We all ask that question, “What if?” Usually, it is for something we regret. Sometimes, it is for something we wish for. Or, maybe you are like my husband and if someone asks, “What if…”, he answers back with, “What if a big green monster jumped out of the sky and ate us all up?” We live our lives with the “what ifs?”
A friend recently asked a question on Facebook:
“If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?”
Most answers were about work, where they lived, decisions, education, finances, marriages, and past behavior. Some were silly like to be rich or be able to answer her previous question. (What is your favorite dip?) Some answers brought tears to my eyes and others made me smile. Most were filled with regret, though.
I pondered this question for several minutes before commenting:
“We all say that we would change things, but those things are what made us who we are. All those “mistakes” are what shaped us. Yes, I would like to go back and change things, but if I had, I would not be where I am today. So when you think of it that way, I wouldn’t change a thing and I don’t think most people would.”
Our decisions/actions have consequences, good and bad. How we react to these consequences shape us as a person. They make us who and what we are. We have all heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” These things bring us to this point in our lives.
Looking back on my life, I realize that if I had made a different decision in high school, my whole life would be different. I had planned to go out of state to an Ivy League university. I had been accepted and was making plans. During that time, I was also concurrently enrolled in a small, local college. I had friends there and just somehow ended up staying and not going out of state. While I did not meet my husband at college, it was because I was at a local college and went home every weekend to work that led to us dating (we had met previously through a friend).
Yes, it would have been impressive to graduate from an Ivy League school, but that would have changed the entire course of my life. So, because of that decision, I am married to my wonderful husband with three incredible children that I would not have had. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom (So, I guess it does not matter where my degree came from.) I love my life and my family. Why would I want to change that?
I can look back on so many other things in my life and see that if I had made a different decision or something else had happened, my life would be very different. My life is by no means perfect, but I would not change it. God wants us to live our lives for Him. As long as we are striving to do that, our decisions will be the right ones. We should be looking forward and not backward. Let’s live our lives so that we will have no regrets.
Do you have regrets?
Would you change things if you could?
Be encouraged by these posts as well!
- Black Friday: Life Changes - November 23, 2018
- Overwhelmed?Look to God! - June 20, 2018
- Looking Forward in Marriage: Retirement - June 13, 2018
I don’t think I would change much other than loving and showing more love to my family especially the departed. thanks for sharing.
Ooooh, great point!
I think about these things sometimes as well. I don’t regret major choices I’ve made, but also had strongly considered going out of state for school and wonder how that would have changed my life.
It’s interesting to wonder as long as we appreciate what we have, even the bad.
It is so easy to think ‘what if I did that instead’.
I mean, I often think ‘what if I never moved back to NZ’. But then I realise that I made the right choice at that time. I am still working on not regretting my decision!
Yes, we make our decisions based on the circumstances at the time. We just have to trust that God will take care of the rest.
I try not to live with regret and I don’t think I have any ‘big’ regrets but I sometimes get worried that I’m too caught up in the day-to-day stress of life and that I’ll miss out on more fun things in life! I’m learning how to be more present in the moment and appreciating the little things and that’s been helping a lot.
Yes, we mustn’t live in the past. We can’t change it and would we really want to?
We are uniquely created and have experiences that mold and shape us. We are always “becoming”. Great post!
Yes! Thank you.
What a complex question to consider! I’ll be thinking about this one for a while. When I first read the question, I had an immediate answer; once I read your response, I definitely paused to reconsider. Thank you for sharing this!