Living a life of no regrets

By Dr. Jodie Chiricosta
happy girls

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  Ecc. 3: 1

A Different Track

When I was 38 I was still single, never married, and quite satisfied.  But it wasn’t always that way.

Growing up I dreamed of marrying, raising children and cheering my husband on in his career.  Not in my wildest imagination did I dream of being single so long.  My life did not turn out at all like I expected.   But I have no regrets.

God put my life on a different track.  When I look back, I am amazed by His wisdom, love, provision, goodness, mercy and grace along the way.  But I have to confess; at times I was not too happy about His choice.  

A Blessing in Every Season

Every season of life has joys and challenges.

Being single can be lonely, hard and scary.  It can be difficult making every decision in life all by yourself.  Coming home to a dark empty house after a long day, every day, can be no fun.  Getting the car fixed can be intimidating.  Going to another wedding alone can be depressing.  Putting your heart on the line and having it rejected can be devastating. 

Being single can also be satisfying, simple and exciting!  It’s wonderful spending as much time with friends as you want.  Eating out after work, every night if you choose, is great.  Taking off at the drop of a hat to some far off land when God calls is thrilling!  Buying what you want, when you want is every woman’s dream.  Doing only your laundry and cleaning only my dishes gives you tons of free time for reading, worshiping or serving God in new ways.

It’s a choice.  If Jesus is your Savior AND Lord, then the season He has you in can be a blessing– if you choose to see it that way.  In my case, I was single until I was almost 40. That doesn’t mean I gave up hope for marriage; or that you can not pray and hope for something different if you truly desire it.  It just means you embrace the season of life God has you in and enjoy it to the fullest until He brings a new season with new blessings.

Through heartache, turmoil and tears God taught me valuable lessons that helped me enjoy my single season for as long as it lasted. Now that I am married — these same lessons still apply to the new challenges I face in this season. 

Enjoying the Season

If you longing to be in a different stage in life, you can still have a full life now, a life with no regrets. In any season of life, whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed you can implement these TIPS to help you enjoy that season too.   They are: Trust, Intimacy, Purity and Service.

Trust

God is trustworthy. You will never regret trusting Him. David knew this.  God delivered him from many enemies; provided food in the desert; gave him companions and homes; even comforted him when he was down.  David wrote by experience, “those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Ps 9:10) 

When you face decisions, problems and needs, big or small, God is trustworthy. He will work it out.  He’s done it for me: good parking spaces on rainy days, unbelievable deals on cars, protection as I travel around the world.  He rescued me from wrong relationships to save me for the right one.  I know God is good.  Trust Him to provide and protect.  Knowing that gives wonderful freedom to do all He asks with joy!

Intimacy

We are created for intimacy. Everyone wants to be fully known and loved as well as to fully know and love.  We seek it, crave it, do crazy things for it.  Only intimacy with God can satisfy that desire whether you are single or married!  God also longs for intimacy with us.

The Song of Solomon is a love story of how God pursues relationship with us; how delighted He is when we respond; and how totally contented and secure we become in His love.  When you seek God, to know Him – His likes, dislikes, sorrows and joys – He speaks to you and is with you in ways too wonderful for words.  You know true love. Jesus becomes dearer than life itself and walking through each day with Him is pure delight.  Your desires and pursuits change to be in line with His.  One thing you desire is purity because it is the pure in heart that will see God (Matt 5: 8). 

With purity there are no regrets.    

Purity

Paul said a lot about purity.   He admonished us to “flee from sexual immorality” which is a sin against your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:18).  Instead “purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (II Cor. 7:1).  

Purity is possible, even today.  By God’s grace and power I remained a virgin until my wedding night, one month shy of my 40thbirthday! God provides a way out of every temptation – learn to take it.  God gives strength to overcome sexual desires. If you are not married or your spouse is not near, call on Jesus when you ache for physical intimacy.  A life of purity eliminates the fears of STD’s, AIDS, pregnancy and all their complications.  Seeing in others the hurt, pain and devastation that comes from sex outside marriage confirmed to me the wisdom of God in His boundaries.  If you have slipped in the area of sexual purity, God can restore even that. Just turn to Him, confess your sin, and He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you (I John 1:9).   No condemnation!   

Purity is also in spirit.  Guard closely what you listen to, participate in and watch.  Influence others by bringing purity to conversations and gatherings.   Don’t give the devil a doorway into your thoughts.  Set your mind of things above and the beauty of life is revealed!

Service    

Life is most beautiful when we know God and do the things for which we are created.  Did you know you are created “in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10)?  

As you walk with Him daily He will reveal the things on His agenda for you. It will be a full life with no regrets. There are so many things to do.  Some are long-term assignments like running a crisis pregnancy center; being a missionary overseas; leading worship for a church group; or mentoring children struggling in life.  Some are short, like buying a homeless woman a meal; campaigning for a righteous candidate; or going on a summer mission adventure.  The needs are as varied as we are.  Jump into the ministry He puts before you.  You’ll be amazed how full your life will be when you start serving!  

No Regrets!

When you make God’s will, His Kingdom, His glory, a priority in your life the rewards are out of this world.  Joy is yours!  Peace is yours! Provision and protection are yours!  If you delight yourself in God, He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4).  So enjoy the season where God has you — single, married, childless, or with a house full of little ones.  Enjoy the opportunities that are unique to this time.  Then when it’s over you won’t look back with regrets and longing; you’ll be free to look ahead with delight!   

      P.S. If you have recently gone through a traumatic experience, like a divorce or the death of a spouse, there is a natural grieving process that God has also designed for our good. Grieving can help heal the pain of your loss and allow you to move into the next season God has for you. Many churches offer GriefShare which is available to help you walk through the grief process.  

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  Ecc. 3:11

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Dr. Jodie Chiricosta is vice president of Somebody Cares America/International. She teaches and consults on a variety of Christian living and leadership topics and is the host of the podcast Her God Story.

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