Sometimes when we make a mistake we get caught up thinking about the past. We spend so much time dwelling on what we did; we neglect the possibility of moving forward. We find it daunting to try to pick up our lives and move on, because our focus is on what has already passed. We even find discouragement in Who used to give us inspiration to progress: God. We begin to avoid having conversations with the One who created us, because we don’t want to deal with the shame we might have caused Him. We don’t want chastisement. We just want to sulk.
Well, it’s okay to make mistakes. The problem is when we find ourselves chained to those bad decisions. Regret and guilt blocks us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and makes it hard to turn to anyone for help. We talk to our friends and say, “So what? It happened. That’s life,” when we really want to scream for help. We want them to hold us accountable, we want them to say it is going to be okay, we want to finally talk about the hidden secretes. But we won’t; pride won’t let us. And shame silences our truth. So, we live each day as if we are carrying on with life, when really we are just trying to bury what we did without fully addressing it.
I have done things that I used to deeply regret. I have made decisions I know my Father in heaven is not proud of and my friends would find it hard not to judge me for, and it took a lot of time for me to realize how to begin unpacking all of this guilt. I didn’t want to talk about things. I just wanted to move forward as if they had never happened. I could try to blame the people around me for not understanding, or my parents for not being approachable, or my heavenly Father for expecting perfection, but none of these are true. The truth is I had to forgive myself first in order to be able to accept their love and forgiveness. I had to listen to the small voice in the back of my mind saying…
“…It’s okay to make mistakes.”
I had to learn that God doesn’t hate me. He hates the sin that is attached to me. And just like you wash your favorite coffee mug in order to preserve its glow, God just wanted to wash me. He didn’t want to attack and condemn me. He just wanted open communication and a chance to love me back to emotional and spiritual health. My friends and family are the same way. They wouldn’t think I’m stupid, just that I made a stupid decision. And that’s okay! That’s what makes us human. How can we learn the stove is hot if we never get burned a few times?
I’m not excusing destructive behavior you know is wrong. I just want to encourage anyone who has ever made a bad decision and is struggling with the guilt and regret of it all. It’s okay. You’re okay. And even though the people around you may not agree with what you did, they still love you deeply. You are still priceless and worth more than diamonds. You are still beautiful. You are still saved.
Don’t believe the hype.
It’s okay to make mistakes.