Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Soapbox: If This, Than That

In the world of mathematics, if-then statements are said to be the workhorses of deductive logic. What actually is in the present can be traced by to the conditional something that happened. If only life were so predictably simple that we humans could always say if I do this, then that will happen. And so it goes with love, the longing for knowing the outcome in advance, lest the heart is at risk.

Hindsight tells us that certain people, places, and events have forever impacted today. If this had not had happened then I never would have…and then you can fill in the blank. Recently, I identified a trail of if-thens over the course of several years that led to a beautiful life event which likely by God’s hand could have and would have taken place without any outside help. Nevertheless, I was able to see the path that brought it about, just like the Rascal Flatts’ song “Bless The Broken Road.”

The path to the story I have to tell began with an iconic trip to Vegas with my colleague Beth that people remembered for years due to our epic evening gown photo appearing on Keith Urbans concert feed for like one nanosecond. Mainly, people could not forget about it because we wouldn’t let them forget that we had 1.3 seconds of fame. During the trip, we laughed into the night like two girls on vacation would be expected to do, as Beth broke all of my rules: Don’t mess with my laptop, I need an hour uninterrupted to blow dry my hair, and best not to speak to me before coffee. She kept saying that her parents had been missionaries overseas and was telling me all about her family. All of this sounded so good to be true that I thought surely these must be the tall tales crafted by an Escalade driving, fur bearing, diamond cladded diva. But she was 100% telling the full truth, this girl.

I soon found out that it was true that her gorgeous sisters had sung all over the world in their famed group The Steffins Sisters, outlasting Elvis at the top of the overseas charts. If I had never met Beth, then I would have never met sisterJenny. Jenny and I became the closest of friends—the kind that is your ride or die through lifes darkest days. We were blessed with wonderful dinners and the best places to have girl-time slumber parties where our battleground for fighting the wars of this life was rooted in prayer, discussion, and The Living Word.

Meanwhile, my dear friend Mark was in my life and last fall met me at a little country church to play keys one Sunday. I knew both Mark and Jenny, but they never met in spite of hundreds of mutual friends beside me. A few weeks later, adance partner from my dance studio and I were excitedly making plans for a big band event to hear The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra—one of my faves! To my great disappointment another event took precedence and we decided to relinquish our tickets. I called Mark to see if he would want to take a nice girl to the event and the rest is history. Yesterday, I looked on as my girl graduated from The University of Singleness while they played Neill Diamond’s “Feels Like Home,” a song I wrote about in “The Heart of a Man” and one that Mark had sent to Jenny. This “Wild At Heart” man had found his home with the woman he loves. God was already weaving this story together without any help from me, but when Mark and Jenny tied the knot, I couldn’t help but play “if-then” and think about if I had never invited Beth to Vegas, if we didn’t give up the tickets, and all the other if-thens, then what are some other creative ways in which God would have brought this all together?

Our part in their love story is small compared to Gods bigger design for my dear friends, but what our eyes witnessed that day was a sweet move of the Lord in how he lives and moves and establishes our being. I could continue this story upon story of the many lives God has woven together through this last season, but the bigger picture was just relishing in the work of the unseen hand of God as He was revealing a little of what He had been up to all along. If that was all happening then, surely He is still working today for something new that He will reveal in the next seasons of our lives. For that moment, everyone’s cup was running over as goodness and mercy had shown its face. For this moment, we live in the “If” and anticipate the “When” as we serve a God that does not slumber nor sleep.

Brandi Chambless
Brandi Chambless
Read Brandi's column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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