If Only...

24 February 2013

What if?

We often ask this question every day in regards to something that has been said or done at some point in out lives.
Maybe we ask it in regards to little things, such as "What if I had roomed with someone else Freshman year of college?" or maybe we ask it in regards to big things, such as "What if I hadn't yelled at & degraded my significant other?".
This question can take on many forms and it can range from extremely little things to extremely large, life altering things.
Sometimes we can find ourselves getting lost in our thoughts as we question "What if..." in regards to different aspects of our lives, whether we could have altered it or if our "What ifs..." are really what it would have been like.
We can become so consumed with trying to figure out what could have been if we did something differently, that we often times find ourselves unable to keep ourselves from making decisions that leave us with more "What if..." moments.

On a personal level, I ask myself "What if..." on a regular basis in regards to things that have happened.
What if I had chosen to go to bed early the other night?
What if I hadn't ordered pizza for supper two nights this week?
What if I hadn't reacted that way to his simple inquiry about how I was doing?
What if I would have stepped out of my comfort zone and asked what his intentions were?
What if I would have opened myself up to let him into my heart?
What if I did not have trust issues?
What if I had had a father who was active in my life?
What if I had had a father who was a positive presence in my life?
What if?
I could go on and on with this list, but I think this makes my point.
I ask myself these questions about multitudes of things on a daily basis.
As much as I hate to admit it, I often find myself dwelling on these "What ifs" and it ends up affecting my mood & my life.
It is not that it is always bad for me to wonder, but when I let that affect the way I live now...that's when there is a problem.
I cannot change what has happened and it can be damaging to me to dwell on those things.
God does not want me to dwell on those things.
He wants me to focus on my present so that I can try to limit the number of "What ifs" I have later on.

When we focus on our past and the "What ifs" that come along with that, we are likely to end up having "What ifs" about how our lives are going now because we were so worried about the past.
We need to seek God's help in accepting the past and working on doing our best to remove "What if" moments from life.
We will never be able to completely avoid "What if" moments, but we can do our best to limit them.
There is also a part of us as humans that feels the need to talk about these things with someone, but maybe we're afraid.
But as members of a Christian community, we always have people to talk to who will not judge us.
Seek out those people and ask them to talk with you and pray with you, even hold you accountable to handle things differently in similar situations in the future.
If you're not a part of a Christian (Church) family/community, then look for a friend who you feel you can trust or look for a church and get to know someone there and talk to them.
The family of God is our support system, whether Christians or not, and that does not just mean on the good days.
They are there on the bad days and through the tough times.
It is so much easier to go through these things with people by your side.
I encourage to find someone to talk to or to talk to God.
I also encourage you not to dwell on the "What ifs".
Do not let them control your life.
Put them behind you, put them in God's hands.
He has far greater things for you!!

***NOTE: My pastor has been doing a series on this topic at church on Sunday mornings and you can find recordings of these to listen to on our website... Journey Church

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