“If Only” – Words of Regret

If only – two little words with enough power to keep us awake at night.

If only I hadn’t opened my mouth and said those foolish words.

If only I could erase those years and start over again . . .

If only I’d decided against taking that job that looked so promising at the beginning but became like a prison.

If only I’d given my child better guidance.

Things might have turned out differently if only . . . .

No one can look back over the past without finding things to regret. Some regret is good. It compels us to say we’re sorry to people who need to hear those words from us.

But, it’s one thing to admit a wrong and confess our sorrow for it and another to allow our regrets to ruin the present. Those if-onlies will sour our sweetest moments and darken our brightest successes if we let them. Every person with a conscience ends up with regrets.

Locusts destroying crops in Madagascar

Locusts destroying crops in Madagascar

Those “if-onlies” are like locusts that destroy the crops just before harvest time.

God sent this message through the prophet, Joel: I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten . . . (Joel 2:25)

Needing restoration? Bundle all your “if-onlies” and present them to the Father.

Prayer: Lord, regret is killing me. I’m sorry that I (name the actions that have caused regret). I accept your forgiveness for these mistakes and sins. With your help, I will allow you to restore to me those times in my life that were lost because of bad judgement, rebellion and weakness.


book covercover One Good Word 2Rose McCormick Brandon’s books, including One Good Word Makes all the Difference and Promises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children, are available at Writing From the Heart .



About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to “If Only” – Words of Regret

  1. Thanks Rose. You share an important lesson in this brief article – and well-put, too. I’ve heard people say that they’ve no regrets, or that they absolutely refuse to live with regret. Well, there are many things – both ‘omissions’ and ‘commissions’ – that I regret. However, with God’s forgiveness and grace I seek for wisdom and strength to move on in my present and into whatever tomorrows He allows me to see. ~~+~~

    • Well said, Peter. Impossible to live without regret. It seems to me that I can hardly get through 24 hours without saying or doing something I shouldn’t or not saying or not doing something I should. Thankful for I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”

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