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The Temptation of "If"

The word IF used to paralyze me.

As a child I stood on the edge of the playground, wanting desperately to engage with the laughing girls who were jumping double-dutch. What if I stumble and they laugh at me?

As a teen, I loved writing poetry and attended a performing arts school, but what if I share and my poetry is rejected?

As an adult, I wanted deep relationships. What if I say or do the wrong thing and they leave me?

"What if" kept me from trying new things. My unique and creative view of the world was left unheard, and my gift of encouragement remained underdeveloped. I was timid, shy, and wrote in secret. There was no end to trying to prove myself worthy while, at the same time, I sabotaged relationships because "what if" I was wrong.

Worst of all, trying to control the outcomes of what-ifs didn’t stop the trials and trouble from happening. My family fell apart. Those I loved passed away. I still experienced rejection and loss. And, at times, the deep wounds of unrealized dreams plagued me.

It's true, succumbing to the "What ifs" gave me control of my life, but it also stifled the opportunities for good outcomes. You see, the constant questioning made it all about me and left very little room for God.

Meeting Jesus caused a shift in my thinking. Because I learned that Jesus is good, it opened my heart to the possibility of good things happening in my life. Reading scripture taught me that taking risks would result in an abundant life because of the relationship I had with Him. "But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God, all things ar