In between seasons can be scary places to live. We don’t have a magic telescope that lets us see the future. We have don’t know what lies around the next bend in the road. But we’re worriers by nature so we question, we guess, we wonder, we doubt, and we ask ourselves, “what if?”
I’m the queen of what ifs in my in between phases of life. In no particular order here are some past and present what ifs I’ve asked myself, my husband, and my God:
- What if he’s not waiting at the altar?
- What if I never get pregnant?
- What if I can never carry a baby to term?
- What if I never get to be a mommy?
- What if I don’t get the job?
- What if John doesn’t get the job?
- What if we can’t sell the house?
- What if we can’t raise the funds to adopt?
- What if I never fit in?
- What if I never find a close friend?
- What if Mareto dies before we get to him?
- What if he’s too sick to make the flight home?
- What if he never sleeps through the night?
- What if Arsema’s crying and no one’s there to rock her?
- What if she’s hungry, sad, lonely, or cold?
- What if he has autism? …. what if he doesn’t?
- What if I’m not needed?
- What if we can’t make it financially?
- What if something happens to her in the OR?
- What if he never goes poop on the potty?
- What if I don’t have what it takes?
- What if we can’t find a home for our family?
- What if I do all this work and no one wants to publish my book?
- What if I am not prepared?
- What if we uproot the kids and their struggle to adjust is unbearable?
- What if I’m not doing enough?
- What if I’m doing to much?
and on and on it goes…
Some of these what ifs were/are legitimate questions based in truth (infertility, loss, a deathly ill child, autism, ect…) and others were/are just ridiculous fears. What if he doesn’t show at the altar?? Really?! There was absolutely no reason for me to fear John not showing up, but still I asked my mom at one point while I was getting my wedding dress on, “is he here? did he come??” She laughed at me and said, “of course!”
The bottom line is that seasons lived in between are generally uncomfortable and frightening as we teeter on the edge of our future. It’s the perfect setting for fear and worry to take root in our hearts. But living in fear and wallowing in worry is a waste of time and doesn’t do much good.
When I was a teenager I remember my father asking me a question that has become my best tool to get rid of fear and worry. I don’t remember what I was dealing with at the time (probably something silly) and Dad asked, “what’s the worst that could happen?” As I thought about it I realized the worst wasn’t really all that bad and I needed to stop freaking out! I ask myself that same question constantly now. Sometimes the worst that could happen ranges from not all that bad to really quite tragic. But no matter what “worst” comes or doesn’t come, one thing is always and forever true…
Nothing can separate me from the love of God. And in light of that, it’s really not all that bad.