“What if?” {Laura}

How often do you wonder “what if?” What if you don’t pass a test? What if you say something that makes you sound silly? What if you were skinnier? What if you were dating that guy? What if you were studying something else in school?

I am guilty of doing this too. Sometimes it is motivated by envy of another person or frustration of the reality of my life. Other times I wonder “what if?” out of a fear to commit and miss out on something better. I used to think I would stop asking “what if” when I “grew up” and knew answers to the questions. Now I realize those questions just morph into other questions unless I ask the Lord to take my thoughts captive and help me. For example, I used ask, “what if I did ministry for a job instead of physical therapy?” Well, now I’m in ministry and on a hard day that “what if” question becomes “what if I was teaching instead of ministry?” I also used to wonder “what if I marry that guy?” Now I’m married and on days when I’m frustrated with Dan, I fight against wondering, “what if we weren’t married?”

I guess in all my babbling what I’m trying to say is there will ALWAYS be a “what if” and I think we miss what God has right in front of us when we’re daydreaming about something that is not real. I want to live in the moment. Rather than ask what if when I’m envious, I want to ask God to show me the beauty of where He has me. When things are difficult, instead of wondering if life would be easier in a different situation, I want to be a woman who perseveres and sees character and hope develop. And when fear of missing out on something better begins to creep into my mind, I want to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty to protect and guide me. For He has promised that I can’t flee from His presence and even in the outermost part of the sea, His hand with guide me and His right hand will comfort me.

We have such an awesome God. I may not always understand why I am where I am and doing what I am doing but I know I can trust God knows. He has showed Himself trustworthy over and over and over—especially when He fulfilled His promise to save me and give me eternal life. So I do not want to be a woman who wonders “what if” as if I could know better than God. I’d much rather be a woman who evaluates what is and asks the Lord to change what is if it is in His will. In the words of Justin Beiber, “But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side, It’s green where you water it”.

“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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” 
Philippians 4:8-9 

“What if?” {Laura}

How often do you wonder “what if?” What if you don’t pass a test? What if you say something that makes you sound silly? What if you were skinnier? What if you were dating that guy? What if you were studying something else in school?

I am guilty of doing this too. Sometimes it is motivated by envy of another person or frustration of the reality of my life. Other times I wonder “what if?” out of a fear to commit and miss out on something better. I used to think I would stop asking “what if” when I “grew up” and knew answers to the questions. Now I realize those questions just morph into other questions unless I ask the Lord to take my thoughts captive and help me. For example, I used ask, “what if I did ministry for a job instead of physical therapy?” Well, now I’m in ministry and on a hard day that “what if” question becomes “what if I was teaching instead of ministry?” I also used to wonder “what if I marry that guy?” Now I’m married and on days when I’m frustrated with Dan, I fight against wondering, “what if we weren’t married?”

I guess in all my babbling what I’m trying to say is there will ALWAYS be a “what if” and I think we miss what God has right in front of us when we’re daydreaming about something that is not real. I want to live in the moment. Rather than ask what if when I’m envious, I want to ask God to show me the beauty of where He has me. When things are difficult, instead of wondering if life would be easier in a different situation, I want to be a woman who perseveres and sees character and hope develop. And when fear of missing out on something better begins to creep into my mind, I want to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty to protect and guide me. For He has promised that I can’t flee from His presence and even in the outermost part of the sea, His hand with guide me and His right hand will comfort me.

We have such an awesome God. I may not always understand why I am where I am and doing what I am doing but I know I can trust God knows. He has showed Himself trustworthy over and over and over—especially when He fulfilled His promise to save me and give me eternal life. So I do not want to be a woman who wonders “what if” as if I could know better than God. I’d much rather be a woman who evaluates what is and asks the Lord to change what is if it is in His will. In the words of Justin Beiber, “But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side, It’s green where you water it”.

“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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” 
Philippians 4:8-9 

“it will not be you speaking” {Maggie}

It’s summertime. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I am sitting out on my back porch writing this blog. When I think of the idea of “summer”, it is filled with sunscreen, relaxation by the pool, and reunions with friends from home. But since coming off a year of being surrounded by such a strong Christian community at CNU, I realize that it’s different here…my community of believers has gone down to my family and me, and that two-mile radius of friends who love the Lord aren’t here. At first I felt homesick (home being Newport News with all of my friends), but then I realized most of them had gone home for the summer too. God has you and I at home for a reason. My two-mile radius of people up here in Northern VA, is full of broken people who don’t know the Lord. I realized while being here, God wants to use me to reach out to those people.
            A few nights ago, I was showing my parents small group the Cru Perspective cards. After everyone had left, I forgot to put the cards away, and left them sitting on the kitchen counter. Later that night my brother’s friend came over to hang out. It was around midnight when I decided to call it a night and we all were standing around the counter talking while I was trying to sneak away and go get in my comfy bed…when he asked, “what are those?”- referring the perspective cards. In my head I was like gosh I’m tired and I need to sleep…But God was tugging on my heart saying that this was literally an opportunity to share the gospel that was handed to me on a platter since he brought it up. So thankfully that got me super excited, and I proceeded to explain to him that this was a survey that I use to start spiritual convos on campus. After about a minute of just trying to explain what it was, I asked if I could just do the survey with him, and he agreed. This led to a really great conversation with him, my brother and me. If I was talking, Graham was praying, and if he and his friend were talking, I was praying. IT WAS SO COOL.
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
           

            Matthew 10: 16-20 speaks about persecution as Christians. Now, we won’t be handed over for flogging here, but the point I wanted to draw out is that as Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in us. God uses the spirit to speak through us. So don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend who doesn’t know the Lord, a neighbor who has never been to church, or your grandma who you get to spend time with this summer. No matter where you are, or what you are doing this summer, you are on a mission to share Jesus with others. I challenge you to think of a couple people in that two-mile radius that you could start a spiritual conversation with. God wants to use you, and He will. The Holy Spirit will guide your speech, so you don’t need to worry about what to say. Don’t let fear keep you from sharing the gospel! We don’t have to be afraid because God is with us. Always.