If I hadn’t left the Church in 2001…
- I would not have learned to study Scripture (as opposed to simply reading Scripture);
- I would not have learned to defend my faith;
- I would not have drawn on the musical and doctrinal strength of hymns;
- I would not have joined Tweb–which means I would never have made a few poor choices, but also means I would never have connected with those friends who appeal to my inner theology geek, or stumbled upon the phrase, “the theology of music”;
- I would not have fought with Jenny;
- I would not have forgiven and been forgiven by Jenny;
- I would not have become such sister-friends with Colette;
- I would not have known Jack, except as an acquaintance;
- I would not have grown confident enough to say, “I have forgiven him;”
- I would not have written that novel, or those poems, or those songs, or those letters, or those blogs.
The list is endless. There are so many things in my life that would be different today if I’d settled myself and not questioned my faith. I won’t lie to you: Some of the results are not as wonderful as those listed above. To be honest, some of the results still shadow my heart.
But I no longer regret that time in my life. I see it more every day, that even in my richest folly, I was in the hands of a sovereign, gracious, faithful Lord, who knew exactly what evils my choices would result in. And somehow, those evils that were conceived in my own frustration, my own sin, Christ has birthed into passions and ministries and relationships that I never would have known if I’d “just believed.”
So would my life have been better if I’d not failed? Perhaps. But perhaps I would have made other choices, worse choices, irreparable choices. Who knows? Only God knows. And only God still knows what good He may accomplish through my life. But I do not regret–I do not mourn–the choices I made yesterday.
There is a Redeemer. So yes–repent of your sin; turn from your folly; bring your contrite heart before the forgiving Savior. But trust in Christ. Trust in His ability to restore what the worm has eaten. Trust in His desire and purpose to do just that.