When We Fear an Outcome

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing.

Posted in , Dec 19, 2017

Woman worried

My friend’s daughter is extremely ill. “What if this treatment doesn’t work?” my friend asked, in a frenzy of worry. 

“Oh honey, you’re so scared!” I said, and gave her a hug. She burst into tears. After a bit I said, “It sounds like you’re stuck in the what-ifs.” She nodded and wiped her cheeks as I continued. “I have a rule for myself with those: each time I indulge in a what-if, I have to come up with at least two other what-ifs that aren’t as disastrous. Like, what if this treatment gives me more time with my child? What if she eventually gets better but there is a lot of uncertainty along the way?”

My friend nodded again. “Yes, you’re right,” she replied quietly, “I’m just so scared this won’t work.”

“Of course you’re scared! That’s normal!” I said. Then I added very, very gently, ”The truth is that you already know the answer to your what-if. If the treatment doesn’t work, you will be terribly sad. And that’s not what you want. But this is true, too: If that happens, God will be there with you in your sadness. And so will I. And so will many, many people. You are loved, and your daughter is loved.”

That’s the other thing about what-ifs: not one of the outcomes we fear can separate us from the love of God. Not one. And that is good. 

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