What if your best life is still waiting for you to embrace it? The Bible gives us clear direction on how to let go of regret and experience resurrection life. God wants to turn your “if only” regrets into “what if” possibilities. In today’s post, Heidi McLaughlin shares how we can embrace all that Jesus wants to give us so we can live freely, lightly and with joy.
On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, we talked with guest, Heidi McLaughlin, who through tragic experiences learned how to recapture her JOY. If you missed that episode, you can listen here [Discovering Joy in the Midst of Hard Times – Episode 112]. We all need more joy right now, don’t we? That’s why I’ve asked Heidi to share more of her insights with us here.
Read to the end for a 2-book giveaway!
How To Let Go of Regret to Move from “IF ONLY” regrets to “WHAT IF” Possibilities
By Heidi McLaughlin
Our “if only” regrets will haunt us, keep us prisoners, possibly make us sick and rob us from living our full potential and experiencing joy. We all have regrets. As I follow the lives of people who take a Grief Share course that I help to facilitate, I see this played out before my eyes. When people we love pass into their eternal home, by natural death or suicide, we always feel we could have done something to stop it. When a husband walks out, our child makes wrong choices, a business goes bankrupt or something goes off the rails, we look back and see how we could have done it differently. We beat ourselves up. Why didn’t we do it differently?
We can’t change the past but we can move forward.
Jesus does not want us locked into our “if only’s.” Jesus came to give us resurrection life, not just meant for eternity, but right now. To live fully, with hearts open wide for all that He has for us to experience and enjoy. But we can’t do that if we hang onto our regrets. How do we let go of regret?
In the familiar story of Lazarus where he died because Jesus showed up 4 days too late, the Bible gives us clear direction how to let go of regret and experience resurrection life.
- “Where have you laid him (Lazarus)?” (John 11:34). Jesus wants to know your regret. What is dead in your life? What anxiety, shame, depression, doubt or fear have you hidden away in the depth of the soul where you thought it would be nice and safe? Jesus wants to know where you’ve hidden it and what it looks like.
- “Take away the stone.” (John 11:39) What you’ve kept secret is not lost and hopeless. Jesus wants to reach into the depth of your stench, ugliness or deadness. He wants nothing to block the intimacy and flow of love in your relationship with Him. Whatever “if only” is hidden away, you have to face it, name it, give it to Jesus and move forward into your new resurrection life.
Jesus doesn’t want us walking around in our grave clothes.
Jesus had to die to give us resurrection life. In order for us to have this enriched life and not walk around in grave clothes, we have to surrender our regrets and embrace all that Jesus wants to give us. To live freely, lightly and with joy.
What if God is the God of second chances and wants to turn your “if only” regrets into “what if” possibilities? What if you roll the stone away and your greatest joy is behind that barrier? What if everything you believed about your situation is a lie and God is waiting to reveal His truth?
What if your best life is still waiting for you to embrace it?
Letting go of secret shame, regrets or guilt is not easy. Jesus died so that we could give all our “if only’s” to him and live a fully alive, resurrection life. What do you need to give to Jesus today? Putting it off is only prolonging your pain. May God give you the strength to roll the stone away.
What “if only” regrets do you need to give Jesus? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Heidi McLaughlin
Heidi McLaughlin’s passion is contagious as she inspires her audiences to grasp the truth that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows she is loved. Heidi speaks all over North America and overseas and is an award-winning author. She has written several books, Study Guides and hundreds of articles and blogs. Her upcoming book is called FRESH JOY!
Heidi has been widowed twice and is the mom and step-mom of a blended family of 5 children and 12 grandchildren. Heidi has experienced much tragedy but has learned how to recapture her JOY.
2 Book Giveaway!
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview Discovering Joy in the Midst of Hard Times – Episode 112, Heidi McLaughlin is giving away two free copies of her book, Fresh Joy: Finding Joy in the Midst of Loss, Hardship, and Suffering.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about letting go of regret and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win one of 2 copies of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, June 14, 2021, here on this post. Continental United States only.