Regret Does Not Have to Control You

Regret…many of us struggle with it. Like an invisible ball and chain it drags behind us, holding us back. Regret can press down upon us like an invisible weight. Life doesn’t have to be like this however. Sister Kathryn J. Hermes lays out a plan of action on how to tackle regret and discover the freedom God wants each of us to have. Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments is an amazing read and even if you don’t think you have any regrets…you’ll still want to read this book because you just may be surprised at what you discover.

Regret is a two-fold problem. People may have “guilt over things that have happened in their lives – things done to them and things done by them.” Sometimes we may not even realize a long buried regret is affecting us. Other times it may stare us in the face daily. The first thing we need to do is identify those regrets.

Throughout the book’s two parts Sister shows us how to identify those regrets. She reveals them to readers by using familiar stories from scripture and relating them to our own lives. The Prodigal Son, the woman bent double, the woman at the well, and the sinful woman who anointed Jesus all help readers understand four key points in addressing regret.

God has made four promises to us:

  • I want to throw you a party
  • Look at me, and you will know who you are
  • You see your failure, I see your future
  • My light will radiate from you for all the world to see

To help identify these promises and the regrets one may have relative to them, Sister includes Prayer Moments and multiple step meditations to guide the reader in spiritual exercises. These are included at the end of each chapter and the second part of the book includes six more such exercises. “The meditations are general enough to help anyone struggling with regrets but specific enough that you will find help for all that haunts you.”

A word of advice. This is not simply a book to read…..it’s a book to live. What I mean by that is to experience the full fruits of this book you need to put some work into it. Prayerfully approach the exercises and be intentional with them. The time invested will be so worth the investment. “You can’t make a trip somewhere by just reading about it. Spiritual journeys are not logical expositions. They are messy things of the heart. This journey through your regrets to peace will be like going up a mountain.”

We may have regrets and have made mistakes but we are far from failures. We are simply unpolished diamonds. We are jewels in the eyes of the Creator…..we just need to put a little work into becoming what we are meant to be. Like an old sneaker slogan…..just do it! I discovered a few things in this myself and must say this is not  a book I’m sticking back on a shelf. This is one of those rare books that I will return to often. The exercises are such that riches can be mined from them often. Kick your regrets to the curb, this book is a keeper!

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