If. . . Then.

Recently, I was caught up in a whirlwind trip out of province, all by myself. Well, I had the Precious One, but she’s not a big talker yet. There were literally 24 hours between the booking of the flight and take off. Leaving our home, our children and driving at 3 am, I felt a familiar panic rising up in the back of my throat. . . 

I wouldn’t say that I am an inordinately fearful person. We had two boys first, so I’ve had to let go of a lot. They climb trees and the TV antenna, attempt to ride down the steep basement stairs on a Thomas the train toy, and I don’t really blink an eye. I have been thrust into a new province, church, work and group of people; and though I am often nervous in large get-togethers, I can usually hold my own and not appear to be ill at ease. I wasn’t especially scared when we had our first baby: I never watched him sleep to make sure he was breathing, baby-proofed the house in the thought of him getting harmed, or sterilized all things he came into contact with (Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying that if you do these things you are “fearful,” I’m just trying to give an example of how, generally, I don’t hover.)

But some things cause my heart to race, my throat to close, my breathing to stop.

I have never left our children for more than a weekend, with my mom, and that’s happened twice in six years. I like them, I genuinely like being in their presence. Why would I? We don’t really have anywhere to go, so it hasn’t been much of an issue. And now, with absolutely no time to even think about it, I was boarding a plane where I would potentially be over 3000 km away.

I also realized, on this two hour drive to the airport in the wee hours of the morning, that I don’t ever drive at night. Or find a valet for parking at the airport. And board a bus with the Precious one. And check in for the flight, drop off the luggage, get settled on the plane, pick up a rental car, and then drive to the next destination. Normally, (and by normally, I mean once) when I had to fly alone, someone was there with me at the airport, and there was someone waiting for me on the other side. All of a sudden, on this long, boring drive (where I got to listen to my own choice of music!) I felt completely and utterly out of control, and overwhelmed to the point of that feeling like I almost couldn’t catch my breath. I stayed there for a few, absolutely pointless minutes, until finally, an old Beth Moore exercise came to mind.

“If, I can’t make it from boarding to the departure gate. . .  .then I will ask someone to help me.”

“If, I hit a stupid deer in the next hour. . . then I wasn’t meant to go in the first place.”

“If, I cry from missing our children. . . then I will hold them extra tight when I get back.”

If you’re a mom, you know it doesn’t stop here. I believe we all have fears just lurking at the back our minds, teasing us into denial or anxiety,

“If, something happens to one our children, then I will rush back and trust that the Handsome Hubby and whoever is here can deal with it until I get there.”

“If, my plane crashes and I die, then they will find the freezer meals that I have prepared, deal with the junk drawers, my underwear drawer, and miss me terribly.”

I don’t want to die, and leave my family. I know they like me, and need me. But I trust that no matter what happens in this life, God will work it all for His glory. He loves them more than I do. I never want our children to hurt or be sad, but I trust that God has a plan. For them, and me.

“If, my plane crashes and I die, then I will wait for them in Heaven.”

“If, something so bad happens to our children, then I will yearn even more to go to Heaven. Jesus will hold my hand and help me walk every step I take. It will be immeasurably, incomprehensibly horrible. But He has promised never to leave me or forsake me. I will trust,”

Fear has a way of freezing our steps. Of choking, of stifling, of guiding our decisions. We can’t let it.

1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

God loves me. God loves our children. The promises He has given attest to these facts.

What is your “If?” What is God’s promise for it? 

“If I fail.”

“If we have another baby.”

“If we run out of money.”

“If we lose everything.”

“If he leaves.”

“If I can’t keep it together.”

What is God’s promise for it? Finish it. “If” this happens, “Then” God will. He’ll be there. He loves you. There is a plan, even if we don’t see the whole thing.

His Word is good.

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