On the other end of the phone the woman was weeping...screaming...sobbing from the depths of her soul.
All I could say was "I understand". And to a great extent, I did.
It was not that long ago I was looking at homelessness as a real possibility.
"Can I pray with you?"
I hoped bringing God into the mix would calm her down. She told me she needed to make another call and would phone me back.
Honestly, I was surprised she called back just five minutes later. As the crying began again, I quickly launched into prayer.
I thanked God for His Sovereignty and the fact that He was not surprised by this turn of events. I prayed for His peace to surround her, to envelop her, to comfort her.
While I prayed, her sobs began to subside...replaced by sniffles and sighs.
But as soon as I stopped, the "what ifs" began again and in a matter of minutes she had worried herself back into a hysterical mess.
"'God's got this" I said.
Her response was, "yeah, but sometimes He lets you go through things."
Didn't I know it.
I spoke with all the authority I could muster. "Yes, sometimes He does, but He's still in control. What day is today?"
"Then there are still four more days to your deadline. Why do you insist on borrowing possible trouble that's still half a week away?"
The conversation went on like this for another half an hour. Me telling her I understood her fears, doubts, and concerns - while reminding her God was bigger than all of it and already on the other side of it. I told her these weren't just words and shared a little of my story...
My thoughts returned to this encounter today as I wait on my own "what ifs".
Something occurred this weekend - out of left field - and I was in to see a doctor on Tuesday.
He told me a biopsy was needed.
My heart sank.
In the back of my mind, I knew this was possible. I had done the dumb thing and gone to WebMD.com to read about my symptoms, their causes, diagnosis, and treatment. A biopsy was listed as a possible next step.
When looking for peace of mind, WebMD is not the place to go - read the descriptions and you'll be convinced you've got half a dozen diseases, all of them fatal.
What I should have done was go to the Great Physician who provides peace that passes understanding.
And yet. I had avoided Him all morning. Not sure why, I just did.
I deliberately skipped my quiet time and busied myself until the clock warned it was time to leave for work.
While I was having trouble praying, I knew I needed it. So later that morning, on the way to the doctor's office, I called a friend to ask her to pray.
When I got out of the appointment, I saw a text she sent with some of what I would have read had I cracked open my Jesus Calling devotional and Bible.
"I am perpetually with you, taking care of you."
"You need not fear the future, for I am already there."
"Your future is in My hands; I release it to you day by day, moment by moment. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.
"I am training you to keep your focus on My Presence in the present."
Much of the day's devotional was based on Matthew 6:34 - "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Yep, it all sounded pretty familiar. After all, they were the very thoughts I'd shared with my caller a few days before.
Thoughts I'd shared because I knew them to be truth.
The words calmed me. For a moment my heart and mind stopped racing.
But when I finished reading, I confess, the "what if's" crept back in, demanding attention and answers.
I have to wait a week for the results.
During that time, I have two choices.
I can waste my days living in fear of the unknown, a slave to the what if's,
I can consciously, deliberately, minute by minute, trust in what I know - the God who has shown His faithfulness over and over again.
Remember the woman who called me? By the time those four days had passed, God had moved mountains and she continues to have a place to live.
She lost a lot of sleep, and cried a lot of tears, yet her worst fears never materialized.
There was no need for her to borrow trouble.
So I'm going to make the better choice and leave that trouble right where it is.
After all, I believe what I told her just last week - "God's got this."