So What If...?

Bad things happen. They are inevitable in this world. The good and the bad are a packaged deal. We live life with the fear of their arrival looming over us. We constantly are in a state of nervous anticipation for their appearance in our lives. We wait for the pain, for the sadness, for our lives to change. We predict the worst. It is an exhausting place in which to find yourself.

In my own life right now, I feel like a cloud is following me and I am just waiting for it to cry its tears out upon me. There is a likelihood I could be facing a huge change in my life. And this change saddens me. It hurts to consider. It means the death of some dreams and a complete revamping of others. It means letting go of what I had envisioned, growing up, facing fears, adjusting to newness. It means a huge turning point on this journey, one I never imagined being placed there and one I wish I could have stopped from seeing.

I could choose to wallow in pity. I could choose to feel sorry for myself. I could choose to spend every waking minute obsessing over how things will change and what will become of life, playing out all the possibilities in my head. I could choose to live in misery. I could choose to let the fear consume me, dictate what I do, and determine who I will be. I could choose to give up. Or, I could choose to look at it from a different perspective. I could speak into my life what I will choose to become in the midst of the trial and what I will do and what will remain through it all.

As the thought of what could happen enters my mind, before the anxiety takes over, I ask myself “what if?” What if this does happen? What if the fear actually comes alive? What if my worries are now my reality?" So I go to the bottom of that fear and face it because some of the things we fear will happen and we need to be prepared for that.

So what if?

Then I keep moving forward. Every day I will choose to get up and fight, to persevere through the perils and triumph in the trials. I will stand unshaken. I will not let it deter me from my progress, from what my heart desires, from all I have accomplished. I will not use it as an excuse to fall back into my old ways, to succumb to the darkness. I will not turn the sadness against myself. I will not see it as justification to use behaviors and destroy my body, convincing myself it is what I deserve. I will continue to put one foot in front of the other, with eyes fixed on the path before me and not on what lies behind me.

So what if?

Then I choose to fight the hate with love. I will not blame myself for what was out of my control. The problems existed before my battle began. I will not put the pressure on myself to fix what I did not break. I will let go of my need to live in perfection and to make everyone else happy while I sacrifice my own joy. I will break free of my need to hold others up while I crumble under the weight of what is not mine to carry, of the baggage that is not mine to claim. I will relinquish what I cannot control. It will not be my battle to fight. It will not be my shame to bear. It will not be my poor choice to own. I will separate myself from the people and the emotions of those in the darkness.

So what if?

Then I will continue to let my light shine. No fear, no pain, no hurt can ever extinguish the fire that has been put in me. I will not what is around me determine what is in me. I will not let what I cannot control dictate my choices. I will continue to run to what ignites me, to what brightens me, to what makes me come alive instead of running back to the dark, to what broke me. The prison from which I escaped does not have the solution to the problem, will not solve what has happened, will not make better what has been destroyed. I will choose to live in the glow that life has to offer. I will seek out and stand in the illumination.

So what if?

Then I will trust. I will find peace that this was all already written in the plan. What is happening was already factored into the journey of my life. All that lies before me has already been put in the equation. And it will not stop the good from coming. It will not stop my promises from being fulfilled. It will not inhibit my calling from being heard. And it will surely not stop my purpose from being lived. If I survived sixteen years of death then whatever is to come, is not going to kill me. I have proof of the strength of my spirit, of the infinite hope that resides in me, and of the faith that fills my heart. Those things can endure the trials to come and will fight every battle. They will always claim victory.

So what if?

Then most importantly, above all that I will do and that I will choose, God will be there. God will get me through it. Even if the worst case scenario plays out, God will have me in His hands. I will have His comfort. I will have His peace. God is waiting for me at the bottom and will raise me back up. I may lose a lot but I will not lose God. I will keep loving Him and serving Him because my faith will always surpass my fear. My faith is not in the conditions of my life but it is in the God who has restored me, who has created this life, and who has made all things possible. My focus will not drift from who holds my heart. I know no matter how much it may ache, with one touch and one word He will heal it. I am safe in Him. I will make it. Perhaps not in the way I imagined, but I will get to the other side.

So what if one day this cloud over me does break? Well then I will reread these words and follow my plan written with a heart and a spirit designed to overcome, that know no matter what battles are before I will win the war. The end is going to be beautiful regardless of the storms I have to face in the meantime. The fear is present and real. But God has placed in me a hope to which fear cannot hold a candle, a hope more alive and powerful than what lies before me. Forever up I will go…

Hope, love, and blessings,

J.L.