The Regret Stealer
by Joanne Ellison

This morning I want to address a topic that is close to my heart. Something I have noticed is rampant among Christians is living with regret. We all have things that we wish we hadn’t done or said, but it seems that there is a disconnect with how to find freedom from the chains of regret.

Recently, a dear friend of mine died and I was regretting that I had not gone to visit her when I knew that I needed to spend time with her. Life got in the way. I even put a sticky note on my computer to remind myself to call her to set up a time. Legitimate regret. I did not do what my heart told me to do.

My friend Joy with some of her girls

But God…..

I recognized that I was having a pity party knowing that my friend no longer drove and a visit from me would have meant so very much. But in prayer, taking my regret to the Lord, I was reminded of the ways in which I did bring her joy. I asked the Lord to forgive me for not going by, and now the slate of regret wiped clean, I was free to delight in the times that I was there for her.

Friends, the enemy doesn’t play fair. He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. He roars loudly at us when we are feeling weak. But Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice; above the loud roar of old red legs, above the loud roar of our self condemnation, our Shepherd speaks. We must tune into His voice. Here are some of the things He says:

My peace I leave with you; not as the world gives…

Be anxious for nothing…

Draw near to me…

I will lead you beside still water and restore your soul…

So today, I am speaking to all of you regret-is-my-name people who have found yourself living with regret. Take a moment and walk beside the still water with Jesus. He longs to bring you freedom.



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  1. Karen Young

    Terrific meditation. I did not know Joy had died. I saw her in church just a few weeks ago. I’m praying God will comfort all “her girls” in their grief. We all have a sure hope that she is now experiencing the ultimate joy of seeing Jesus face to face!

  2. Janny Zavakos

    Oh my goodness Joanne, I’ve been having the exact same feelings of regret regarding our precious Joy and her passing. Life has really changed for me, pulling me in unexpected ways and I fell away from being in touch with her. I too had to give it up to God and allow him to comfort me. I am with you on this one and it hurts badly. I know she knew I loved her though and she is so well off now. She was a gift to me from our loving Father at a time when I needed her the most.
    Thank you for sharing this, it’s helped.

    Love you

  3. Sherri

    Thanks Joanne for being transparent and real with us on this topic of regret! I a needed this truth to remind me of the freedom we have in Christ to wipe the slate clean. Praise Him!

    • joanneellison

      Sherri you were such a devoted friend of Joy’s. Thank you for being my friend too!


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