Don’t Get Stuck in the What If’s

I saw a large woman in the doctor’s office the other day that reminded me of a relative. She was unfortunately so large that she seemed stuffed in the chair that she was sitting in. I could visibly see this relatives face from a few years back before her forced weight loss. Her lap was sitting at least 3 inches or more above the armrests and she held her head low as if to try to disappear out of sight. I don’t know what has happened in her life to cause this unfortunate size in her life but what I do know is that we all have something that we need to work on.

I am sharing this story not as blasting of this woman that I saw but because of what has happened to my relative since the last time I saw them. Her health is failing her and I consider her to be a young woman. The primary culprit of her failing health is years of not managing the cause of her weight. As I returned from clocking out for lunch that day I wondered if we knew the consequences for our actions if we would change some of the things that we have done in the past or even what we are doing currently.

That thought then caused me to think about all different types of people including my patients who have abused drugs for years and are now ready to be drug free. What if we had the knowledge of the consequences of our early actions? Would we still choose the path that we eventually took? Would we still connect with the same people and do the same things? Would we still willingly commit that sin that we thought no one would ever have to know about? Well I am glad that I don’t have to worry about what ifs because God gives us brand new mercies every day (Lamentations 3:22-23).

I cannot worry about what I did wrong five years ago, five months ago, five weeks ago, five days ago or even 5 hours ago. I would be consumed by my mistakes and not able to move forward. This is one of the primary reasons that my patients cannot get total freedom from their addiction because they are replaying the what if tape over and over in their heads. I choose to forget those things that are behind me as Paul talked about in Philippians 3:11-15. I choose to press forward towards where God has already destined me to go. This doesn’t mean that I ignore the past it just means that I choose to not allow it to rule in my present. I am not that person any more at the moment that I choose. I choose to do the work to move forward just as I encourage those who have challenges in their past. Don’t get stuck in the what ifs of your life.

Just another day’s journey of forgetting the what ifs. Let your past challenges propel you rather than paralyze you. Peace.

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