Regret…

18 Jul

The Respect Dare has been awesome –  but OH SO PAINFUL!!

I’ve convinced myself that NO ONE on earth looks back at the first 25 years of their life and regrets ALL of it.  I mean, I know people regret things.  But the key word there being “things.”

They look back and say “I wish I hadn’t done that.” “I wish I hadn’t said that.”  “I wish I wouldn’t have went there.”  “I wish I wouldn’t have dated so & so.”  “I wish I wouldn’t have hung out with him/her.”  “I wish I could re-do that one year.” And so forth.

But I don’t know anyone that looks back and says “I regret EVERYTHING I’ve ever done.”

Except me.

The thing is, even the good things I did /said / accomplished  were all laced in one way or another with the undertones of fake /lying / false realities.

Up until roughly age 21 ish – I struggled felt suffocated with the feelings of

– What I have to offer isn’t good enough — I need to embellish at least some part of myself to fit in, be worthy of listening to, have an input, be found funny, or be accepted.

– I need something that gets me my own attention – otherwise, I’ll just blend in the crowd and be ignored – even if that means faking or exaggerating events.

– The goal of life is to become someone’s whole world — and if I can possess a man’s full attention indefinitely without waver, I’ve succeeded -No matter what it costs me or what consequences lie ahead.

I grew up in a family of 7 siblings.  We were quite spread out.  My oldest sister was 21 and getting married when my youngest sister was 6 weeks old (and I was 3.)

From the time I was three, I had in-laws and from the time I was seven, I had nieces and nephews.  My parents were actively raising kids, while also actively babysitting daily as grandparents.  My dad worked a few hours before the sun came up, until a few hours after the sun went down.  He wasn’t available for “fun” or even to attend all my sporting events.  He was a great dad who always made it to at least one game during each season… but when you pour concrete for a living, 4:00 events just aren’t possible to attend.  I never remember really being bothered – it was normal.  Although I’m still not sure why my mom didn’t come more — except that she was always so busy, even though she was a stay at home mom.

Every year after age three, one of my siblings was getting married, engaged, or having a baby.  We were always talking love, weddings, showers and infants.  And somewhere in there – I became engulfed with one goal…. fall in love, get married and have a baby.

I ended up engaged my Senior year of high school.  To a loser.  Thank GOD He stepped in and changed EVERYTHING the three months after I graduated high school.

*** Before I get the nasty comments and ugly attacks about how “you can’t blame your mistakes on other people – like your parents or siblings” –  I’m not.

I didn’t say I look back and regret my parents choices and my siblings decisions.

I take full responsibility – no matter how misguided and under-identified I felt growing up.  At some point – you become aware of the strongholds that have rooted in your life.  And it becomes an active decision to make bad choices.

But I equate strongholds and habits to addictions – they give you what you want… and yet, when the negative consequences come (because they always do) they are often ineffective at changing your behaviors because your reality as a failure just drives you further to the problem.

Which is why everyone knows that when you tell one lie… should you be caught in that lie, you just have to tell more and more and more lies to keep covering everything up – until what is truth and what is not becomes impossible to define, even to yourself.

I told my husband last night, I have heard plenty of people say “I have made a lot of mistakes, but I wouldn’t change anything because they’ve made me the person I am today and led me to where I am now.”

I don’t feel that way.  Even if I was guaranteed a new future, as much as I LOVE my husband and my kids — I’d still do it ALL over.  Every last thing.  Because I’m ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated, disgusted, and regretful for all of it.

If my whole future was free from the consequences of all those mistakes, I might be able to move past it all much easier.  But, remember I said – I found some healing to those wounds, battles and scars around age 21 — but I met my husband when I was 18.

I can’t begin to tell you what a forgiving man he truly is and how incredible he has made my life now.  I’m so blessed by his complete and total disregard for anything that I’ve ever done or said that wasn’t good for us or our future.

He sees me – redeemed in Christ.

If only I could show everyone in my life that same image of myself through his eyes — maybe then, I wouldn’t walk around with such shame and regret.

Practical Application –

?? I’m just not ready to fill this in.  I’m still working through a lot of this.  And I don’t really know the answers fully.  I know what others would say… but I’ve tried the whole “Forgive yourself, lay it at the cross, you’re a new person” pep-talk and for 9 years, that hasn’t been enough.  Mostly because like I said — I can’t run from everyone, well, less my husband move us to Hawaii and we cut off all communication with the world 🙂

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13 Responses to “Regret…”

  1. peacefulwife July 18, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Kayla,

    I relate VERY DEEPLY to your feelings in this post! When God opened my eyes to my sin in December of 2008 – and then kept showing me MORE and MORE and MORE sin. I was totally overwhelmed.

    I accepted Christ at 5 years of age. And had never done anything “really bad” so I didn’t ever think of myself as a “wretched sinner.” Translation – my pride was off the charts, maybe immeasurable.

    I wanted to go live in a cave for the rest of my life when I saw the depths of my depravity. Suddenly, I realized that almost every thought I had was completely sinful for my whole life! Suddenly, I realized how filthy my motives were – even when I thought I was doing something “good.” I wasn’t.

    I wanted the chance to erase the first 14.5 years of my marriage, and a good bit of my life before that because I was COMPLETELY BLIND to my pride, self-righteousness, idolatry, gossip, control, disrespect, etc….

    At first, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I knew that all that would come out of my mouth was a big old river of sin.

    For me – it was a long process, and I am still in process – of dying to self. Purposely nailing every fleshly motive and thought to the cross and purposely laying myself before Jesus, always saying, “Your will, not mine.”

    But I had to has through all my idols and fears and pride – it takes a LONG TIME. It was impossible for me to shovel out the entire mountain of sin in one day. It is a process of layers being uncovered.

    I know that God will show me even more areas where I have been blind. I thank Him for that!

    I wish I could have made very different choices, starting at age 5, too.

    But this is where God’s sovereignty comes into play.

    Why didn’t He open my eyes earlier? I know now that I couldn’t even open my own eyes. Why couldn’t I have seen 19 years ago?

    Now, instead of wallowing in shame – I praise Him. He is using those years of my sin to draw many to Himself.

    I rest in His wisdom – and thank Him that He did open my eyes and didn’t leave me in that filthy place of misery.

    So, even though I would NOT want to do the same things if I had it to do all over again – I can rest in the fact that God is sovereign, even over my past and that He is able to make something beautiful.

    I am in awe of all that God is doing in your life. I praise God for you, my precious friend and sister!

    THANK YOU for sharing your heart and struggles and for allowing others to share your journey.

    I believe that many wives can completely relate to you.

    I was reading Romans 6 today. If you have time, you may want to check it out.

    We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness. 🙂 We are set free from the power of sin!

    God can absolutely give us power over sin and give us victory! He is ABLE.

    Sending the biggest hug!

    • peacefulwife July 18, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Oh! PS – one thing that really helped me was realizing when I was experiencing worldly sorrow that leads to death vs. godly sorrow that leads to repentance and life. I pray that might be helpful for you, too – to lay your sorrow before God and allow Him to examine your motives even there. 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick July 18, 2013 at 8:01 am #

      Thanks April!

      Do you know where I struggle? My immediate response to you was almost “right, right… you had sin too — but it wasn’t as bad as my sin.”

      To some degree, all sin equally separates us all from God, but to another degree, I don’t think all sin is equal in nature.

      I’m not trying to diminish your thoughts and feelings from your past — I hope you know that!!! I’m just trying to be honest with you the thoughts that Satan uses to keep me from escaping shame.

      How did you handle people in your life who were affected by your sin – or were extremely judgmental of you from things they thought they knew about you once you were ridding your life of the things God revealed to you?

      • peacefulwife July 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

        Kayla,
        There are different consequences to sin on earth – yes. Some sin does not make the headline news.

        But all sin separates us from God. It is ALL HEINOUS to Him.

        What was Adam and Eve’s sin? Is eating a piece of fruit a “better” sin than fornication?

        Look at the consequences of that one sin of eating a piece of fruit. In human terms, we don’t think that is a “bad sin.”

        Something I have noticed is that Jesus spent a lot more time rebuking and opposing the Pharisees for their pride, self-righteousness and control than He did rebuking tax-collectors, prostitutes, adulterers, thieves and murderers.

        I am the chief of sinners. I was not at all more righteous than you in God’s sight.

        The sins of the Pharisees – those were my sins. And the sin of idolatry – what sin is worse than that? That is what God destroyed Israel for time and time again – killed them. Capital punishment for idolatry.

        I was committing idolatry every waking moment of every day from the time I can remember – and the whole time thought I was an awesome Christian.

        And the sin of unbelief – which is the greatest sin of all. I didn’t trust God. I trusted SELF. I put myself in the place of God. AND, I expected others to revere me as sovereign and submit to me. That was not a conscious thing, but that is how I lived and what I truly believed in the depths of my heart – it is how I acted and what I expected of others.

        And unforgiveness and resentment – Jesus said God won’t forgive me unless I forgive others. I did not forgive others. I put myself above having to forgive others.

        God opposed me.
        God did not forgive me.
        I did not have God’s Spirit.
        I was a slave to my sin.
        I didn’t have a witness of Christ.
        I was tarnishing His Name with my disobedience and rebellion.

        Those were my consequences.
        That and lack of intimacy on every level in my marriage, stress, worry, anxiety, constant fear.

        TRUE –
        Pride doesn’t cause STDs. And resentment doesn’t get you thrown in prison.

        Of course, if I stay in sin of any kind long enough, it leads to more and more sin.

        But I John says that if I hate my brother, I am a murderer. That would be me.

        And I did have an emotional affair early in our marriage – that is adultery in the heart.

        But now I fully realize that I am capable of ANY SIN. I have no good in me at all. I am 100% dependent on Jesus for anything good to happen or come out of my life.

        I went to everyone I could think of that I had sinned against and apologized to them. Especially in my family/extended-family.

        I am not aware of anyone in my family being judgmental towards me.

        I did struggle with worldly sorrow many times. The only way I found freedom from that was to write down word for word what I was saying to myself and discover the lies and distortions and then oppose those things with scripture.

        I began to recognize when worldly sorrow was leading me towards death and destruction instead of towards Christ and life.

        The pain I receive from God’s discipline does hurt – but produces healing. Once I let go of the lies and resist Satan.

        Does that make sense?

      • Kayla Gulick July 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

        Thanks April for taking the time to share all of that!!

        I do have extended family though who will not forgive me – that makes it hard.
        God has restored many relationships though in the last year which is far beyond anything I experienced for the first 10 years.

        I was just reading back in July/August of last year when I blogged a 5 part series on all of this. That helped me push Satan back in place today too.

        I’ve done 15 dares – and some have been brutal – but all of this stemmed from dare 2 — that was intense!!

  2. Jenn July 18, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    Well you made me cry on this one. You spoke directly to me who you wrote, “if my whole future was free from the consequences of all those mistakes, I might be able to move past it all much easier.” This is how I feel. I shared with my mom the other day: you know how everyone has calm waters and turbulent storms of life? I said to her, I’m afraid of what my storms will be? I mean, I’ve had some rough stuff happen, but He has taken care of me through it all, even undeserving. I don’t feel as though I’ve weathered NEARLY the storms that I know some people have dealt with. My problem? That the storm will come, and my faith will be tested and my children and husband will be the victim of a storm I should have deserved from my past that never happened to me, just me. My only saving thought (here come the tears…) is that on judgment day, yes I will have to replay my sins of this life and feel shame, but the end result will be: a place for me with Christ forever. And Kayla, at that point, these thoughts and feelings that hold us down as part of this earthly life, will be impossible to feel. Yay! No wonder they say, Oh Glorious Day! But in the mean time, I’m not sure the feelings will go away (not too positive…sorry) but that is why we need Him daily, not just after we leave this place. Oh I’ll pray for you, because on this one, I totally get you. Love…

    • Kayla Gulick July 18, 2013 at 8:04 am #

      Thanks Jenn!!

      I get so hung up on facing people who don’t see any changes in me. The only way they see me is through things I’ve done, or things they “think” I’ve done.
      It does seem to matter how much I hope to just not care about what they think (because honestly, I really don’t anymore) but their PRESENCE alone brings on an onslaught of guilt, shame and embarrassment.

      I agree – once we get to heaven… the freedom will be engulfing!!! I long for that!

      • Jenn July 18, 2013 at 8:56 am #

        Hmm…I can understand that. Sadly, though, they aren’t seeing the fruit you bear NOW. One thing that maybe I don’t have to deal with that you DO have to deal with is people from the past. I didn’t move away because of guilt, but it is a benefit of where I am now. Even the mistakes that followed me here, I don’t associate with those people any longer so it is not a reminder of my failures, my mind reminds me enough of those failures!

        However, I have been thankful many times over that my husband and I have had the opportunity to create a life where neither of us have ties. It is fresh for the both of us. His “hometown” is closer than mine, but where we are is a new beginning for our kids to create on their own.

        Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant, but if not, the best you can do is sow the change that Christ has made in your life so those people know, and stop thinking they know.

        Just this past Sunday we were discussing the difference between what Paul and James say and who is right? Faith without works? Or show my faith through my works? Both are right because they are speaking of two different things! Although works are not required for salvation, shouldn’t we want to do work for our Lord? And it should show. I could hardly contain myself in my seat wanting to say, unbelievers should SEE what is different about those who are Christian and say, I need what THEY have! That, in my mind, is the main reason for our works. Not for self, but for the Great Commission!

  3. trixie1466 July 18, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Kayla,

    Remember Luke 7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little NIV

    If you could change everything you wouldn’t have the heart for others that being forgiven much has given you. Ask me how I know:)

  4. Valerie Norris July 26, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    Jimmy and I had this exact conversation the other day, and I would change it all in a heartbeat. I believe my husband and children were meant for me. So I have little fear of that changing, but if we could go back and make different decisions, I totally would. I don’t think it would change my heart for people, because most of that hasn’t come from my own experiences, but from Him. It would have made our lives so different had we learned our lessons the easy way instead of the hard way. People still think of the old me when they see me or hear my name, and that kills me inside. That isn’t who I am, and they aren’t around me to know who I am now. They don’t see the changes, and I have to come to a point of acceptance with that. Their opinions won’t define me, and we plan on being very open with our kids so that when people come to them and say “Oh I knew your mom in high school…” they’ll be prepared, and hopefully will learn from our mistakes…the “easy” less painful way. This is a hard thing to get past when you grow up in a small town, and have a small town mentality!

    • Kayla Gulick July 26, 2013 at 10:39 am #

      I agree!

      It’s hard sometimes to escape that beat down place where Satan wants to keep us. But the power comes when we believe how God sees us and not how Satan does!

      Thanks for reading along and sharing your heart!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Regret – Practical Application. | Lessons Of Mercy - July 20, 2013

    […] finished my post on Regret the other day saying that I wasn’t quite ready to fill in my practical application…. […]

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