What if something as small as two words could change the trajectory of your life, improve your relationships, bring increased joy and renew purpose. Maybe you think I am exaggerating, but honestly, I’m not.
Twelve years ago, my husband and I refused to retire and chose to repurpose our lives instead. We shifted from business owners to working for paychecks and shedding the load of business responsibilities. Then just five years ago God interrupted our pleasant lives with what seemed like an impossible proposition. There was a sudden urgency to publish a “children’s” book.
Others encouraged me. However, the pressures of full time work, ministry obligations, and family life squeezed the majority of my time and energy. Eventually, I resigned from work to give writing and publishing complete focus. After jumping into the deep waters of unknown outcomes, persevering through disappointments, frustrations, and many tears, Olivia & Me was published in 2017.
What a journey! It was like running a marathon without training. Whether stubbornness, frugality, or simply the quest to learn, determination ultimately pushed me into the diverse and “techy” processes involved in website development, writing, formatting, book design for interior copy, graphic design for covers, coordinating with printers, and forming marketing strategies.
Now just five years later, the eighth book, Great and Awesome God is in the publishing queue. When we are willing to give God our “Yes, Lord!” anything is possible!
“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him: though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”
These two little words are capable of changing anyone’s perception, even mine!
We all know the voice of our internal critic.
- You are not enough!
- Nobody will buy these.
- You will make a fool of yourself.
- This is nothing but a waste of money.
- You have no training for this.
However loud your harassing voice, we all have the ability to silence it.
- What if God is enough!
- And what if people buy them and are encouraged?
- What if others grow spiritually, even if at times I might look foolish?
- Or what if the money spent becomes an investment into the eternal futures of people?
- What if I seek training, engage in writer’s groups for support, and God does fill in the gaps with His wisdom and the help of others?
“Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.'”
These two little words exceed any positive thinking strategy. They open a heart and mind to trust God for His possibilities worked in and through our lives. The only thing we have to offer Him is a segment of our time and limited resources.
Although creativity infused my life in a multitude of ways and I had once played around with oil paints, my inner critic told me (in no uncertain terms) I could not illustrate a book. After my husband bought $350 worth of watercolor paints and supplies for me, I cried, absolutely convinced it was a waste.
One step at a time, God led me like a little child to create color charts by blending one color with another and to watch numerous online tutorials.
Alone one day, when no one could watch me fail, I sat with a broken HB2 pencil and began to sketch the image of a baby. To my astonishment, a beautiful face began to appear on the paper! What if this was possible, thoughts broke through the inner voice of condemnation. What if God is all I need . . . and more!
These two little words, “what if,” transformed my pessimistic mindset to one of God possibility.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
There Is More
We all face daily challenges.
As covid restricted personal contact with people, my confidence took a nose dive — especially in the area of marketing. In person meetings gave people opportunity to see me, hear the message, and develop trust. Online, however, seemed cold, detached, and artificial. To propel me through the challenges, God connected me to Christian Book Academy, where I found support, prayer, and strategic tools.
What familiar chant does your critic play through your thoughts, pointing out roadblocks and limitations. It may be saying something like:
- Your marriage is doomed to fail.
- Your business is about to collapse.
- You will never survive that blunder.
And more and more . . .
Last week God encouraged me to make a list of critical and negative thought patterns. Then with a stroke of the pen, He led me to create a different outcome beginning with “What if . . .” What if God works through us to establish a beautiful, healthy marriage? What if this downturn is actually for a long term benefit? With God, even my greatest mistakes become what if possibilities for character develop and lessons learned.
“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
This may sound foolish, but by the end of the exercise, I was high-fiving, fist-pumping, and cheering in triumph around my living room. (Fortunately, there were no cameras present!) God strengthened my faith, blowing the lid off perceived limitations.
Everything becomes possible with God on our team!
I would encourage you to make your own list. Then give God room to fill in the “what if” over your situations, relationships, businesses, dreams, and desires.
I pray that by sharing my simple experience you will find courage to transform negative thinking into God thoughts over your life. May you have faith to believe in God possibilities. What if your roadblocks are God’s highways to something great? What if your difficult season propels you something better than you could imagine?
May we al give ourselves permission to believe the “what if” thoughts of God!