I'd once been lost. But somehow on the way to being found, I’d picked up the idea that my new life in Jesus had no space for my pre-Christian regrets. I perceived my lingering regrets as if they were a bad hangover from my sin, a byproduct of my troubled past. I’d been forgiven. Regret was an anchor to my past and had no place in my new life in Christ.
If I didn’t know what to do with the regrets I’d acquired before Christ, I was even more clueless about how to think about the regrets I accumulated after I’d come to faith in Jesus. Despite my best efforts to follow him faithfully, my faith was (and is!) full of growing pains and moments of clumsy regression. As a result, I’ve made choices that left a growing pile of regrets in my life. For example, my husband and I had made an impulsive and irreversible decision when I was just 27 that affected our ability to have more children. A lifelong friend was in a failing marriage, and I had dumped a load of unsolicited, rule-laden advice on her. (The “help” I gave to my friend was the equivalent of pouring undiluted bleach into her tender wounds—and it cost me a treasured relationship.) I’d gotten caught in the crossfire of some bitter church politics and felt compelled to pick a side. The cost was severed relationships with friends on the other side. My regret-filled brokenness glinted off of the jagged edges of these intractable, messy situations.1