No More "If Onlies"

It seems that most of the time when I lose someone close to me, even when I feel I have done everything I know to do, there is always an “if only”.  If only I had said..., if only I had done..., if only I had known..., if only I had spent more time..., if only, if only, if only... 
I remember in 3rd grade, my very best friend in the whole wide world moved clear across town.  Of course, at that time in my life, it might as well have been clear across the world because I knew I wouldn’t be spending all my extra time with her anymore.  I was so sad and, at that age, didn’t really know how to handle all the emotions, so I got really mad at her (like she was the one making the decision to move).  This hurt caused the last few days we had to be strained and not what they should have been.  She moved away and within a couple of weeks she was walking home from school for lunch and was hit by a car.  After several days in the hospital, she went to heaven.  I remember being so grieved, I cried and cried.  I remember thinking, if only I had been nicer before she left...  
I remember in my late teens my stepdad was diagnosed with cancer and told it was terminal.  I was so sad, because for the first time in my moms life, she was happy.  She was married to the man of her dreams but only for 6 weeks before he was diagnosed.  We did everything with him.  We fished, we helped build a cabin, we laughed, we cried, we loved and several years later, at the age of 50, he passed away.  I know there wasn’t anything else I could have done or said, but I had been on my honeymoon right before he passed and I went through the - if only I had been here those two weeks...
When I was growing up, my mom was kind of a hit and miss mom.  I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her until my high school years and then we had more of a friendship then the mother/daughter relationship, I didn’t know, I needed.  When I started having kids, all the hurt of her not being around while I was growing up came crashing in on me and I had to struggled to even maintain a relationship with her.  After spending a lot of time with Jesus and realizing that she didn’t make the decisions she made because she didn’t want me, I was able to forgive her.  I also had to forgive myself for years of unforgiveness.  Fast forward a bunch of years to this past August, at the age of 65, my mom passed away, it was very sudden and unexpected.  I was so in shock, she was so young, she should have lived another 20 years, at least.  Unfortunately, she hadn’t taken very good care of herself, she had spent most of her life addicted to prescription pain medicine, and it all caught up with her.  When she passed, there I was again, if only I had made the most of the times I did get to spend with her..., if only I had tried harder to help her..., if only I hadn’t spent so much time not forgiving her and spent more time loving her, would things have been different?  
I don’t know the answers to all the if onlies of my life, but I do know there is someone who wants an amazing relationship with me, someone who loves me no matter what, someone who thinks I am all that, someone who was willing to die for me, someone who wants to listen to me even when I am rambling, someone who wants to be with me even when I am not at my best, someone who loves me even when I fail, someone who teaches me to forgive, someone who teaches me to love unconditionally, someone who will never leave me.
I know that I want to live my life with purpose, loving like Jesus does, forgiving like Jesus does, and someday when I am gone from this earth, whether it be when I die or when He returns for me, I want to stand in front of Him and not have any if onlies!!!
Thank you Jesus, for loving me, faults and all.  Thank you for teaching me to forgive, and love unconditionally.  Help me to shine Your light to everyone I encounter.  Teach me to make the most of every opportunity you place before me.  Lead me and guide me to live with purpose so I don’t have any if onlies in my life.  Show me the areas of my life where I need to replace me with You!!  You are an AWESOME GOD!!!
Counting it all Joy!!


Mich said...

This was a beautiful post. I can't count how many times I have had the "if onlies."

So thankful for my Savior of grace, so glad I don't have to live in a world of regret, if I choose to turn it all over to Him.

Hope you are having a beautiful day!

He & Me + 3 said...

Oh girl...I needed to read this. I "if only" myself to death. I regret so often instead of forgetting what is behind me and moving forward in Christ.
Thank you for posting this.
We serve a God of second chances and one that loves us no matter what. I am so thankful for that. I don't have to worry about the "if onlies" with Him.

Loren said...

Oh Angel ~ I hear you...and understand the hurt and pain of regret. But I have learned that regret can be turned to good if we will learn and then forgive and turn from those ways or regret can be straight from the enemy and cause us to go deeper and within...I know your mom loved you so very much and she did the best she could at the time....her wounds kept her from stepping out and being all she could and you have learned from that and not only forgiven and found compassion but you have worked through those wounds of your own and become an amazing mother and have a wonderful family. those generational things are gone in JESUS name and you have been given the gift of wholeness which will go on to your children so see how what the enemy meant for harm the LORD has turned to good! HE is AWESOME and ADORES you! HE has blessed you in ways too many to count and I praise HIM for that! You are precious you know that!! JUst PRecious!

I love you

Heart2Heart said...


Congratulations on your recent win of the book Sounds Like Crazy from the author herself. Please send me your mailing information so I can get that mailed out to you right away.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Warren Baldwin said...

Linked here from StepMomof3.

This was a great post. Heartfelt. Not to minimize any pain or hurt, but at your conclusion I could help but think that there is one "if only" you will never have to say - "If only I had known the one who bears our burdens, the savior." Glad you have him.

Enjoyed the visit. You are a good writer and have a good blog.