Thursday, October 25, 2012

What If....

The -what if's- will destroy you.

What if I had gone to college when I was 18?  What if I had married someone else?  What if I had been a Christian when I was in high school?  What if I had disciplined my children when they were younger?  What if I hadn't been so harsh on my kids?  What if I had reconciled with my parents before they died?  What if I would have, could have ______ ?

Stop asking what if.  Start focusing on what is.  What has been.  What will be.  Any joy that you have or could potentially have in your life, in your family, in your relationships, it will all be sucked from you if you ever start playing the what-if the game.

I know I have been trapped in that.

Some of my biggest what if's have been:

What if I had committed my life to Christ in my youth when I first heard about the gospel?

What if I had held off dating until I was out of high school?

What if I had gone to Central (the college I graduated from) right after high school instead of transferring to school after school, racking up debt upon debt upon debt?

What if I had studied abroad, even for a semester?

What if I had chosen to elope or have a small ceremony when we got married instead having my parents pay so much for our wedding?

What if I had invested more time in my husband's ministry while I still had the extra time to invest?

What if I had stood up for our first son when he was in the NICU right after birth and I allowed the doctors and nurses there make some awful choices for him, some in front of me and some behind my back?

What if I had made a better decision and avoided medicating our son (which eventually led to him getting very, very sick) at 10 months when a doctor advised it?

---These Mommy What If's are the worst!  And I could go on and on with them but I will stop with those two.---

What if I had saved more money?  What if I had pursued this relationship?  Avoided that relationship?  What if?   What if?  WHAT IF?

Why do we even do that ourselves?  I could probably answer some of my what if questions, but a lot of them I just can't answer.  There are no good answers, no good outcomes from asking ourselves what if we had lived our lives differently.

But there are incredibly great answers to questions like "How can I be a better wife today?"  "What can I do to encourage my nephews today?"  "What is one idea that I could pursue that would help me accomplish a dream I have?"  "How can I incorporate a scripture verse into my day?"  "What is one thing I could stop doing to break free from bondage?"

All of these questions talk about what I can do now.  How I can change now.  And how I can change now will forever impact my future.  So much power in asking these questions about now!  So much bondage in asking What If.

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