Have you ever reflected on your past to see what it would be like if you have made different choices; where your life would be if you did A, B, C instead of X, Y, Z? Do you live in a state of regrets? Do these regrets plague you from living in a state of freedom?
I grew up in Malaysia where parents made all the decisions for their kids; my life could have been very different but by the grace of God I ended up in the United States. I could have been bitter and angry at my parents’ way of parenting me but God guided me to be away from my family so that I can grow freely in Christ in a country far from Malaysia.
The what “ifs” can really haunt us if we choose to live in the past. Take my situation for an example, I wasn’t given a choice if I could continue studying in Singapore. I could have ended up having a college degree in Singapore but God had other plans. The book of Jeremiah 29:11 says “for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I am thankful for what God has planned for me all along. I wouldn’t have been called to be a coach to serve my community in CO; to be a source of light because Jesus is the light.
What is holding you back? Your past about some regrets or about yourself not being good enough for the present season of your life? What if you can forgive yourself, your past, and those who hurt you? Can you imagine the freedom you will reap if you show forgiveness? God says in Matthew 6:14, forgive others so I can forgive you. Do you know God is a God of forgiveness? Romans 8:38:39 says, “convinced that neither death, nor life, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God loves you and He has forgiven you, He wants a relationship with you.
I grew up in a family of perfectionists. Nothing I do is good enough to my parents’ standard. Therefore, I grew up feeling like I don’t measure up. I go around having this heavy burden of “not good enough” syndrome, feeling like an outsider as if no one really cares about me. The reality is unless you love and care enough about yourself believe what God believes about you and trust that He has the best interest for you; nothing matters because any self-doubt will keep you back from fulfilling the purpose you have on this earth.
What if God has more for you but your mental state of mind can’t comprehend because you are living in the past of “what ifs”? Sometimes God has to bring calamity on us because we refused to yield to His will. God asked us to live today to the full. In the book of James 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” It is against God's will for us to worry about yesterday and be anxious about tomorrow. God will comfort us in times of sorrow and uncertainty. He is our strength and shield when we set our focus on Him and not on our circumstances.
From my years of experience, I can say the only thing we can do is to keep working on ourselves, to know God is in charge and we are not to worry but keep our daily focus on His might; then joy will merge when we least expected it. Live for today and not let the “what ifs” destroy our now.