What if...

I suffer from "What If" itis. It is difficult for me to accept a good thing as just that. Left untreated this will quickly paralyze me with fear and foreboding even when there is literally no sign of anything catastrophic headed my way. 

My family is set to move into our dream home within the next couple of weeks. This should be a time of grand planning and dreaming and excitement. And at times it is, but as I wait for all of the loose ends to finally tie up into a nice little bow, my mind and heart turn, not to the blessings, but to the eternal WHAT IFS. 

What if this falls through?

What if we are being unwise?

What if this is really not our dream home and we hate it?

What if we should just stay where we are comfortable? 

(Then it takes a nasty dark turn)

What if right after we move in crap starts to hit the fan like it did when mom and dad moved to Rome? (The day they moved in my grandmother died, followed by two types of cancer hitting my parents, dad losing his job and two wrecks for me all within a period of about a year.) 

What if something horrible happens to the kids? Or Josh? Or me? 

What if? What if? What if? 

(What my heart is really dying to know is what if I make a mistake? What if I'm not good enough? What if I lose more of what I have left? What if He changes His mind and takes these blessings away because of something that I do?    Notice how much 'I' centered all of those questions are.)

Y'all. This is not how we are meant to live. 

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. - John 10:10

If I'm honest, there are a lot of parts in the Bible that are a struggle for me to connect with and understand. Parts of Psalm 37 for instance. I love this chapter in a lot of ways. The verses "Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart," "Those who trust in the Lord will possess the land," "He will honor you and give you the land," (verses 4, 9, 34) for instance are easy for me to connect with since we have been searching for a dream home with land for a good solid five years or so. 

However, "The wicked will be destroyed," "The wicked will disappear," "The strength of the wicked will be shattered," (verses 9, 17, 34) these are much easier for me to just gloss over. I'm not wicked. I don't know any wicked people. Wicked is just one heck of an awesome Broadway play. 

But if you simply replace wicked with evil and you think of evil as all of those 'What ifs,' that come in like a thief in the night to steal, kill, and destroy then...THEN...

verse 1 - Don't worry about the wicked (the evil...the what ifs)
verse 12 and 14 - The wicked (evil, what ifs) plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs... (He is NOT scared of the what ifs)
verse 27 - Turn from evil and do good and you will live in the land forever. 

Evil and wicked are not always the big, ugly headed monster, the 'big sins'. Sometimes they are quiet and small and can go unnoticed. Evil and wicked are the things that come in to steal, kill and destroy. Y'all. I have allowed the what ifs to steal my joy, kill my spirit and destroy hope and life. This is not the type of life that He gives us. He defeated evil and here I am allowing it to control me. 

He gave me verse 27 as a conviction in the kindest way. "Turn from evil." I had always read verses like that as a 'don't'. Don't eat that much sugar. Don't be a couch potato. Don't gossip. Don't. Don't. Don't. I read it with the mindset that evil, wicked, what ifs are in control. They control me and I'm the helpless victim. Today, with the kindest of eyes, He looked at me and said turn. Turn and get up. Get out of the pit that what ifs try to keep you in. You are a free daughter. Trust me. I have defeated the what ifs and have come to bring you life and life to the full. What ifs and fear do not control you. You have the power through me. Turn from evil. Turn from the what ifs.  

More hard stuff is coming my way. I know it is. We live in a fallen world. It's bound to happen. But the thing is, He's already conquered it. I don't know what is coming around the corner, but He does. And He laughs at it. Nothing is going to keep Him from His daughter. And I have a choice. I can choose to let the unknown scare me and control me or I can "Turn from evil." He showed me today that sin, evil, the what ifs DO NOT HAVE THE POWER. I do through Him. I can say NO I don't have to have all the answers. NO I don't have to have it all figured out before I make one step. One mistake DOES NOT define who I am. Whatever is coming around the corner is nothing compared to the one that is already with me on my side. 

The truly funny thing about all of this? I woke up this morning with the odd realization that I am Marlin in Finding Nemo. (Mind you this was all before the events that led to my recent realization in Psalms.) As the day went on and I began to fret, control, worry and get angry I realized just how much I am like that little fish. What drove Marlin? What controlled him? Fear. Fear of losing the only thing he had left. He was just swimming around, moving into a new little ocean home to grow his family and then WHAM...right around the anemone his whole little world changed in the blink of an eye. He spent the next few years trying to control every little thing for fear of losing the only thing he had left. He trusted nothing and no one. But regardless of his well laid plans, life happened. And you know what? He survived. Nemo survived. And Marlin realized he doesn't have to be afraid. He's already been through his worst fear and come out stronger and braver and more capable to face life head on. 

Am I really making life comparisons with a fish? Yes. Yes, I am. 

Because what if Marlin never even went after Nemo for fear of what could happen?

What if there is so much more coming around the corner that is life and life abundantly but we won't take it because we sit paralyzed with fear? 

What if we are giving our energy and attention to the things that are stealing, killing, and destroying everything He sacrificed to freely give us? 

It's time to turn. 

"For the wicked will be destroyed, 
                           but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land." - Psalm 37:9


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