what if you…?

self discovery #5 (?)

there are a lot of “what ifs” in life.

Today I toyed with the idea of jumping in my car and driving to Utah. I had an extra outfit, a cutesy jacket, a pair of flip flops and a bright green nalgene that two years later I still don’t know how to drink out of without spilling all over myself. Basically: I had everything I needed except a full tank of glass and that is easily fixed.

Danielle was fretting over an email that had a boy’s phone number in it. Do I text? Do I call? Do I ignore? How do I play this game? Do I play this game? And she kept looking to me for advice.

Jessi told me that it’s my responsibility that things are getting better with her boyfriend. “It’s thanks to that one!” she said with child like smiles and delight this afternoon when telling us that Eric has finally been treating her well and showing interest in her.

Abby sent Danielle with a peace offering because she knew I wasn’t handling life well this morning. And Jessi stuck up for me yesterday. And Abby laughed when I told her how flustered I got when Sipan asked for my number and that I–like her–had to take off my shoes to cool off and calm down, pattering around the floor barely covered in stretched out carpet that sags and catches the wheels of my chair. Why does this keep happening? She asked. Mr. Anderson, Richard, Nick, Sipan, Brett, how? Make it stop! I laughingly shouted into the phone above the static that never dies despite new lines and cords and boxes. It’s Friday! she cried and we both did a merry jig despite the three city blocks that lie between us.

Danielle said I should have gone to Utah. I almost regret it, in a vague sense as I listen to Frightened Rabbit and dream of winding the mountain roads that stand twixt him and I. I can see my headlights bouncing off the mountain’s side, hear the weary squeal of my tires around tight curves, and I can almost feel the stiffness in my knees or the ache of my wrist after shifting for hours when it’s still sore from my clumsy Wednesday morning fall.

But I can’t have gone to Utah, for myriad reasons. There is of course, the financial issue which seems to trump all else (though how often do I throw aside fiscal responsibility in the name of friends and faith?). And there is the timing problem–eight hours there, an exhausted day there, and eight hours back? There is the problematic housing: it’s fairly inappropriate to crash on the apartment floor of a group of boys you don’t know very well. And most of all there is this:

I don’t want to give off the wrong impression.

I mean, he expressed interest. And I sort of… shut him down (albeit graciously).

But we’re good friends, I feel! Or perhaps, that is only on my side. But his grandfather is dying! What can I even do? But, maybe he needs me! No, who needs me? God will have his glory and see his purposes accomplished–he’s entirely capable without my arrogant and willing assistance.

So I text him, and he hasn’t written back. What if he doesn’t want to hear from me? What if he’s hurt by me? What if I’m the wrong person? What if he never wanted to hear from me? What if I’ve played my cards all wrong this hand? What if I shouldn’t have de-stressed to him so much about my job?

What if I don’t have a job on Monday? Maybe that’s why I didn’t go! My lack of job security, my fears for financial ruin.

What if I never find a worthwhile job?

What if I’m condemned to mediocrity?

What if I’m just scared?

What if–

Peace, child, peace.

David will be fine. Jesus holds him like he holds Nick… like he holds you. God holds the bank together,  he makes the company, the city prosper, he gathers nations, he raises presidents and prime ministers, he lays them down to waste and ruin.

So I didn’t go to Utah. Instead, I applied for another job while munching on homemade hummus that was quite a little disaster. And I’m letting go of what ifs. About my job. About my car. About my money. About my family.  About my friends. About David and Nick who seem to consume my prayer life lately.

peace. what ifs are questions that perhaps become dreams. but sometimes, without the faith in Christ, what ifs are questions that oft times become nightmares of senseless worry.

So someday, I’ll take that winding road to Provo. And until then, I’m not going to circle around the wrinkles of my brain looking for the worst answer to every possible what if proposition.

[but, she asked, what would you do if he was a Christian?

well, I said, that I had not exactly considered]


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