The “What If” Game

The other day I cleaned up my paper-life. I organized and filed pay stubs and bills and I threw away all of my receipts from 2005-2006. I had apparently bought a lot of stuff in 2005. As I was separating all that paper by year and tossing all the old stuff, I was reminded of how the Hood came to be such an integral part of my life.

New Year’s weekend before I graduated from Temple, I took a road trip with some friends to help out with the weekend up here. Upon arrival, we drove straight to my church’s Wednesday night prayer meeting where I had the pleasure of praying with some of the older women in the church. It was during that time of prayer that the Lord solidified in my heart that he wanted me up here. I didn’t want to come back up, but I knew that I needed to be obedient to the Lord’s call.

One day, I’ll take you through the entire saga of how xtina&the hood came to be, but for now we shall get back to paper. I found this the other day while cleaning up my life:

grad_receipt.jpg

The receipt for my college cap & gown. It’s when I saw this and the subsequent receipts that brought me up here, I started thinking “What if?”

What if I hadn’t come up here for that New Year’s weekend? What if had actually moved to Dallas or Nashville or Chicago like I had thought I would. What if I had involved myself in the music industry? What if (gasp) I had moved back to Delaware? Would I be financially stable? Would I finally be tan? Would I be married? Would I have mini-xtinas and mini-mr. bobinas running around? Would I be happy? Would I be where I am spiritually? Would I still want to be a missionary?

All of these questions ran through my mind in a matter of seconds and while they can be fun to think of, these questions were dangerously close to discontentment. When I started thinking about all the mid-west boys with their guitars living in Nashville; apparently waiting for me to move down there so they can get married, I had to stop myself. Besides for being up there on my Most Ridiculous Thoughts Ever list, I had slipped from living the truth of the Lord’s sovereignty.

When I start thinking that maybe I misunderstood God’s leading me up here (or maybe even that God made a mistake in placing me here) I become discontent. Discontentment, I’ve come to realize, is a belief that God has not been good to me. That his goodness may exist in other’s lives, but certainly not mine. Discontentment is believing in a lie and slipping into sin, very subtly, I might add.

My hope is Christ, though. His sanctifying work in my life has brought me to discontentment less and less. As my heart yearns for Africa, this is a good thing. I see his beautiful timing in how He has chosen to bring my heart to this place.

All because I found an old receipt.

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