Because What If

The fan's blades are swirling as my eyes try to follow their circular motion.
It's finally summer, and I now remember heat once again after too many winter months.

Stopping.  Breathing.  Staring.  Reading.  Watching.  Observing.  Feeling.
Thinking so much that I try to stop thinking at all.

My hand rests on the red polka-dot journal that eleven-year-old Deborah clung too like a third lung impossible to live without.
Under it rests the tan, flowered journal fourteen-year-old Deborah doodled and dreamed in to her heart's delight.
Now, the plain chocolate brown journal with gold-edged pages lies open to the next blank page.

It feels that it's more than just another page to fill with words, though.

I feel like my life really is opened to the next new page,
yet I find myself paralyzed.

This should be exciting.
It should feel like freedom.
You should be loving to live.

Instead I feel immobilized, afraid to do anything in fear of not doing the right thing.
I am devoid of all will-power.  Where my strength evaporated to, I may never know.

Yet, as I skim the jaunty eleven-year-old's handwriting, I am enveloped by a world very similar to mine currently: a world haunted by brutal self-standards, a constant need to do more and not waste my God-given time, and a deep desire to just be myself.

As words stare from both the filled page and the new blank one, I cannot help but think:

What if we truly learn to live?

The self-standards.  The fear of failure.  The obsession to be right and do right.  The mental knots we create that keep us from moving in any direction because we've imagined terrors and failures that will devour us if we move one step.

Why are we living like this?

Afraid.  Obsessed.  Unsure.  Insecure.  Doubting.

What would our lives look like if we learn to let go of all that's entangling  us -
if we, in fact, let go of anything except God himself.

What if we threw off everything- our own personal desires and dreams, our own rationalization and reasoning, our own goals and ambitions, our own doubts and fears, our own frustrations and self-condemnation - and only grasped to God and His truth?

What if we took one day at a time and just loved loving God and loved living like it?

What if we said goodbye to the past as well as to slavery to the future and just followed Him in the present?

What if we learn to live,
stopped focusing so much on what we wish we had or what we wish we were,
but focused on being all we can because He is all we need?

As I sit next to my blank journal page, I face two questions:
God, how much do I really love you?  (cause that should give me all the confidence to really live)
God, are you enough for me? (cause why, then, would I need to grasp anything else?)

Because what if we learn to live like life is good, that the sun is shining, and that we can laugh because our Abba loves us?

Life is going to continue to be good, complicatedly beautiful, and beautifully messy whether we choose to enjoy the sun even though it burns and to feel the wind even though it stings or not.

We can love.  laugh.  learn to let go - because we are loved, delighted in, and have our ultimate burden -sin- lifted from us by the cross.

Why not, then, learn to live?
© 2014 Deborah Hope Shining


  1. Amen sis! I've had those fears! But I still feel the desire to please God even more. Sometimes when I don't it frustrates. Maybe we shouldn't focus on ourselves! Our performance! More on Christ! I believe in balance! Great Reminder


I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?