Are You in a "What If It Does?" Situation?

Amber Ginter

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated Apr 09, 2024
Are You in a "What If It Does?" Situation?

After we follow Jesus, we don't know where or how He might lead. But if Christ is with us, that's all that matters.

"What if it does?" my husband asked, walking through the front door one day.

"What do you mean?" I questioned. 

"What if it all works out?" he asked and smiled. 

I stared at him for a good minute before answering. Was he serious? I thought to myself. My mind flashed to a conversation I'd had with a close friend earlier that week:

"What if others think I'm crazy?" she asked. 

"Well, they might," I began, adjusting the phone to my ear. "But if God is leading you somewhere else, does the 'What if?' even matter?" My words mocked me now. 

What if I fail?

What if I can't survive?

What if I don't make it?

What if this or that goes wrong?

What if it does?

What if it doesn't?

What if. What if? What if?

The questions filled my mind. The overwhelming amount of tears blurred my vision. Something within tugged my heart. What if it does?

If you're in a "What if it does?" situation in your life—whether in your career, marriage, or another adventure—I encourage you to hold on, remain steadfast, and cling to hope. 

Here are five steps how:

Step 1: Surrender Control

This step makes me the most uncomfortable. It taps into that part of you that grasps and clings for control in your life. From the time I go to bed, to planning out the next three weeks of my day-to-day activities, I'm horrible at surrendering control. To God. To my husband. To anyone besides myself. 

The first step to believing "What if it does?" requires surrender—surrender to Christ, releasing the fixed ideal that you must know how everything will play out. It's a white flag of submission. As much as I might pick, prod, manipulate, and work, I'm not God. I never have been, and I never will be. Life doesn't allow room for both of us to be God, and one of us is wrong. That one of us is always you and me. 

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (ASV). This is a powerful challenge. When we commit to following Jesus, this includes denying our selfish desires and picking up His plans for our future. The most profound aspect of taking up our cross is this: After we follow Jesus, we don't know where or how He might lead. But if Christ is with us, that's all that matters. 

Jesus asks us to surrender control because it's what's best for us. It often doesn't feel like it, but if we knew how everything would pan out, would we still rely on our limited selves?

Step 2: Get Comfortable with What Makes You Uncomfortable

The second tip to living with a "What if it does?" mentality is embracing the uncertain and unknown.

As I transition into writing full-time, certain aspects of this career shift cause hesitancy and anxiety, things beyond my control that I can't see or predict coming. Learning to get comfortable with what makes you and me uncomfortable is one way to combat these fears. It sounds easy, but it's much harder to implement. 

Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (NIV). If we couple this with His words in James 4:13-16, we begin to see a bigger and clearer picture: "And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil" (MSG). 

As much as we might strive for tomorrow, tomorrow isn't promised. This doesn't mean we can't plan, but it does mean we should approach each day with grace, flexibility, and adaptability.

Hebrews 11:1 reaffirms this mindset that what we can't predict or know strengthens our faith: "Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (NIV). There's an emphasis on the words "hope" and "do not see" because these are elements we can't predict, populate, or produce ourselves. Getting comfortable with what makes us uncomfortable will take time. 

Step 3: Accept Failure

The third and most terrifying step of pursuing a "What if it does?" mindset is understanding and accepting that failures will happen. 

When I was in high school, I desperately wanted to be the Salutatorian. I missed it by a fraction of a fraction of a decimal and thought my life was over. A teacher at the time saw me after I got the news and soothed my heart with these words: "We learn more from our mistakes and failures than perfection will ever give us." His words still ring true today. 

Accepting failure doesn't mean having a pessimistic mindset. It means reframing failures as successes. As an author, I know there are going to be people who critique, hate, and dislike me and my work. I will receive rejection letters, and I'm sure negative reviews on GoodReads will be in my future. But the sooner I learn to accept those things, the sooner I can pivot and see them as opportunities for growth and reflection. 

Step 4: Welcome Opportunity 

Only after we've learned to deal with our shortcomings and mistakes can we fully welcome opportunities that come our way. This is the beauty of embracing the unknown. Just as we will make mistakes, beautiful, bright, and welcoming occasions will come our way. Some people call this luck; I call it ordained appointments from the Lord. 

In Hebrews 13:1-3, we read that strange encounters may come our way. Every day, things happen that we don't expect—triumphs and heartaches. Regardless, we can learn from these experiences and God can and will use them for our good and His glory: "Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body" (KJV). 

Step 5: Jump the Ship

Perhaps the scariest thing about living a "What if it does?" lifestyle, is choosing to jump the ship. In Matthew 14:22-33, Peter chooses to walk out on the water and meet Jesus. Only when he takes his eyes off Christ does he begin to sink. What I think is admirable about this story is that Peter chose to jump the ship—to go beyond his comfort zone with the hopes of experiencing something new. 

Today, I'm learning and choosing to jump the ship in many areas of my life. From surgery to changing careers or using my phone less, I'm wading into unknown territories. But something within tells me this is good because "What if it doesn't work out?" isn't the question. "What if it does?" is.

Agape, Amber

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Matese Fields

amber ginter headshotAmber Ginter is a teacher-turned-author who loves Jesus, her husband Ben, and granola. Growing up Amber looked for faith and mental health resources and found none. Today, she offers hope for young Christians struggling with mental illness that goes beyond simply reading your Bible and praying more. Because you can love Jesus and still suffer from anxiety. You can download her top faith and mental health resources for free to help navigate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers from a faith lens perspective. Visit her website at