What If?

A Guest Post by Becky Bernier…

I have always been a dreamer. I can remember at a young age daydreaming about how my life would turn out one day. I had many dreams to travel the world, find the right guy to marry, have kids by the time I was 25, own my own house, and write a book.

Many dreams have come to pass, while others have yet to be fulfilled. I sometimes wonder why my life looks so different than what I dreamt about so long ago. As a little girl, I knew I could do anything I set my mind to do. I memorized Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”) years ago knowing that it would carry me through each day and realize that any dream that came to pass is all because of God’s working in my life.

I still have unfulfilled dreams and at times get very discouraged by the realization that I am not where I thought I would be. I have learned over and over not to live in the “what if’s” of life. What if I had done this differently, maybe I would be married by now. What if I had gotten my job earlier, I would have been debt free sooner. The “what if’s” of life can be a dream killer and can also cause you to lose hope that your dreams will ever be fulfilled. I believe that God takes our dreams and shows us something greater than we ever expected.

For me, one of my biggest dreams growing up was to travel the world. What I didn’t realize was that God had a plan for me to travel and gave me a heart for short term missions along the way. I always thought that because my mom worked for an airline that would be how God would choose for me to travel as much as I have. He definitely used that avenue but He also chose for me to become a missionary for two years and through that I was able to go to parts of the world I would never consider going to on my own.

I believe God is the ultimate dream giver and wants us to dream big and pursue the dreams He has placed on our hearts. They may not turn out like you thought they should but take a moment and look back at how God has fulfilled a dream. You might be surprised at how God has fulfilled that dream and made it something so much more special than you could have ever imagined.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 20:4 – May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Do you see that? May God give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. He is the author of all our dreams. I believe God has so many more dreams to fulfill in my life and I am excited to see how He does it. I know one of my current dreams is to run a marathon and eventually qualify for the Boston marathon.

What are some of your dreams? Do you ever play the “what if” game?

Becky Bernier is an insurance agent, blogger, avid runner, half marathon coach and loves to encourage others as much as possible in their walks with the Lord. She’s a perfectionist who is learning it’s okay not to be perfect and to realize that God is in control and has a much better life planned out for her than she could ever dream of. You can check out her blog here.

What If? What Now?

The past is a funny thing. It shapes our lives and never gives us a chance to go back and change anything ~ no matter how badly we may want to. Last night, I found myself asking a dozen “what if” questions, trying to imagine what my life would be like had I reacted differently in a certain circumstance.

The problem with “what if” is that it generally begins with a regret. And before you know it, you’re in over your head regretting things. Thankfully, my “what ifs” ended with “What if it’s better this way?” and “What if this is what God intended all along?” But that isn’t always how the story goes.

“What ifs” have a tendency to leave us in the past and keep us from enjoying the present. “What ifs” have a habit of leading to more “what ifs.” Before you know it, your life is a serious of doubts. But you see, even in the midst of the hardship and struggle, the questions and uncertainty, God is ultimately in control of our lives. Not one decision escapes His notice. Not one choice slips through the cracks. God knows exactly what is coming around the corner, and we can rest secure in the fact that He is making something beautiful from the ashes of our lives.

I’m not saying you won’t have regrets. Unfortunately, we all make choices we’re not very proud of. There will be moments that you stop to wonder, but you can’t let those questions tie you to the past. Instead of “what if,” ask “what now?” Take the lessons you’ve learned and put them into practice. After all, you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.