Out of all the poor choices I have made in the past…out of all the mistakes that I have regretted in life…if only I could go back and change just one thing, it would be to share what God has done in my life with a friend before he died.
This is another difficult post for me but I believe the Lord wants me to put it out there to encourage someone so they don’t miss out like I did. If I could help just one person avoid living with this kind of regret, then putting my heart out there like this is more than worth it to me.
Tuesday, July 17th, marks the one year anniversary of the death of a friend who was killed in a small plane crash with the love of his life. It’s hard to believe it’s going to be a year since two young lives were cut so short. My friend’s name was Brian. We became friends through work and he was more like a goofy little brother to me (my “little” brother was 6’7” tall!). We worked closely on a team for about six years or so and he kept me laughing much of the time. Brian knew my job got tough at times so once in a while he’d come by my desk to make me laugh or to just see how I was doing. He was a good guy and I sure miss him.
It’s amazing to me that although we became close and talked a lot, not once did I ever feel like I needed to share with him about my life as a depressed alcoholic. Nobody really knew about it so maybe that’s why I never thought about bringing it up. When God intervened in my life and started to turn me around, Brian had no idea. I never told him. Again, I never thought about it. I told very few people at the beginning. At that time I wasn’t ready to share too much about my personal life with people I worked with. When the shocking news of Brian’s death came, I took it very hard. For a while, I would beat myself up for never saying anything about God to him. I realized that I never knew where he was spiritually. I honestly don’t know why sharing God with him never crossed my mind. I still feel horrible not knowing, but I do have hope that he knew the Lord. It’s too late to do anything about it now, so all I can do is hold onto hope—hope that I will see him in heaven when I get there.
I have certainly learned from this mistake. I don’t ever want this to happen again. Now I share about what God is doing in my life with anybody who will listen. The greatest thing about it is that God seems to work that out nicely for me. I find that when I share, it’s usually because someone will say or ask something that opens the door for me to share. I never feel the need to force myself on anybody.
I will always regret that I missed my opportunity with Brian, but I must say I’m grateful that it wasn’t like I had felt prompted to share and ignored that prompt. I know that would have made it much worse and so much more difficult for me to get past. I’ve had a tremendous amount of spiritual growth in the past year and now I live my life for opportunities to get out there and share God’s love with people as much as possible. I’ve stopped beating myself up over this mistake. God has helped me to move forward and to do better.
Friends, is there someone in your life that you’ve been hesitating to share the Lord with? I want to encourage you to just do it. Don’t wait. There’s no better time than now. I know many times it requires us to step way out of our comfort zone and we take the chance of getting laughed at, rejected, etc., but please learn from my regret and don’t lose your opportunity like I did.
I’d much rather be laughed at or rejected or take whatever might happen than live with this “If only” regret ever again.
God is beyond amazing and we need to share about Him!!!!
2 thoughts on ““If only…” Living with and learning from a BIG regret.”
You have opened an important part of your life, made yourself vulnerable. Thanks, Debbie. I think if we are all honest enough, we can identify with what you write and experience. The critical thing is that even in our failures like this, God graciously and overwhelmingly forgives us. We cannot beat ourselves up. We receive that forgiveness, learn, and grow through it. You are on that journey, and thank God you are. Blessings as you continue to live in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you, I appreciate your comment very much. It’s tough being so vulnerable, but I love sharing my journey. I have learned to stop beating myself up. That was so not easy at first. I am definitely learning and growing through it all and I am so grateful to God for it! Blessings to you.