Even if…I will praise Him 

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One of my dearest friends and I have this saying that is kind of a joke, and kind of the real thing. We say, “It’s my world, you just live in it.” God so gently and often not so gently reminds me of just how not true this is. Usually he does this by messing up my timing. Timing is everything. You’ve heard that said and maybe even said it yourself. I know I have.  I’ve experienced it. I’ve been frustrated by it. Timing. I’m frustrated when timing is out of my control. The funny thing is, it always is out of my control. I really do want it to be my world. The minute I think I have control over time, something crazy happens to remind me that I’m not in control at all, and that it’s not my world.  Usually that “thing” shows itself as an Even If, because, let’s be real – when we aren’t in control of the timing – it’s an “Even If” moment – because we don’t know how it will turn out, we don’t control the outcome, we can’t control when or how something will happen – and that uncertainty is the epitome of an “Even If” moment. 

I run a safe house for women who are coming out of the sex industry. Some of these women were trafficked, some were involved by choice, either way, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve lived through a whole lot of “Even If” moments. One of the best days in our house is graduation. The girls have completed nine months of recovery, nine months of digging deep into their circumstances and exploring the why, nine months of seeking and making amends, nine months of finding themselves in God and allowing God to wash over them and restore them, nine months of hard, hard work. Then graduation day comes and it is time to fly. It’s exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. The excitement soon wears off and the women have to wrestle with, “Now what?” Often, God’s timing for their next steps doesn’t line up with their deepest desire to be independent. And they must wait. Wait for a job. Wait for a host family. Wait for what’s next.  

I just walked through this waiting with one of my residents. She hit road block after road block for her next steps. Applications for housing were denied. Applications for a new job were not accepted. She was hitting closed door after closed door. My resident said to me, “I don’t understand. I’m doing everything I am supposed to do. Why is this happening?” I said to her, “God’s timing is perfect. We look at closed doors as God not moving. But what if this closed door is God’s way of protecting you from something? We can’t see tomorrow, but He can. He knows. He knows what lies ahead on your journey and maybe, just maybe you shouldn’t be in that apartment because of what is coming. Maybe this is God’s way of protecting you while He is at work bringing about His ultimate plan, His best for you.” You know what we did in that moment? We decided to take the “Even If” and turn it into praise. Even if I don’t get the apartment I want, I will praise you for going before me and protecting me. Even if I don’t get the job that I think I want, I will praise you for stopping me from taking this job so that I’m available to take the job where you really need me. Even if, I will praise. 

It’s a perspective shift. It’s taking the focus off of myself and putting it onto God, which is where it really belongs because after all – in the Even If, He’s the one who is in control. The truth is, It’s His world…we just live in it. 

Robin Smith has a passion for equipping people to see their strengths and to lead with their unique God given gifts.  She has spent the last 15 years in higher education, focusing on developing student leaders and equipping students with the skills they need to be successful in the pursuit of their education and careers. She has recently transitioned out of higher education to pursue her heart’s passion to help equip women coming out of trafficking as the Program Director at Refuge for Women Las Vegas. Robin serves on the Ignite Life board, volunteers with Refresher for Women and Refresher Girls and teaches the evening class of Speaker's Workshop. She loves to teach the word of God and empower people to live victoriously on their journey with Jesus. Robin and her husband Homer have been married for 31 years. They enjoy God’s creation by hiking, walking, or simply enjoying the sun with a good book. They have two children, Jenna and Ryne, three grandchildren, Alex, Dylan and Vincent and 1 cat - Cedar.