Do you ever think about the “what ifs” in your life? What if I’d married that person instead of this person? What if I’d taken that job instead of this job? What if I’d been born into a different family? What if I’d made that decision instead of this one?
What ifs can be good or they can be very bad. They are bad when you get stuck on the bad what ifs. Those decisions you can’t take back, those choices that didn’t turn out so well. But they can be very good when you begin to look at the good choices you’ve made or can still make.
When I chose to follow Christ, I brought my five kids with me on the journey. I didn’t give them the option of attending church—we just all went together. It wasn’t an easy decision, nor one I made without sacrifice or family arguments. However, when God rescued me, he rescued all of us. My “what if I choose God” decision changed the direction of my life forever, but it also gave each of my kids the opportunity to choose a better life as well.
I began to think . . .
What if I’d given in to the depression, anger, fears, or lies I’d come to believe? Lies like I’m stupid, I’m a failure, I’m crazy, my life is over. What if I’d given up on my kids when they were difficult? What if I’d chosen to teach hate instead of love? What if I’d quit going to church when I got discouraged, when people judged me without even knowing me, or when the Christians around me weren’t very Christ-like?
But those what ifs go even deeper:
What if I’d never heard how much God loved me, even when I was a mess?
What if the Church hadn’t chosen to love my “unlovable” family?
What if my pastor had chosen to chastise instead of stand with my hurting kids?
What if my neighbor hadn’t chosen to drive my family to church for every service, for months, when we had no car?
What if that church family hadn’t accepted me as a friend (not a project)?
What if I’d rejected God’s love and their love? What if . . .?!
You see, it wasn’t the “church” that drew me closer to God, but his people living out their faith within that church—even when it meant sacrifice and work.
What if you’re given the inconvenient opportunity to help someone—will you?
Here’s what can happen when the right what ifs are made:
As an overwhelmed, overworked, depressed single mother, I found hope. Hope gave birth to vision. Vision gave birth to accomplishment. I’ve been blessed to share this hope with many others over the years through my ministry to single moms across the country.
Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
My kids saw what God could do when the right what if choices are made. They grew up to make what if choices that have impacted thousands of adults, youths, and children around the world through their ministries as pastors and missionaries. Isaiah 44:3-4 says, “ . . . And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.”
Because my children chose wisely, my grandchildren have received the blessing of stable, loving homes. They have a solid foundation to make their own what if choices in the future.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
We have no idea what God will do when we choose to follow him: What doors will be opened, what lives will be changed, what new futures will be determined.
What if you give yourself fully to the Lord today—I wonder who else may be impacted tomorrow? What if you choose to love an unlovable family, how many others families may find hope? What if you don’t look back at your mistakes anymore, but look ahead to the possibilities waiting for you?
What if . . .
Lois Breit is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and a U.S. Missionary to Single Moms. All five of her children know the Lord and four are in the ministry.
Join us at this year’s Single Moms Retreat, June 2-3 in Alexandria, Minnesota! Find all the details here.