Faithful


Faithful

Merriam-Webster states it as: 
adjective faith·ful \ ˈfāth-fəl \

Definition of faithful
1 : steadfast in affection or allegiance : loyal a faithful friend

2 : firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : conscientious a faithful employee

3 : given with strong assurance : binding a faithful promise

4 : true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original a faithful copy

5 : full of faith

I was at a dinner party recently, just before Christmas, and we were discussing the story of Mary before she gave birth to Jesus. Among the topics discussed was her faithfulness to God. Here, at such a young age, she was asked to believe in something many of us nowadays can not even wrap our minds around. But she always remained faithful and trusted in God – regardless of what the circumstances looked like, she kept believing and kept moving forward. 


Luke 1:45 NLT

You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.

As we continued to discuss Mary’s story, we began to go around the table each discussing our 2017 – especially focusing on any singular word or theme we had had from the Lord for that year. 

I started to wrack my brain thinking back. Had I had a word for 2017 for myself? I really couldn’t think of one immediately, but then I felt a quickening in my spirit of the word “faithful” and the people who spoke words of wisdom and encouragement into my life during the first few months of 2017. The common theme of each of those words was faithfulness. 

2016 had been so full of promise, but as 2016 began to close and 2017 started, I was disappointed, frustrated, and discouraged – with my job, with church, with myself. 

There was a shift in friendships – which is an important lesson in and of itself to learn; some are for only a season. I felt stagnant at work – leaving many days more frustrated than when I came. And mostly, I felt like I’d hit a wall: at church, in ministry, and spiritually. 

But then came March. As I was crying out to God saying what am I to do, three words came in three days all confirming the same thing: stay the course, don’t jump ship, God has seen your struggle and your servant’s heart, remain faithful and He will do the same. 

Remain faithful and He’ll do the same. 

There’s that scripture again. 


Luke 1:45 NLT

You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.

I wasn’t sure what these words I’d received would mean. And frankly, staying faithful when I wanted to run away was the last thing I wanted to do.

Staying faithful, when there is nothing you can do to speed things up or make things happen yourself, is one of the most difficult tasks you’ll ever have in life. Because that requires staying faithful and putting your trust in someone else believing that what He said He’ll do, He’ll actually do. 

In my heart of hearts I knew. If I would be faithful in trusting Him, He would be faithful in fulfilling His promises to me. 

So as I sat at the dinner table of this Christmas party, and my turn to give my word for 2017 arrived, my eyes began to well up with tears because I realized God had done exactly what He had said – He had followed through on what He’d promised me in March. Stay faithful and I will be faithful to you. 

In April, I saw some precious friendships blossom and strengthen. Knit together as only God can do. 

In May, I began ministering weekly at a local ministry and saw myself being stretched and pulled in ways I never thought possible. 

In July, I was asked to speak at our youth camp. Something I never pictured myself doing. 

In August, I began doing the worship transition and offering every Wednesday night for our youth services. 

In October, I welcomed my 35th birthday – not with tears and sadness as I had expected it would be, but with friends showering me in the truest love I’ve ever experienced. 

Over the summer, I also accepted two new positions at work. 

Now, as I sit in my warm house, snuggled near the fireplace, on this cold and dreary New Year’s Eve, I look forward to 2018 while remembering 2017 with fondness instead of bitterness. 

I’m not sure yet what my word for 2018 will be, although “expectancy” is what I keep feeling in my heart. I have a true expectancy for this coming year. An expectancy for my life. An expectancy for ministry in new and exciting ways. 

But the one thing I know will remain true, come what may, is that those who believe God will do what He has promised will be blessed! 

Can you look back on 2017 and see His faithfulness at work in your life? What do you believe will be your word for 2018 – your promise to remain faithful to? Let’s all head into 2018 with an eager expectancy for our lives and be just like Mary; remaining faithful in believing and blessed in receiving! 

In HIM…You ARE

Have you ever been asked to do something you weren’t sure you were capable of? Or been in a situation where you felt completely over your head? 

Have you ever felt unqualified? Unworthy? Unlovable? Unbeautiful?

I know I have. In fact, when I was asked to speak to the youth at our summer camp – I was excited! At first, that is. Then that small little voice of fear crept in. 

You see, Satan doesn’t take a sick day. He doesn’t sit back and think, nah I’m just going to let that one slide. No, he’s always there, waiting for the opportune moment to sink his claws in and destroy anything good God has for us!

Lisa Bevere once said, ‘Satan doesn’t attack us based on our past, he attacks us based on our future!’

He attacks us based on what he KNOWS we are capable of because he knows what Christ, who lives in us, is capable of! 

So when that little voice started saying to me: you aren’t ready for this. You’ve never stood in front of people talking (as I started having horrible flashbacks to college speech classes) – You aren’t qualified to do this. I quickly felt deflated and defeated. 

Sure I’ve done the small group thing before – where you have the instant feedback and gratification from your participants – but to actually get up and speak to an audience – to preach – mark that one on my ‘Never Have I Ever’ list. 

But what does the Word say about who Satan is? Does he come to remind us of the obvious truths we may believe in? No. The Word says in John 8:44 that Satan is a thief and the father of all lies – that there is no truth in him. And in John 10:10 NLT – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

Satan takes the truth and twists it until it becomes a lie you believe. As a prime example, just last night – through a series of crazy events – we saw bugs on the beds we were preparing to sleep in. The truth of the matter – it was an actual bug on the bed. The lie – they weren’t bedbugs. Satan took that truth, and through fear, twisted it into a lie until we were so overcome by it that no one wanted to sleep on the beds. 

Satan comes to STEAL the TRUTH from you, to KILL your FAITH and FUTURE, and DESTROY EVERY GOOD THING GOD HAS FOR YOU. 

So the Lord really began to minister to me about who I am and who lives IN me. 

Because of Him – My past and sins were crucified with Him 

Because of Him – I was raised up and I am alive

Because of Him – it isn’t me who lives, but Christ who lives 

He LIVES in ME! He LIVES in YOU! 

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Because of Him, because He lives in me…when I believe the lies of the devil and I say I’M not qualified, I’M not capable, I’M not beautiful, I’M not ENOUGH…we are saying that Christ IN US isn’t qualified, isn’t capable, isn’t exactly who He created you to be – we are saying Christ ISN’T ENOUGH!

I don’t know about y’all. But that revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. Christ IS enough. His death and resurrection ARE my LIFE! When the greater one resides in you…who can be against you? What dare be against you?

But even more so as I was praying over this Wednesday on my drive to church…the Lord began to minister to me about not just Christ in me, but Christ in others. 

One of the nasty lies of Satan I’ve believed all of my life is that I wasn’t pretty, wasn’t beautiful. How much more so if I didn’t believe it and didn’t love myself, then how could anyone else find me pretty, or beautiful, or love me?! 

That’s when the Lord began to minister to me that if He’s in me and He is everything, then isn’t He the same in other believers too? I have to believe that Him in me, Him in you, and Him in my future spouse are enough too! 

With Christ in you, because of the sacrifice He made…you are equipped and capable and beautiful and EVERYTHING HE DESIGNED YOU TO BE!!

When Everything Goes Gray

There’s always been something about thunderstorms that I love, but also hate. As the clouds roll in, bringing much needed rain to the land, they also bring a gloomy, gray blanket that seems to immerse everything within its reach. 

As I laid in bed one evening this past week, listening to the thunder rumble in the distance, I started thinking about when things went gray in my life. 

Let’s discuss a subject that has had so many talking lately – and frankly effects far more youth than I could have ever imagined. If you haven’t dealt with it yourself, you know someone who has. 

Suicide 

This is a topic I’ve never broached before. Not on paper. Not online. Not even in person. In all honesty, only one person in my life really knows all that went on and all that I went through (and even she might not know/remember some of the details I’m about to share). But I’ve had it on my heart for months now to share my story. 

I can’t tell you what triggered it. I wasn’t bullied. There was no event that brought on the feelings. One day, my 10yr old self (yes at just 10 years of age), woke up like every other day – the difference came that night when I tried to go to sleep.

That night, when I turned the lights out and curled up in bed, it started. It was a quiet, little voice at first but when I gave it place, it quickly became the loudest thing I heard each night. 

“No one would miss you”

“No one really loves you”

I had two parents who loved me unconditionally. A pesky little brother. Grandparents who thought the world of me. And a church and pastor that considered me their own. Yet all I could think about each evening was how I should do it and what I’d write in a note to leave behind. 

I don’t quite remember how much time passed before I began to talk about it. But I do remember countless nights of insomnia. And I remember crying one night and my mother coming in and telling her I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I’d die. It became so drastic a fear that I began to believe my own body would forget how to breathe in and out. 

Here I was, a prepubescent child, dealing with a very (not to get overly spiritual) demonic spirit of fear and death. I was tortured with thoughts of killing myself (down to the details of what I’d use, how, when, etc) and yet in the moments I tried to find peace and rest, I was plagued with the fear of dying – of not waking up or forgetting how to breathe. 

I’d like to say there is a magic answer to make feelings like these go away. Perhaps for some there is. But for me, there wasn’t. It was countless nights (months) of tossing, turning, crying, pacing my floor, and even actually writing a note out one night and sneaking in to my parents room as they were sleeping because I knew they kept a gun in there. My mother played a “Peaceful Praise” tape on repeat in my room each evening and she prayed with me often. I even prayed myself. I knew this wasn’t what God wanted for me – I found myself literally crying out to Him. 

Months passed before the suicidal thoughts and fear of death began to subside. 

I never fully acted on it. I never had any professional counseling. No medication. Frankly, in the early 90’s, it wasn’t talked about much and people didn’t go to counsellors like they do now. And unlike today, there were no wonderful female ministers teaching about your immeasurable value in Christ; No books about how God created you beautiful just as your are. No – It was simply the grace of God that saved me and the sheer determination of a 10yr old who wanted to live and not die. 

I don’t know why I went through this all at such a young age aside from I truly believe: Satan wants to destroy anything and everything that could ever bring glory for the kingdom of God. 

I’d be lying if I said the thoughts never tried to creep in after that. But I’m older and wiser now. I know where the voices of despair, depression, and death come from and I know exactly where they belong. I know that His word says He had a plan for my life before I was even formed in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), that His plans are for my good not for my demise (Jeremiah 29:11), and that the spirit of fear doesn’t come from God because He gives us power, love, and a peaceful mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

I don’t know why I’ve had it on my heart to share. Especially to share something so personal that I’ve never even talked to my best friend about it. Maybe there is someone that needed to read it. And if it reaches just one person, then it is all worth it. 

No matter how bleak things may appear. When everything in your life seems to go gray. When there seems to be no answer to the problems you’re facing. When you feel more alone than you ever thought possible. When the voices speak so loud you can’t hear your own. Know that:
You are not alone

You are valuable

You are beautiful

You are wanted

You are loved

You have a purpose 

You have a plan 

You are needed

You are alive 

And know, it’s ok to talk about it. There is no shame – no stigmas – no condemnation. The torturous thoughts and feelings of suicide are no respecter of age, race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, etc – it doesn’t matter if you are 10 years old or 100 years old. Talk to your family. Your friends. Your pastor. A leader in your church. A counselor. Someone you trust. Anyone. And if you feel you have no one you can talk to about it – call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255 or suicide.org). There is NOTHING so horrible that it is worth taking your own life for and you don’t have to face it alone. 

Fearless


When did fear take over our lives?

Turn the tv on. Open up a newspaper (do they still make those?). Listen to the radio. Scroll through social media. Talk to a friend. 

No matter your means of information, it’s hard nowadays to not be inundated with headlines that spark fear in even the most fearless of people out there. 

Don’t go outside! Zika virus is everywhere and if you get bit by a mosquito, you’ll end up sick. 

Don’t go anywhere! ISIS is everywhere. You can’t travel now without the fear of a terrorist attack. 

Don’t say anything! If you do, you’ll offend someone or end up in a social media word war because no one is allowed to have a differing opinion anymore. 

Don’t write that. Don’t say that. Don’t do that. Don’t post that. Don’t confront that. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. 

This could all read as – fear, fear, fear, fear. 

The more soul searching I do of myself, the more I recognize how much of my past experiences were dictated by fear. How many things I didn’t do or missed out on because I was fearful. 

Almost 9 years ago, I had this brief moment in my life of fearlessness. I was on the cusp of my 25th birthday – next to nearly no responsibilities, I had just graduated from the university, I actually had money in my bank account, and I was confident the world was truly my oyster. 

So I grabbed a friend and set out on a two-week vacation through five countries in Europe. I didn’t care about the cost – I had enough money and no worries about the future. I didn’t care about safety – two young, single girls traveling alone through unchartered territories (what the heck were our parents thinking?!) and predominantly Muslim places in the middle of Ramadan. I didn’t worry about what I could come back to on my desk at work. I truly didn’t have a care in the world I couldn’t conquer on my own. And on that trip, I had the time of my life! I saw some of the wonders of the world. I met some amazing people. I brought back memories I’ll cherish forever. I even climbed a volcano! I climbed a freaking volcano!! 

For those two weeks, FEARLESS was my middle name. 

But as the years went on, adult responsibilities increased, and my child-like-faith decreased, the fear-less part of me was taken over by the fear-more part. 

Fear can absolutely cripple a person if you allow it to take root in your life. And all it takes is to open yourself up to the voices of the world: the voices telling you to fear, to doubt, to hate – that you aren’t safe enough, good enough. But that is never God’s best for us. 

II Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

He’s given us power to overcome fear, love to conquer it all, and a peaceful mind so the cares can’t get us down. 

I’m not sure the Word could be any clearer than that. Once you identify that fear is not from God, it is not good, and it most definitely doesn’t belong in your life, you can begin to uproot it! 

Now this isn’t your pass to go and act like an idiot. Most of us do enough of that as teenagers to fulfill a lifetime quota. But it is your pass to look at things with God on your side – if He is on your side, who can be against you? (Romans 8:1)

Quit being fearful about tomorrow. Quit fearing the elections (yup I said it). Quit worrying about your future – or even your past. Quit worrying about school, what to wear, your boyfriend/girlfriend, the popular clique or the unpopular clique. Quit worrying about college. Quit worrying about that trip you want to take. Quit worrying about your job. 

Take a Holy Ghost chill pill, rest in your Father’s arms, remembering “hey, He’s got this!” and start living life fearlessly again. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get back to where I was at 25yrs old and be FEARLESS! 

In a world that fears more, we should fear less because greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!! (I John 4:4 NLT) 

You Are Enough

  

It’s amazing how at the age of 33, I still allow the voices from my childhood to influence my life today.

When you think back over your past, your history, there are always moments in time that stand out to you – good and bad. You’re history made you who you are today, but it doesn’t have to dictate your future. Silencing the voices of inadequacy in your head are possible, but you have to give in to God first, knowing He made you perfect, just the way you are.

I can remember the day as if it was yesterday. An awkward, and completely average (not overweight) little girl was standing in her friend’s bedroom playing dress up, only to be scolded by the friend’s mother. “Don’t wear that! Take it off now!” You’ll stretch it out!” At 8 years of age, I found myself holding back tears while I was told I wasn’t ‘skinny’ enough to play dress up. I saw myself as ‘different’ and ‘fat’ from that day on.

Fast forward to age 16. Try outs for the youth group band. All my life I had been told I had a gift for singing. My grandmother even called it an anointing. “Your vocal range is amazing! But we just like her better since you haven’t been trained on harmonies.” The consolation from the pianist didn’t help – “You’re a much better singer than her, but it’s a popularity thing; I’m sorry.” From that day on I didn’t see my voice as a gift from God, or anointed; I saw it as “not good enough”.

I’m 19 years old, standing in the parking lot of “B’s” apartment complex, getting ready for him to move to California. He kisses me tenderly and then holds my face in his hands and says to me: “You’re so pretty – but you’d be beautiful if you just lost these round cherub cheeks.” After that moment, I no longer saw myself as pretty or perfect. I looked in the mirror and only saw my flaws – my round cheeks, scars, crooked ears, etc. I saw myself as not pretty enough, not beautiful enough, not perfect enough.

For far too many years, I’ve let those voices from my past take up residence in my present – at many times even tainting my future. These voices in my head, moments in time, words that were said – I allowed them to shape me into who I am today: the girl who battles with her weight, who is self-conscious to sing where others can hear her, who feels unbeautiful, and who feels completely inadequate most of the time to complete what God has put in her heart for G.R.A.C.E.

But something clicked this week. Maybe it was when I realized how stupid it was to worry about my voice. Or perhaps it was when I was reminded, as long as I am in the will of God, then I am the right girl, in the right place, at the right time, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

But the real freedom from these voices came when I sought God for His answer to the voices from my past.

Anytime we accept the idea that we are not enough, we negate all that Christ laid down for us to be whole, perfect, and blameless in the eyes of God. We aren’t just saying “I’m not enough”, we are saying “Jesus, you aren’t enough”. That revelation right there silenced the voices of my past. I never want to diminish or devalue all that God has done for me because He loves me and made me perfect just the way I am.

Psalm 139: 13-16 NLT
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment laid out before a single day had passed.

I heard God say to me – “You are enough for the job you need to do. You are enough for the desires I have put in your heart. You are enough for the man I have for you. YOU ARE ENOUGH!”

Words can hurt, and because we are human, they won’t easily be forgotten – but with the help of God, and knowing you are perfect in Him, you can silence those doubts when they try to take up residence in your thoughts and actions.

So when those voices rise up in your head to say: you aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, or whatever inadequacy you’re facing – remember YOU are enough because God on the inside of you is all you will ever need to be complete and perfect in Him! He doesn’t create subpar works of art – He creates priceless masterpieces.

 

 

No Free Passes


Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives you assurance about things we cannot see.

Christian Misconception No. 1:
When you follow God’s plan, everything will fall in to place and nothing will be difficult.

It’s an absolute misconception nowadays, that most Christians have, that if you are in God’s will and doing what He wants you to do, then you won’t have to work at it or you won’t have any trials along the way. Absolutely untrue. Sometimes I think it takes even more faith to walk out God’s plan for you. God will provide you with just what you need, but at the same time He’ll tell you, “I’ve brought you here, now it’s time for you to exercise your faith for the rest.”

After the wreck that totaled my lovely, paid-off car, I had this plan of my own that I was going to take the settlement from the accident and pay cash for another car. I did NOT want a car payment again. But I also wanted a reliable car that would last me the next 5 years.

So off I went, every night, scouring the used car lots because, let’s face it, you aren’t going to find a new car for $10,000. But what I soon began to realize was I wasn’t going to find a good used car for only $10,000 either.

I had started out on this faith venture gung ho and ready to believe for the right used vehicle. But each night that I would go out looking, I would come back even more discouraged than before. After three weeks of car searching, I was no closer to finding a replacement vehicle than I was the day my car was totaled.

I found myself really having to guard against being flat-out angry at God. I knew His will for me wasn’t to go into debt. But why did it seem that every door was closing when I was looking for a used car?

As I began nearing the end of the month, 3.5wks after the accident, I was at the end of my rope. I no longer had a rental car and was relying on the kindness of others for transportation. The settlement check had come in…but still no car. My sweet father was looking just as hard as I was for something every single day. But every time he’d find something, I wouldn’t have peace about it, or every time I would find something, he wouldn’t have peace about it. I remember one night, lying in bed, crying out to God “It’s not supposed to be THIS HARD!!”. Then, three days before the end of the month, my father suggested “Why not a new car?”.

His argument wasn’t only strong, it was rather convincing. Why sink $10k into a used car that you’re just going to have turn around and replace again in 2 years or make major repairs on? Why not put that money towards a new car, that won’t have problems, that will have a warranty, and you can get just what you want?

I wasn’t completely convinced until I heard my mother say, “Which do you have the faith for? To believe that the used car will have no problems and you won’t have to put any money in to it? Or believe that a brand new, problem-free, car can be paid off?”

That’s when I felt the Holy Spirit rise up inside, reminding me that I was limiting God, once again, by making a decision based on current circumstances instead of basing it on God and His Word – instead of basing it in faith. And with that, I made the decision based on peace.

Within 24hrs of that small revelation, I was sitting inside a dealership, signing the paperwork on my brand new 2015 car. A car, that just as I had prayed almost 4wks earlier, had sought me out…the dealership had just driven the car in from across the state the day before on a trade – it was the exact one I wanted, and the only one like it anywhere. On top of that, I began to see God’s hand at work with the deal – I not only ended up with a negotiated price that was thousands below MSRP, but I also received 0% financing so it would not cost me anything to borrow the remainder of the money. I had instant equity in the car when I drove it off of the lot and I had enough from the settlement to pay for more than half of the car.

So today, I am driving around in my brand new blessing and every day I call her “paid off”! I believe by faith that this was the direction God led me and if this is His plan, then I believe just as strongly that He will provide the way for me to pay this car off. On the same day I signed the papers on the car, I received an unexpected raise – now if that’s not God, I don’t know what is.

Sitting around with a dear friend recently, discussing the recent leap of faith she and her family have taken, I heard the same faith theme as I had just learned myself. Just because you are walking out God’s plan for you, doesn’t mean that everything is going to fall in to place and you aren’t going to have to work for it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t still going to have to believe by faith every single day while you are walking out that plan.

It was absolutely God’s plan for the children of Israel to be led out of slavery in Egypt and in to the promised land.  BUT – even though they were walking out God’s plan for them, they still had to believe daily for God to provide for them. They had to believe for food each day. Shelter and protection each night. Even for their clothes and shoes to keep those 40 years. And 40 years! I know many times they wanted to give up their faith – and many did – but those who didn’t, those who continued to believe and push forward, no matter how hard it got, saw the promised land – they saw God’s promise to them fulfilled!

Remember walking out God’s plan for your life doesn’t give you a pass to sit back and kick your feet up. Walking God’s plan out is going to require more faith than you ever expected – but the reward will be greater than anything you could ever imagine.

The “What-If” Quicksand

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The past three weeks have been perhaps the most stressful and yet biggest opportunity for growth I’ve ever had in my life.

On Easter Sunday, I was t-boned.

It was one of those moments in life where everything slows down, as if watching a movie in slow motion, and yet at the same time, it all happened so fast, I don’t even remember the airbags going off. After the car spun and finally came to a stop, I knew two things: 1. My car was totaled (I knew it even without seeing the damage) and 2. I knew this was absolutely not my fault and I was accepting nothing less than that.

After I managed to crawl out the passenger side of my car (in a short dress and heels no less – it was Easter after all) shock set in as anger, panic, and fear began to try and take root.

Then, the ‘what-ifs” started.

What if I had gone to church that Sunday with my parents instead of attending my church first?

What if I hadn’t gone back inside my church to talk to someone afterwards, delaying me just a few moments more?

What if I had taken a different route?

What if, what if, what if………

I was drowning fast in the quicksand of ‘what-ifs’.

I’m sure my mother saw the panic setting in as I began to slowly meltdown sitting in the speaker’s room at church. But her kind words brought me back (even if it was just a little bit back) – “Forgive him. Walk in forgiveness. Walk in love.”  (Although she admitted later she was having just as hard of a time doing the exact same thing – and she wasn’t even in the car with me).

I can not even count how many times I have repeated this to myself over the past three weeks. Sometimes just in my head. Sometimes under my breath. Sometimes nearly screaming it at myself. But none-the-less, I have confessed it nearly every day.

Within an hour of the accident, I could already see God working on me. Some of those “what-ifs” turned to “thank you Lord!”s. Like – “what if my front airbag had gone off where my hand was on the horn?” became “Thank you Lord that there are NO BROKEN BONES! Thank you Lord that I walked away!” “What if he had hit my door instead of the back door?” became “Thank you Lord that Your guardian angels kept him from hitting my door.”

But, just because God is working on you, doesn’t mean satan still doesn’t try to take that joy away. It wasn’t too many more minutes after that when the worry began to creep in.

What am I going to do? How am I going to afford another car? How am I even going to get to work tomorrow? (Yup, that’s me – the practical one).

Over the next few days I began to have a new revelation of worry, regret, and resting in God.

You see – the more “what-if” thoughts I entertained, the more I began to see regret and worry try to take over. “What-ifs” over decisions already made, is nothing but REGRET. And “what-ifs” about future decision,  not yet made, is nothing but WORRY.

But what does the Word say about this all?

Cast your cares over on to God for He cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7).

And if God cares so much for the smallest of creatures in His creation, how much more so does He care for you?! He will provide for you so don’t let worry take over! (Matthew 6).

I began to realize that not only was I drowning in the “what-if” quicksand of regrets, but I was already putting stock in “what-if” worry that hadn’t even happened yet. “What if I meet someone tomorrow, get married, and have a baby – I’d need a bigger, more practical vehicle?”, “What if my finances don’t continue to improve and I’m stuck with a car payment?”, “What if the insurance company offers me pennies on the dollar value for my car?”….what if, what if, what if.

And that’s when it really hit me…I wasn’t just living this moment in the “what-ifs”, I had been living the last 12yrs of my life based on “what-ifs”!  I’ve been living my life putting more faith in fear of the unknown than putting faith in God, the known!

There’s only one thing that can pull you out of this downward spiral of drowning in what-if quicksand – God. This is where you have to cast those cares over on to Him. You have to trust that He loves you so much, He will take care of you and won’t let you want for anything. This is where you have to say enough is enough – I won’t put faith in worry anymore. I won’t live a life paralyzed by “what-ifs”.

Things don’t always go according to plan. Heck, let’s face it…things very rarely go according to OUR plan. But God…God’s always got a plan that is bigger and better than ours, and He’s standing at attention, ready to take over the moment we say “not I Lord, but You!”  “Not my care Lord – I give it all over to you!”

We’re now 3 weeks out from the accident. Praise God I’m getting better every day, less sore, and I’m learning to put faith in Him instead of in the “what-ifs”. Praise God for His over and above blessings and a great testimony and lesson from this all.

Do I have it all figured out yet? Of course not. But God does and His plan is far superior to mine! I’m ready to use His word as a bridge over this quicksand of “what-if”, worry and regret, and move forward in to the blessing He has waiting for me!