I have had them quite a bit lately.
What if I had gotten my teaching degree instead of English and Music degree?
What if I had gone with that group to sing up north instead of moving to Birmingham?
What if I had said yes to that fellow and moved to Florida?
What if I had pursued the mission field in Albania?
See - my problem is I always go down the road that I did not travel. I always long for the things I did not do. I was warned once by a precious older friend of mine that I would have regrets for not following the music deal. I knew I had one chance at the mission field...and if I did not pursue it and said yes to my love in Birmingham that the likelihood of my going that path would be over.
The problem is I did not do those things. I prayed about them. I gave my choices to God.
So what do I do now that I have the what ifs?
The same thing I do when I have the discontents and the why ME's?
I stop the thoughts. I take a deep breath and I run to the Word.
Philippians 2:13English Standard Version (ESV)
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
I gave the choices I made to God. I prayed about them and then I walked forward. I knew the cost. I thought it all out. Did I know how hard it would be?
Of course not. But nor do I know how hard missions in Albania would have been. The fellow in Florida? Not so sure he would have kept on liking me had I moved down there (smile). The music up north? God had given me every opportunity to sing prior to my decision to join my life with my precious husband. And I have opportunities now. I just have to take them. And what do I have to show? My sweet friend and husband...18 years later, three precious boys, an amazing community of folks I go to church, school, and work with. Gifts that God gave me to work with my special needs friends that have brought me much joy - this I would have never realized. So how can I be sorry?!
The what if's are a waste of my time. It is best to capture those thoughts and turn them toward my blessings. But we all do it. I think I deal best with these things when I have a plan in place. My path should veer back to the things I am thankful for. Always.