Wednesday, February 5, 2014

If only...

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: 
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

Sometimes I feel like it's the story of my life..."oh, if only I would have done this...or that...or maybe I shouldn't have done either one! Or maybe it was a missed opportunity to encourage someone...or take back an ill thought out sentence. We all have these moments in our lives when we miss the mark. Unfortunately, I have more than I would like to admit. I apologize up front for the length of this post...and the lack of pretty pictures. I understand if you decide not to stay with me :)

I admire Joyce Meyer and have watched her regularly since I discovered her in the early 90's. I don't mind telling you that I am quite skeptical of most TV preachers and with the exception of a few, I just don't watch them much. I do pray for discernment when I see someone I connect with because I do feel the Lord has put a choice few in place for His purpose. I happen to believe Joyce is one of them. Anyone who watches her knows her story...about how she was sexually abused by her alcoholic father for years and how she has used this experience to minister to others. Anyway, this post is not about putting a plug in for her show...just a long winded intro to something I wanted to share that I heard on her show this morning.

The message was about living our lives in regret and how damaging it can be to our spiritual growth and relationships with others. She re-told the terribly sad story about her brother who had been addicted to drugs and alcohol for years and how he temporarily...for about 4 years...turned his life around while she and her husband had helped him. After being in rehab, he had given his life to the Lord. They had taken him in, given him a job at the ministry and he was even traveling and giving his testimony about what God had done in his life. After those 4 years or so, it was decided that he would be on his own and that's when things turned around again. Long story short, he went back to his old ways, was out of touch for several years and then was discovered just over a year an abandoned building. She made the point that after his 50-some years of life, all of his personal effects...what remained of his into an 8 1/2 x 11 manila envelope. What a waste. He lived his life in regret and always blamed others for his failures. She ended the program by reading this story, written by an unknown author. I found it online and am sharing it with you.


A Trip to Regret City
I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I'm talking about my annual "Guilt Trip." 

I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. 

No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town. 

As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn't going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there. 

First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol' Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterdays. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It's Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't Blame Me and I Couldn't Help It. 

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent "pity party" could be cancelled by ME! 

I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN'T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. 

Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I've made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them. So, if you're planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. 

Instead, take a trip to a place called Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. 

By the way, you don't have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. 

If you can find it -- it's in your own heart -- please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street. 

~ Author Unknown ~ 


I don't know if you visit here as often as I do but I will just tell you...
...I am tired of that place! 

With God's help, I'm going to take the author's advice and book my flight to Starting Again! 


  1. I like Joyce Meyers, too. This is an ongoing thing for me as well because I can put my foot in my mouth pretty fast...yup, I'm spry that way. I was greatly helped by a Bob George book called Classic Christianity.

    1. I may just have to look up that book...thanks, Vee.

  2. Hi Debby! I have seen Joyce Meyers preach on TV, and have read two of her books. She is a real dynamo, and has had a lot of reasons to be bitter.
    It's a wonderful thing to be inspired by others and their writing, and you did that for me today. Why go backward? It's not the place for people who have faith. Look forward, always forward. Great story about the flight and the baggage. There's a lot to meditate on here.

    Like you pointed out, it's a choice. When I feel like revisiting the silly things I did in the past, I can choose to stop me from going there. Your post is a great reminder that I can leave and don't need to go back there. Ever.

    Thank you for your thoughtful post today!

  3. I don't get TV that has Joyce Meyers programs but have read a few of her books and done Bible studies on a couple of them. She is a powerful speaker. I believe that we are forgiven of our past sins, failures and regrets by our loving heavenly Father, to be remembered no more. It's a hard thing to grasp as sometimes we want to hang on to the past mistakes. I'm glad you are going to move forward, with God's help. It's so worth it!! Blessings. Pamela

  4. That is a powerful message! I thought right away of writing it all down in my journal....but I think I'll skip to the last part and start writing there. I love my life but it's hard to live with 'no regrets'. Thankfully we are forgiven. Sweet hugs and thank you so very much for sharing this!

    1. I wa unsure how this post would come across. I'm so glad you were encouraged by it! You can find the Letter online by just googling "leaving the city of regret story" could just print it out if you want. Yes, thank you sweet Jesus, we are forgiven! Hugs back to you, friend!

  5. Thank-you for this post.I do not want to live in the past. God has forgiven me and so I choose to live,looking forward.

    1. Ruth, that is the way I feel...and I do not spend a lot of time there, but more than I would like to or need to. I'm so thankful for a Savior who is merciful.

  6. Love this post! Mine was similar this morning......great minds you know...:) I love your sweet heart and your love of Christ. You are such an encourager my friend! Blessed to know you...:)

  7. I visit Regret City too often, I'm afraid. This helped me see how damaging it can be. I think it's time to move on down the road and make every day as fabulous as I can make it.

  8. A trip to regret city - a place we all have visited. Thanks for sharing - may we all find our way more often to I can do it street!

  9. I needed to read this tonight. Thank you so much.

  10. Hi Debbie! What a great post. We all pack our bags at times and go there. What a refreshing story. I love Joyce Meyers too and God bless her and thank you for sharing this with us.
    I always appreciate your visits.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  11. I, too, often find myself burdened with negative baggage. This post was wonderful and reminded me to keep looking forward and not visit the regretful past. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Regrets are hard to let go. Thanks so much for sharing this and sharing your heart.

  13. I had the opportunity to see Joyce speak a few years back. Very powerful. I recently 'started again' and even I'm amazed in the difference in my life. I can say now that I'm happy and feeling truly blessed.

  14. This is a wonderful post, Debbie! I'm going to share The Trip story with a couple of people! I really like Joyce Meyers and used to watch her programs, but I just don't turn on the TV much anymore. I have a few of her books and a daily devotional book that I like. Thanks for sharing this!

  15. This is a wonderful post, Debbie! I'm going to share The Trip story with a couple of people! I really like Joyce Meyers and used to watch her programs, but I just don't turn on the TV much anymore. I have a few of her books and a daily devotional book that I like. Thanks for sharing this!


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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