Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to jump into a time machine and go back to whatever time and place that you wanted to? You could relive the amazing moments of your life and change all of the moments that you had never wanted to happen. Any horrible mistakes that you had made could be erased and turned into something great. That would be a dream come true right? A perfect life with no regrets. Yes, I have imagined this many times but, life on this planet doesn’t work that way.
No matter how many times I hit the replay button in my mind of a bad situation that has happened in my life, it will always have the same ending. I have spent many hours going over situations that I have regretted and had wished that they would have turned out differently.
I have spent a lot of years trying in my own strength to make amends for my mistakes, thinking if I just do enough of the right things it will all change. The result was very little change, if any change at all. I have even played the could’ve game where I am saying to myself if I could’ve been like this instead the result may have been different.
Then there’s the should’ve game where I am saying to myself I should’ve said this or I should’ve done that instead. Then I wouldn’t have gotten that reaction from them.
And yes, I have also played the would’ve game. Where I am saying to myself if I knew what I know now, I would’ve been able to save the situation from going the wrong way. Today that situation would be much different than it is now.
For some silly reason, I had hoped deep down inside of me that going over and over the situation again and again would somehow make it all be different. Until I finally realized that what I was doing wasn’t fixing the situation at all. It was just keeping me on the carousel of guilt, condemnation and unforgiveness towards myself. It was hindering me from moving forward. I was stuck in the could’ve should’ve would’ve syndrome.
Recently, I began to realize that what I was doing to myself was not healthy. I am the type of person who has a tendency to have a hard time with letting go of situations that have resulted in brokenness, pain, and wounds. Why? Because, I want to fix it. I don’t want the situation be broken anymore.
Then, I had the revelation that I can only do what I can do. Which is to do what God has asked me to do in the situation whether it be to apologize, humble myself before the other person, bless them or pray for them. Sometimes, I find out that I have done nothing wrong in the situation and that I have been trying to carry a weight that God never asked me to carry. I was taking it on as my own responsibility and trying in my own strength to fix it and make it all better. But, I came to point where I suddenly knew that I had done all that I was supposed to do in the situation and that in order to move forward I had to hand over the situation to God. Even though, it has been difficult for me to do, I trust that it will be worth it in the end because I know Whose hands it’s in.
The next thing that I realized was found in Hebrews 12 it says, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Once I had done everything that God had asked me to do concerning a situation, I saw that not only did I need to let go of it but I needed to release the weight of guilt that I had been carrying. I needed to stop allowing myself to come under condemnation. I needed to let God heal my heart and make it whole again. Most importantly if it was needed in that situation, I needed forgive myself. I needed to believe that God could perfect this situation that concerns me. I needed to keep my eyes on Jesus the one who can fix the fix that I am in and make it whole.
Romans 8:28 says, We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan…
Even though the situation is still there, I know that as I trust Him with the situation He will work it out for my good. It may not even be in the way that I expect it to turn out. But, I know that He will make the ending that was so awful turn into a beautiful one.
Maybe you’re a lot like me and you realize that you are under the Could’ve Would’ve Should’ve Syndrome. Know that God never intended for you to live that way. He wants lift from you the guilt, condemnation and that which is weighing you down. My prayer for you is that you will go to Jesus with the situation. Ask Him what He wants you to do and trust Him to work out what only He can work out. Then you can live a life where you are no longer under the Could’ve Should’ve Would’ve Syndrome.