Are you a “what if” person?
Do you often find yourself day-dreaming about what could have been…?
“What if I would have done/said this differently?”
“What if I would have gone to this school?”
“What if I would have taken this job?”
“What if I would have moved here… or there?”
“What if I had pursued this relationship?”
I hate to admit that I am someone who lives too comfortably in my “what-ifs” and ridiculously clear hindsight.
In my journey to self-discovery and learning about my personality through the Enneagram, one of the things it opened my eyes to is the fact that in my “four-ness” I am prone to living in the past, and I struggle with really being and thriving in the present.
Learning this about myself brought a lot of clarity. It explained why I always replay my entire day in my head when I’m trying to go to sleep, why I relive every.single.conversation. and come up with the perfect responses hours…days…weeks… later. *facepalm*
It also explains the issues I have with change, and the attachment I have to memories, sentimental items, and things from the past. It opened my eyes to the way I have anxiety about the future, since I base it off of what has happened in the past. Do you resonate with any of this?
Some of these things aren’t always negatives. I believe there is value in remembering past experiences, and especially looking back to see what God has done in our lives, but I don’t want the past to be my main focus. I know that God has amazing plans for my right-nows, my todays and my tomorrows, and I don’t want to miss Him in the present because I’m distracted by my “what ifs” of the past.
I want to change the kind of “what if” person that I am.
Instead of wondering what life would be like if I made different decisions, what if I surrendered my past, present, and future to God?
Instead of trying to control everything that happens and holding on to my future in white-knuckled fear, what if I took God’s promise to never leave me or forsake me and lived like I believed it?
What if I actually let go, and let God take control… instead of just instagramming inspirational quotes about it?
What if we all did?
Does this sound like something you have dealt with? If it does, know you’re not alone. I would encourage you to pray a prayer like this with me today and truly be intentional about letting go of the past and truly surrendering the things you cannot change. We’re in this together.
I know that you are always faithful and that your ways are better than my own. I’m sorry for always fighting for control of my life. I give you my “what ifs”, my failures, my anxiety. Help me to truly let go of the things not meant for me to carry, and surrender them to your capable hands. Help my mind be focused on the present, and not distracted by reliving the past and how things could have gone differently, or with worry for the future. I’m trading my regrets for your redemption, my shame for your grace. I want to dwell in your word and your truth, and hear your voice louder than my own. Thank you for all that you’ve brought me through, and all you are bringing me through. I trust you with my past, present, and future.
In Jesus’ name,
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” – Philippians 3:12-14 MSG