I drove my dear husband batty last weekend with my moaning and groaning about my dreams, or lack of accomplishment thereof. It wasn’t that I was really vocal about it, it’s just that regret can creep into your life and take away whatever joy and gratitude you have. I think sometimes regret and envy go hand in hand together–they are the flip side of each other. So last week I dealt with my envy of certain people who just seemed to have all the luck, and this time it was my regret at the opportunities that I didn’t have.

Yes, I wish I had been “discovered” as a young person by somebody, and immediately pursued a career in the performing arts. I also regretted that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at that age, and so didn’t fully pursue my interest and passion in that area. Even in college, I did not pursue performing arts as a major because I didn’t want to be “judged”. I thought that the teachers would be subjective and not like my art or performance. Plus there was always this practical side of me that wondered how I could make a living as a writer, or performer, or filmmaker, which were all things that I wanted to do. And yes, I still want to do them.

Whenever the subject of regrets comes up, my husband always gets testy, and this time he drove it home to me. “But if you had done all those things, we would have never met, and your son would not exist, either.” I told him I was thinking hypothetically, to which he replied, “I bet that if you could go back and have your dreams come true, you would be willing to delete our existence out of your life.” Ouch!

I apologized to him, of course. He did not seem very hurt, but then again, maybe he was. But he then proceeded to tell me why I must never look back and regret things, because they always turn out for the good of those who love God. And for we who trust God, don’t we believe that he has our best in mind? I admit that when I envy and regret, I am saying to God that no, I don’t trust him and things should have gone my way instead. And we all know what happens when human beings take control of their lives instead of allowing God control–disaster usually ensues.

So I found myself grudgingly thanking God for the good things in my life once again, in an attempt to shake off that feeling of unhappiness and malaise that comes with regret. Somewhere along the line my husband (isn’t he great?) also drubbed me for not working on my query letters to try to sell my screenplay. I tried to explain why I hadn’t done it yet, and after awhile he said what I would have said: “those are just a bunch of excuses!” Then he went on to talk about my confidence. When I told him I was confident, he said, “then I wish you would show it, because you aren’t right now!” Yep, what I had told him last month when I pushed him to enter his art into a gallery exhibition was coming back to bite me in the rear end, and he told me so himself. Just like I pushed him, he was going to push me.

So I resolved to do my best during this coming week, and just be the best person I could be. Of course, a hint of cynicism accompanied my resolution; after all, I had made similar resolutions in the past, only to fail each time. But this time I told myself that I would ask God for guidance and wait on Him every step of the way. If I didn’t know how to do something, I needed to get advice and wisdom. Unlike my childhood, when I fretted with anxiety about how I was going to keep up my good grades, only to get a pat on the back saying that I would figure it out, this time, I will take action and get the help I need.

Anyway, I had a couple of occasions where I felt a big fear and anxiety attack, as if the devil wanted to overwhelm me with fear, worry and doubt about my health and life. I don’t know if this was caused by the caffeine I drank those days, or not enough sleep, or if it was just a spiritual attack. In either case, both times I started reciting scripture out loud, and it passed after an hour or two. The following night I had a light sleep and woke up in the morning feeling like everything was going to be all right. And those anxiety and worry attacks haven’t come back. God is great!