WHAT IF I GO TO JAIL? by Heidi Schwarz Sadler

People laugh when I tell them that one of my top ten fears is going to jail. While they think I’m joking, this is just one of the very real scenarios on my worst-case-scenario list. Other questions that plague me include: What if the IRS decides to audit me, and I can’t prove an honest mistake? What if I accidentally hit one of Portland’s numerous bikers with my car? What if I do go to jail and lose the love of my family and friends?


What If?

While these might be irrational fears, I have other worries that seem a bit more foreseeable. What if I get cancer again? What if my husband dies unexpectedly? What if I become homeless?

Only a couple weeks into the new year and the “What If’s?” have begun to swirl about. As Ben and I have become self-employed and live on faith, there are many unknowns in  my life.

What if we don’t have enough money to pay our bills? What if our savings account runs out? What if we heard God wrong, and we’re just crazy? What if God doesn’t come through for us?

 Remember When?

I could continue living in imaginary futures. I could be riddled with anxiety over potential disaster. But what might happen if I replaced the “What If” with “Remember When?” I think it might go something like this:

Remember when I was healed of cancer? Remember when we could have died in that ice storm but didn’t? Remember when funds for a major credit card bill were given to us? Remember when somebody paid to fill up the oil tank so that we had heat for the winter? Remember when we lived on Ramen noodles for a week, and it didn’t kill us?

This is just an abbreviated list of the “Remember When’s” in my own life. But what about these kind of moments in all of our lives? 

Remember when you woke up this morning? Remember when you saw a rainbow after a storm? Remember when you watched the sun set? Remember when you heard a song that moved you to tears? Remember when you were hungry and somebody gave you a good meal?

This year, I want to “Remember When” rather than fear “What If.” I want to be someone who recognizes the Ebenezer moments in my life (Ebenezer is a Hebrew word meaning stone of help. See the About  section on Heidi and Ben Sadler’s website Chasing Ebenezer or read  I Samuel 7 for more on this topic). 

Would you join me? Share your “Remember When’s” with us in the comments below.

– Heidi

The future is called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you. – Tennessee Williams


To read more articles like this by Heidi and Ben or to learn more about their ministry of worship and teaching, go to www.ChasingEbenezer.com. You’ll like it! Who knows? You might even want to invite them for a special weekend or night of ministry at your church or home group.



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