make some right, I was taught how to deal with and accept the ones I could not change. I don’t have the same urgency to race into things, those decisions that lead to those awful, regretful mistakes. My heart has been transformed from a heart full of regret and despair and hopelessness to one of forgiveness, hope and excitement for the future.
Do I get it all right?.. Heck no!
Do I still make mistakes?.. sometimes, though less frequently now.
Do I live a life shrouded with depression, bitterness, guilt & regret?… not anymore.
He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” Psalms 23:3 NLT
That’s thanks to the overwhelming love and power of the blood of Jesus. To know that my past does NOT define who I am. God does, and he has a lot to say on the matter. Knowing he has perfect plans laid out for my future, despite what mistakes I make, God has a plan and purpose for my life.
I stress to you, as someone who knows what it is to live a life of excessive amounts of regret, from someone who has buried her shame and regrets deep and dark inside, scared the real me would be exposed and nobody would want to know me… which was quite the opposite…. I urge you, shed some light on it, that burden you carry!
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NLT
Talk to God about it. Pray about it. Repent. Lay it at the cross.
Start living the life God intended for you to live and enjoy. A life filled with hope and promise, a life of truth and joy and love, a life with the great majestic overwhelming love of Christ.
You know, if you believe as much as Jesus hung on that cross, and you continue to cling on and carry this shame and guilt and regret, basically Jesus hung there for nothing.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NLT
And that would be a real shame, because it’s a lie, Jesus hung there for our freedom So go claim it today, without delay. Lay your burdens down, claim your freedom in Christ our King. Perhaps you can’t change the past, but you can chose to change holding onto mistakes that will affect your future.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13 NLT