Have you ever played the what-if game with your life? No, not a traditional board game, but trying to think of every outcome from a specific situation and usually one that has already happened. You say to yourself “but what if things would have been different what then…”
When I was in high school my brother was in a dirt bike accident. Where he laid the bike down in front of the house. My dad was home that day due to certain circumstances and was able to watch the accident happen. But because he was there he was able to go get my brother from outside and bring him in the house and get cleaned off. As my mom pulled into the driveway we got him in the car to take him to the hospital. Maybe another day I will share more of this story but one of the most impactful things I heard my dad say after my brother was home from the ICU was “you can’t play the what-if game.” I’m sure there was a lot more but the struggle of thinking what could have been can weigh you down. What if he wasn’t home that day? I was playing piano in my room and not paying attention so If my dad wasn’t home my brother would not have been with us today. Our thoughts can run through every possible outcome especially when something traumatic happens and most of the time it is after the fact and the outcome isn’t going to change.
So why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we sit and let our minds wander? To be honest I don’t know. What I do know is that when those thoughts come to the forefront of our minds we need to take those thoughts captive. The other day in a conversation my husband asked me what taking “your thoughts captive” meant to me and I’ll try to explain to you as well.
To take your thoughts captive means whenever that first thought comes into your mind about a what-if or an anxious thought you stop and work on re-shifting your focus. Yes, this is much easier said than done, but I have a scripture that will help.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
For anyone, that deals with anxiety or plays the what-if game, hang on to that first statement. “Whatever is TRUE” So many times we stress and focus on things that are not true, just like the what-if game. It’s things that could have happened but didn’t so it’s not true. A lot of my anxiety is the same way. When I think no one wants to hear what I have to say about a specific topic, but when I finally push aside my anxiety and speak up I find out that my perspective brings something different to the table that is needed. It’s a work in progress for me and it will be for you as well. If I had a switch that I could flip I would but unfortunately we have to put in the work and if you do you will have a fuller life in the end.
I pray that this blog today was an encouragement to you and can help in your daily life. Always know I am available to pray with you or just be someone to talk to when life gets hard. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need prayer!
Talk to you next Monday!