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Moving Past "If Only"
By Victoria Osteen - Sep 14, 2010
Years ago when Joel and I first got married, we set out to buy a home. We found one that we thought was perfect for us. It was located in a neighborhood filled with other young families, it was on a beautiful lot, and it even had a swimming pool—something that I'd always wanted. We made the best offer we could and prayed and believed that the owners would accept it. Days went by, but we didn't hear anything. We kept speaking words of faith and declaring, "This is our house." We would drive by it and dream about it. But unfortunately, the homeowners didn't take our offer. The door totally closed. I was so disappointed. I thought for sure that was the house we were supposed to have. I found myself tempted to say if only we had offered more. If only we had prayed harder. If only we had acted sooner … and on and on. But instead of focusing on what I didn't get, I made a choice to let it all go and believe that God had something better in store.

Right after we heard the news about the house, I began looking at other houses and came across something that caught my attention. It was an old run-down house on a beautiful piece of property. The house was actually abandoned. It had a few broken windows, no landscaping, and it even had a scarecrow in the kitchen to keep stray animals out! It didn't look like much, but down deep I believed it was right for us—not because of what I saw, but because I knew God had good things in store for us and my heart was open to whatever He wanted to do. We submitted an offer on that house, and sure enough, it became ours.

The truth is I wasn't as excited about this house as I was the other one. This house didn't have a swimming pool; instead, it had crooked floors. The foundation was cracked, and some of the interior doors wouldn't close. I had to put blocks under my couch to keep it from leaning forward. Friends and family members used to make jokes about those crooked floors, but I grew to love that house. Even though it wasn't exactly what I wanted, I knew that God gave us that house, so I wasn't going to look back and focus on the house I didn't get.

We lived in that house for three years, and God blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. We ended up dividing our lot and selling half of it for the same price we originally paid for the entire piece of property! God used that crooked-floor house in our lives in a powerful way. He brought us through a journey of faith. That's where we grew. That's where we learned to trust Him and believe that He always knows what's best.

Today, if you're thinking, Life would have been different "if only" I had this or "if only" that had happened, let it go. Let go of the "if onlys." Don't get caught in that trap. Know that God is guiding every one of your steps. Learn to trust Him. Even if life doesn't seem to make a lot of sense right now, God has a plan. If you'll let go of those things that didn't work out in the past and choose to stay in faith, then God will take you where He wants you to be.

A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure(Proverbs 16:9, AMP).
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