15 March 2011

What if...??? And it's leaving me feeling just a bit jumpy these days...

It has been a wierd several weeks - challenging in ways I wasn't expecting...

  • The security situation in Niamey has been up and down, including a scare a few weeks ago while Tim was out of town. It turned out to be based on information that was unconfirmed... but it upset "the new routine" for a few days and started me asking a lot of "what if" sorts of questions...

  • Last week, about 20 minutes before I was scheduled to leave and pick up the kids in our carpool then head across the river for school, we started hearing loud explosions over near one of the markets in town. Elections in a few days... the past history of coup d'etats in this country... the recent political unrest in countries to the north that has seemed nothing short of contagious - we decided not to leave the house until we knew what was going on. It turned out to be an accident at a gas station and what we were hearing was gas bottles exploding. Tragically, several lost their lives. I, again, was preoccupied with "what ifs..."
  • Just yesterday, I got up a bit before five to fix breakfast for my gang ~ I usually love that still quiet time to work without tons of questions, such a lovely time to meditate and pray. Yesterday, Monday morning, I'd just started peeling potatoes when horrible, angry shouting began in the yard next to us. The noise and commotion was taking place literally 10 feet or so away from where I was standing... right outside the kitchen window and on the other side of the wall. After several seconds of angry shouting and objects being thrown, I heard what sounded like a gun go off followed by more commotion and shouting. We found out this morning that the people who live next door chased off a thief who had broken into their house, and they did fire their gun to do so. He got away. Thankfully, everyone else - except Tim, who heard the gun and came running - slept through the noise and craziness. But again - I started the day (the week) with events that left me feeling fragile, unsteady and on-edge all day long... wondering "what if...?"
Each time, it is getting harder to shake off that vulnerable, on edge, "what if" feeling - wondering if I will accept God's sovereignty if He allows something scary to truly touch my family, those I love - especially as I'm prone to try and "buck up" and keep on keeping on in my own strength. And maybe I'm not supposed to just shake these things off? Serious, scary and bad things happen in this world saddled with sin. That is real. Yet I'm commanded to be anxious for nothing - not to find my stability and steadiness in things that are seen, but in the Sovereign One Who, although He is unseen, the evidence of His hand is imminent everywhere.

So I'm trying to focus on those "whatsoever things..." I do believe, I do know that God is in control. He knew all of this would happen... He knew I would find it scary and would be tempted to let anxiety reign...


with the very Scriptures that can encourage and carry me through,
if I will but stay my mind on them...
on Him...

If you think of it, I'd appreciate your prayers, too.


  1. I can understand how these things would erode your own personal strength. But when you realize you are shaking in your shoes, get onto your knees and seek the strength of God. Remember, faith the size of a mustard seed is all you need. Satan sends fear and doubt, not our Lord. Hang on to the hand of God.

  2. Patty Buchanan15 March, 2011 10:12

    We will be praying for safety and for peace of mind!

  3. When I was in Haiti with Tim's Dad many years ago, we could hear the voodoo drums at night, and yet I never had any trouble sleeping.

    And again a few years ago, when I woke up one day to find myself in a hospital with more tubes in me than a radio, I was never afraid. Confused - yes at first, until I realized why I was there, but afraid - no.

    I talk to people who are baffled that I can just plain not be afraid of what might happen. It all boils down to this:

    This has been my life verse as far back as I can remember. Isaiah 43:2-3a
    "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour"

    God will give you what you need to make it through whatever He allows you to go through. You don't have to ask for it. You don't even have to know what to ask for. You just have to count on it, and I know - that much you already do.

  4. thanks for your encouraging words and examples!

  5. We are right there with you Richelle with those what ifs and yet clinging to God and certain we are supposed to be there. You are not alone in those range of emotions!

  6. i know, chantelle... and i'm so thankful for our community here. it really is an incredible one! :D


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