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The What-Ifs and Even-Ifs: Overcoming Fear with Faith and Hope

A few days ago, my sister sent me a screenshot of this:

"What if=fear, Even if=faith" written in script.

These words encouraged my heart to change my perspective. I had shared with my sister a fear that was running through my mind late at night, What if no one wants to read the book I wrote?


I told my sister my response to that doubt and fear was I don’t care!


I really don’t care if no one reads this book. I am going to obey God. He has called me to this, and so, I will do it. Even if no one reads it, even if I make a fool of myself, even if all of my dreams for it come crashing down… I will obey God.


It got me thinking about the what-ifs. Not all of my what-ifs are fear-based:


What if one girl reads this book and finds hope?

What if one girl draws near to God?

What if one girl chooses abundant life?

What if God uses this book in His battle against depression and anxiety?


So I made a new photo:


Written in script: "What if=Fear, Even if=Faith, A new what if=Hope." The added equation is allowing yourself to dream. What if it turns out better than you imagine?

I went away this past weekend with three friends riding four-wheelers at our hunting cabin. Amid the adventure, relaxation, deep conversations, and laugh-until-I-cry moments, a few what-ifs came to surface. Here is how I am actively changing the perspective of my what-ifs:


What if my four-wheeler gets stuck in the mud or I get us lost in the woods?

Even if we get stuck or lost, I trust myself to be resourceful or find help.

What if I get stuck or lost, and it becomes an adventure story I tell over and over again, or I discover my own calm composure and ability to overcome difficulties? What if the adventure strengthens our friendships?


What if I enforce boundaries, and it makes things hard for other people?

Even if my boundaries make things hard for other people, I will protect myself and hold people accountable for their behavior. I know these boundaries are not just for my good, but also for the good of others.

What if my boundaries force people to confront issues and grow? What if my boundaries bring true peace and reconciliation?


What if my sons become like my brother?

Even if my sons become like my brother, I trust God to lead me and strengthen me. I trust He sovereignly controls all that comes into my life and He is with me through all trials.

What if my sons actually become godly men who follow Jesus with all their hearts, and even teach me a things or two about true faith?


What if I make the wrong decision?

Even if I make the wrong decision, I trust my decision is not final, my heart is sincere in wanting to do what is right, and God will lead me where He wants me to go. I cannot thwart His plans.

What if this is the right decision and takes me where God wants me?


 

We can imagine many what-ifs in our favorite Bible accounts.


How about Esther?

What if I die because approaching the king uninvited is against the law?

Even if I perish, I will intercede for my people. (Esther 4:16)

What if I was made for such a time as this? What if God saves His people through my brave act? What if my act is celebrated for years to come?


Or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…

What if we are thrown into a blazing furnace?

Even if we are thrown into the furnace, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. (Daniel 7:18)

What if God comes into the fire to save us? What if the king decrees that no one can speak against the one true God? What if we are even promoted?


Think about Ruth:

What if I leave my family, never remarry, go hungry, and live alone for the rest of my life?

Even if I live a life of solitude and poverty, I will go where you go, and I will stay where you stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. (Ruth 1:16)

What if a kinsman-redeemer marries me and provides for me and Naomi? What if the Messiah is one of my descendants?


And Mary:

What if Joseph divorces me, I am publicly humiliated, and I raise a child alone in shame and disgrace?

Even if this happens, I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled. (Luke 1:38)

What if God’s word is fulfilled, and my son is the Son of God and reigns forever? What if my son is the Messiah and saves the world from sin?


 

What are your what-ifs that stem from your own fears and doubts?

How can you respond in faith with an even-if statement?

What new what-ifs allow you to hope? Allow you to dream?


Even if your fears come true, you can hold on to faith.

...But what if your biggest dreams come true? What if your reality becomes even bigger than your biggest dreams? You can have hope!


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4 comentários


Lisa Black
Lisa Black
19 de abr. de 2023

Erin, I love how you can turn despair and fear into hope by changing your perspective! These are great tools to learn/use at any age! Thank you for sharing what God has laid on your heart!

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Erin Geiswhite
Erin Geiswhite
19 de abr. de 2023
Respondendo a

Sometimes, I squelch my hope because I don't want to be disappointed, but I love the freedom in allowing myself to dream with new what-ifs!

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Erin, I LOVE how you beautified our dreaded what-ifs, and turned them into HOPE! This encouraged my heart this morning. I have ALOT of what-ifs....and whenever I dwell on them, I'm paralyzed! But what if I change the way I look at my what-ifs? What if I use them to help me HOPE ??

Thank you, Erin!

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Erin Geiswhite
Erin Geiswhite
19 de abr. de 2023
Respondendo a

I can get paralyzed in my what-ifs, too! I love the freedom in turning them around to hope, allowing myself to dream of the best, not try to prepare for the worst (as if it is even really possible to prepare for the worst). And God really does bring out good from the hard. I've seen it over and over in Scripture and in my own life. I know you have too.

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