- Avoid being involved in a relationship at least until my senior year in high school. I had serious emotional issues I was unaware of and sought to fill a void with relationships.
- Seek spiritual mentoring and get closer to God in my earlier years. I grew up catholic and was aware of the existence of God, but had absolutely no relationship with Him. I didn't know I could and I didn't know how much I needed to.
- Speak up more instead of giving in to my timidity and insecurities. I was a very insecure person. So much so, I wouldn't even raise my hand in class, knowing the answers.
- Break up with my husband after finding out about his drinking problem. If I had been a born again believer when I met my husband, I would have been quicker to see the red flags and broken things up. I love him and I'm grateful God was merciful and brought us both to faith in Him later in our marriage.
- Not be in a rush to grow up. I was having a difficult time at home, needing privacy, yet feeling lonely and misunderstood. Like a normal teenager, I wanted my independence and was impatient with curfews (though I did respect them) and boundaries that didn't seem fair. I would enjoy my time at home with my parents, knowing I was blessed to have a family and home.
- Take mission trips around the world. I would love to have known the Lord back then. I would have taken advantage of my youth to take the Word and whatever help was needed in other areas of the world.
- Be married later in life (I was married at 21). Being married comes with so many responsibilities and challenges. It becomes harder to do missions, outreaches, and other things for the Kingdom since we have other matters to tend to. Don't get me wrong; I love my husband, being a wife, and being a mother. However, I was not emotionally ready to begin when I did. Thank God for His grace. He makes all things work out.
- Not let myself be taken advantage of. This goes along with #3; speaking up. I would have stood my ground more on things that mattered to me.
- Smile more. Being an insecure and timid person, I wouldn't smile much while out in public. I later learned someone misunderstood this as conceit and they stopped talking to me because I didn't seem approachable or kind. Fear does that to you. Makes you look different than what you really are.
- Lived outside of my room more. I spent too much time in there. If I had known the Lord then, I would have broken out of my shell, formed of depression, frustration, pain, and dreams, and spent more time with family and friends. I would have made plans and made them happen instead of becoming frustrated with myself that I'd only dream, write, and read, and never took an actual step.
And because I know He knows the beginning from the end and loves us with an immeasurable, perfect love, His timing is perfect. His plans are perfect. The way He lets us make choices and makes provision for our mistakes and imperfections, is beautiful. I am grateful for that. I have no regrets. I cannot go back. I trust that THIS was the best way for me. God knows me. He drew me to Himself when His time was right. He knows why and He knows when. I wouldn't trade my life or my husband. We are in God's hands and there is no better place to be. I would have loved to have known God back then. Things would have been different. But I am glad they're not. I choose to trust God. He knows best and He loves me more than I could ever love Him.