Banishing “But”

posted in: Woman to Woman Newsletter | 0

By Debbie Lowe

We need to virtually banish the word but” from our vocabulary. It can be okay, occasionally showing up with a positive slant on things. Unfortunately, but” frequently shows up with its pal if” or, worse, with its two best friends, what if.”

“But” and but what if” can wreak havoc on the heart and mind. They like to invite their friends, fear and worry, to “come and sit a spell” … indefinitely. These are some of the enemy’s favorite words, often whispered in times of trouble or distress.

“But what if you lose your job?”

“But what if that mistake ends in getting sued, or worse?!”

“But what if that lump is cancer?”

Recently, a potentially life-changing situation occurred in the life of one I love. “What if” made a flamboyant appearance (they didn’t need their friend “but” to make their point). They drew me into a vortex, and I spiraled down a deep chasm. Just before I reached bottom, I realized they were having a party: It was in full swing – at my expense.

I realized I had to start thinking differently. I needed to make a choice to “renew my mind” (see Romans 12:2). I needed to banish “but what if” and their havoc-raising friends (fear and worry) before the culprits caused more damage. I needed to remember God’s promises and refocus my mind:

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

(Isaiah 26:3, English Standard Version)

I reminded myself that trusting the Lord is a choice (one I have to make over and over again); it doesn’t happen by default. It requires looking at Him instead of the frightening illusions the enemy conjures up with but what if.”

Climbing out of a crevasse isn’t easy. It requires constant focus on Him, using the handholds found in His Word, and choosing to trust and believe that those handholds – His promises – are firm and true.

It also requires choosing to live in today, not tomorrow (or yesterday), while trusting Him and doing my best today. When tomorrow becomes today, He will be there, ready to banish but what if” if I keep my focus on Him.

© Debbie Lowe, 2019.


Debbie Lowe is a blogger, speaker, and writer. Her desire is to encourage women to wholeheartedly trust God in every area of their lives. She has served in women’s ministries and as Deacon of Worship at Grace Fellowship Church in North Stonington, CT. Debbie and her husband have two grown daughters and nine grandchildren. She enjoys reading (especially at the beach) and playing in the dirt (aka, gardening). Visit Debbie online at or on Facebook at Debbie Lowe – Life Lessons.

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