Walking outdoors yesterday, I came across a tree that was covered in drying, brown leaves. The stark image of autumn brought me to a halt. It is now spring in Melbourne, Australia, with many trees showing the early signs of new foliage, or covered in blossoms.
The tree appeared to be stuck in a past season.
I believe the Holy Spirit is saying:
‘Don’t remain stuck in a past season. Don’t allow regrets from the past to cling to you. It is time to embrace the new growth I have for you.’
Regret from Mistakes and Omissions
Regret is ‘a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do.’ 
As we develop in our gifts and ministries, we sometimes make mistakes. We may even experience failure.
- Perhaps you genuinely tried your best in a ministry situation, but realised afterwards there was a better way.
- Regret can also result from an omission—not doing something that you should have done.
This can be a real trial for those of you who have a tendency towards perfectionism. Stop judging yourself so harshly—your Father doesn’t, He is smiling at you.
This is an opportunity to encounter God’s grace. He loves that your heart is towards Him and that you desire to serve Him and to love others. He delights in your journey.
‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”’ (Rom 8:15)
The Trap of Regret
Regret can be a trap that we fall into. It colours the way we view our history. Regret is like a highlighter that magnifies our weaknesses and mistakes, while wins and achievements fade into the background.
Whenever we think of that circumstance, we feel the sting of disappointment yet again. We are remorseful. We may even replay the event over in our minds and wish we could go back and put it right.
Regret can be intensified if we recognise that a relationship was damaged or a significant opportunity was missed.
If you can relate to that, I have a word from God for you:
‘Stop looking in the rear vision mirror of regret.’
Remember God is a redeemer. It is His nature to take your ‘mess’ and turn it into a message that glorifies Him. However He cannot do that unless you fully receive His grace and forgiveness.
Holding on to regret is like grasping an event to ourselves, when Father wants us to place it in His hands. He can turn our mistakes into a benefit for His Kingdom, but only when we give them over to Him.
Embrace the Lessons Learned and Receive Your Upgrade
I made some serious mistakes in my journey in the area of prophetic ministry.
I am glad now that I turned those mistakes over to God, repented and embraced change. Those failures are now part of my testimony—the story of what God has done in my life and a lesson for others.
Turn regret into gratitude
So you made a mistake, or simply could have done better?
Father is inviting you to see that incident in a different light. You have learned an important lesson and are unlikely to make that mistake again. Instead, from now on, you will respond differently. You have grown.
That incident is now the marker of God’s upgrade in your life.
Whenever you feel the pain, turn it around. Take the attitude of gratitude. Thank God for His grace. Praise Him that you learned something and will do it differently next time. For next time will surely come, just as surely God is your Redeemer.
Don’t allow regret to cling to you; instead, thank God for the upgrade!
Recognise When Action is Required to Bring Closure
There are occasions when we do need to take an action with regard to a regret from the past. This may include asking forgiveness of someone who was hurt, or acknowledging a wrongdoing.
It may involve sharing your insight with a leader—share openly about how you feel, what you learned and how you would do it differently next time. Leaders are not mind readers—a conversation like this may clarify where you stand and increase their willingness to give you another opportunity.
It is time to be set free from regret!
It’s Time to Trade up
A new opportunity is opening up. But you cannot respond while you are still holding on to regret from the past. You must let go in order to move with the Holy Spirit.
‘Trading up’ means that there is something to surrender, and something to receive. Surrender that disappointment, that regret, and that past opportunity that didn’t open up.
Trading up means there is something to receive:
- A new way of seeing
- An obedient action that is going to bring breakthrough
- A new belief about who you are and what you are capable of, that is in alignment with how God sees you
- A fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit
Perhaps you are in a place of transition right now. You are on the way to the ‘more’ of God, to the new things He has for you.
You may be in a life or ministry transition. And the concept of ‘trading up’ is critical to that process.
Regret will bind you to the past, unless you can release it and let it go. Trade regret for gratitude and enter the new season God has for you.
 Google definition for ‘regret’ retrieved 7/9/15
 I share these in the book, ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church’
Is the Holy Spirit ministering to you in the area of releasing regret and embracing your new season? Leave a message in the comments section, on Facebook or on Instagram. If the blog comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
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