Hopes, Dreams, and the Paralyzing Fear of Regret

I’m a dreamer. I’m always thinking things that begin with “what if,” “we should,” or “couldn’t we.”

My husband is very practical and present-oriented. So when I say these things out loud, his reaction used to often (especially during the first year of our marriage – not that long ago) be some realistic reason why whatever I finished my sentence with couldn’t happen.

I’m a dreamer, but I rarely have the guts to actually follow through with whatever it is I’m what-iffing about (even if Michael’s on board with it). This is because I’m very conscious of the fact that if you choose one opportunity you miss out on another. And what if you choose something that isn’t the best, or is outside of God’s will? You only have one life, and what if you mess it up? The line between waiting on the Lord and getting out and doing something is very blurry in my mind.

And to top it all of, I really struggle with regret. There are certain things that I regret in life, and I still deal with the fact that I wish that I would have done certain things very differently. So the very last thing I want to do is to make some huge life-trajectory changing decision only to regret it in 15 years. It’s a real struggle for me. And I fear that my fear of regret will mean that I won’t do anything risky and wind up regretting my decision to not take those risks.

There’s no easy way. You either do, or you don’t. You regret, or you just remember. God will guide you loudly or silently into all of those decisions.

I need to get better at this whole trust thing. I need to trust that even in my regret of foolish decisions God’s doing something. So I need to make decisions trusting that God will not let me walk into regretful situations blindly, but rather that he, even in my regret, will have placed me there for my joy and my good (and his ultimate glory). This is a hard thing to do.