Worst Case Scenario

A number of weeks ago something occurred that caused me deep distress and I began to worry and fret over how it all might turn out in the end. In some ways I was on the sideline of this situation but the fact is, what affects people you love affects you as well, and the outcome of what might happen had the potential to touch some deeply personal areas of my heart.

I became obsessed with the worst case scenario and what it would mean if it came to pass. I spent too many sleepless nights praying, silently weeping, or just laying awake thinking about what if.  I walked through my days on auto pilot, thankful for the busyness at work that served as an escape for a few hours every day.

Weekends have been harder as I had time to think, project outcomes in my mind, and speculate on motives, worry about people I love. As I tended my garden, an activity that usually calms and soothes me, I’ve found myself brushing away tears that fell unnoticed, unbidden, unwanted.

Even as I counseled another person to practice self-care during this time  of turmoil and uncertainty, I haven’t heeded my own advice as I sought relief for the pain I’ve been feeling inside. I been barely able to tolerate the pain and fear that has shrouded me. I told myself to stop obsessing; again and again I released the situation to God and tried to let go of it. I had a measure of success but every day it has been an act of will to hold on and not allow myself to fall apart.

Too many times over the course of my life I’ve fretted what might turn out to be the worst case scenario in a situation and, more often than not, it hasn’t come to pass. Sometimes though, there’s no avoiding it and the worst possible thing that can happen, does. This week the outcome I perceived to be the worst case scenario came to pass.

I have been unable to talk about the situation without weeping so I haven’t talked about. I’ve held balled and soggy tissue in my hand as I’ve written about it.  I tried to hold my emotions in; I haven’t wanted to feel the anguish that has felt like it has the power to overwhelm me. I’ve retreated inside, where that old baggage from my past tells me is the only safe place.

Here’s the thing, though: the worst case scenario came true but, like it has for every day of my fifty four years, the sun has still risenWhat I feared might overtake me hasn’t. God is still in control and has a plan for my life and the lives of everyone involved in this situation.


Rain Guage in the Garden-1 (298x448)


This morning as I surfaced from the comfort of slumber I sensed a whispered voice telling me to “look for the magic today”.

Somewhere, closer than I realize, there is still magic for those affected by this circumstance, for me, and for you. I have to believe that–I do believe that–and today I am going to consciously and deliberately keep my eyes open to find it.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. I am much like you but mostly I want you to know that I will and can pray for you today.

    1. Thank you so much, Terri. Please know that I’ve prayed for your situation over the years too.

  2. My prayers are with you and your family–If God led you to it,
    He will bring you through it.

    1. True. So true, Lynda.

  3. Just back from a memorial service for an 18-year-old boy when I read this. What do you tell a parent who has experienced a worst-case scenario? The sun will rise each morning as usual, and the magic will be there, just dimmed until the mist of grief has had time to dissipate to a shadow. I’m sorry, Lynda.

    1. Oh, Linda. That does put everything in perspective, doesn’t it? I can imagine nothing, absolutely nothing, worse than losing a child. I’m so sorry for this loss.

  4. I’m so sorry for whatever has happened in your life. You are in my prayers.

    1. All will be well, Joyce. Thanks so much.

  5. I do this very often. I tend to fret about things and usually the bad things don’t happen, but if they do at least I’m kind of conditioned to accept whatever the outcome is. Worry is not healthy, but it’s also sometimes not so easily to avoid.

    Wrote By Rote

    1. Good point, Arlee. When that other shoe does drop we’re somewhat prepared for it. That said, I agree, worry is definitely not healthy, and often completely unnecessary. We’re just human though.

  6. Linda, I believe that as the nurturers God created us to be, women tend to go to worst case scenario. My husband once told me that I worried about things that had not yet happened and likely might never happen. But fret I did, and I worried. And this morning I am worried about my husband, and yes, I’ve probably entered into unnecessary worry.

    At any rate, whatever is amiss in our lives or the lives of our loved ones causes anxious moments. For whatever has happened in your life, I pray that it will soon be worked out and smoothed over, if possible. And today, like your post suggest, I’m going to look for the magical.

    1. I think you’re right, Sherrey, in that our nurturing role takes us there more often. My husband, for example, does not fret anywhere near as much as I do. I believe he’s healther as a result. Wishing you well, and sending up a prayer for your hubby too.

  7. I suspect the magic will somehow find you–sounds like it already has!

    1. You are an inspiration to me in finding the magic, Gayle.

  8. Dear Linda, long years ago, my mom said to me often, “Dolores, you find what you look for. If you look for good, you will find it. And if you look for bad, you will surely find that also.” And so I’m hoping that you will be able today to look for and find good. I’m sure that your life has shown you that out of the bad, good comes. It’s just not what we expected. It’s so difficult to learn to let go and accept the graciousness of the Universe when it doesn’t agree with our dreams. I struggle daily with this. I hope that today you find peace within your hopes. Peace.

  9. Linda, just came across this post, as I’m catching up on my blog reading. I’ve experienced a whopper of a setback of my own in the past weeks, and your post and the thoughtful comments left by readers have been encouraging. Everything belongs, and I have to keep that in mind as my situation unfolds. Sending good thoughts your way.

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