Tuesday, October 20, 2015

by Lynne Gentry

I held my breath as my toddler grandson wavered between the couch and the coffee table. One of his chubby hands clutched the supple leather while the other reached for the toy on the table. He stretched as far as he could, but the distance was too great. He tried again and failed. Eventually he sighed and returned both hands to the couch, but he kept looking over his shoulder at the table. To get where he wanted to go he’d have to let go, but he was too afraid to let go. 

In many ways, I’m like my grandson. I cling to what I know with all my might…all the while longing for something just out of reach. In my case, I longed for freedom. Freedom from the ugly regret gnawing at my insides. 

I don’t think anyone makes it through this life without wishing they could have a do-over, a chance to go back in time and tell their younger, immature self to make a different decision. Counselors say regrets are usually exacerbated by times of severe loss or unexpected life changes. 

A very abrupt and disappointing life change left me wide open for a whole range of feelings, but the one that surprised me most was regret. Even more surprising was regret’s ability to cripple me. Unhappy as I was in my old life, I was determined to hang on to what I knew. I was afraid to let go.

Then a very unexpected thing happened. The opportunity to sell our house and move closer to our children became a real possibility. I’d always wanted to live close enough to be involved in my grandchildren’s lives, but to make the move, I had to let go. 

Let go of the neighborhood I knew. The friends I knew. Even the dream I’d had for our life in that place.

I wavered between what I had and what I wanted.

In the end, we put our house on the market and it sold in 24 hours.

Now I had to let go.

And when I did, it was freedom like I’d never experienced before.

Holding out my empty hands, the Lord replaced my regret with joy, peace, and hope.

The other day I re-read the last page of The Carthage Chronicles series (Valley of Decision). Throughout this story Dr. Lisbeth Hastings has been dealing with regret. In the end, she makes the stunning discovery that every decision she’d ever made was like a thread in her life. The good decisions were the light, vibrant colors. The bad decisions were dark shadows. When she stood back and looked at the whole picture, that’s when she knew there would have been no depth in the picture of her life without the bad decisions. She didn’t want to pull a single thread. 

And neither do I.

Overcoming regret can only be done by letting go of the past and grabbing the future.

What do you need to let go?

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13

Lynne Gentry
Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications and is a professional acting coach, theater director and playwright with several full-length musicals and a Chicago children’s theater curriculum to her credit. She likes to write stories that launch modern women into ancient adventures, such as The Carthage Chronicles series (Healer of Carthage, Return to Exile and Valley of Decision). Gentry is also an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer who loves spending time with her family and medical therapy dog. 

To keep up with Lynne, visit www.lynnegentry.com, become a fan on Facebook (Author-Lynne-Gentry) or follow her on Twitter (@Lynne_Gentry) and Pinterest (lynnegentry7).


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and uplifting story. It really touched my heart.

  3. Thank you for sharing such an inspiring and uplifting story. It really touched my heart.


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