On Trying to Not Cross a Bridge
Before You Come to It….

by | May 8, 2024

There’s an old saying, “Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it,” or “You can cross that bridge when you come to it,” or variations of that phrase. My mom always said this to me when I was growing up. I’ve always wanted to cross bridges before I come to them, and as quickly as possible.

This thing about crossing bridges has been rolling over in my head the last day or two as I have contemplated a bunch of “what ifs.”

I hate what ifs!

I have always detested them.

What ifs are the bane of my existence.

I try to remember to say CANCEL CANCEL CANCEL when they arise in my mind– even out loud! But darn it, it’s so hard to get them all out of my head.

Last night, I laid awake in bed thinking of some of these what ifs, and when I woke up this morning they were still there, marinating in my exhausted mind. Mid-morning today I felt God speak to me about them. I believe this is God because it’s the same voice He usually speaks to me in, in the same vernacular. I was telling Him, “You know me, God. You made me. You ‘get’ that I am a person who likes to be fully prepared for anything and everything that could happen. I’m a planner. And I don’t want to be caught unaware, and I am not just wanting to plan, I am SEEKING YOU for my what ifs. And I just need to know how to be prepared for the bridge. I’ll cross it when I come to it, but how do I get ready?” And he said…

 “What if you never even come to that bridge at all? Everyone doesn’t travel over bridges to get somewhere. Sometimes you fly above everything to get where you need to go. At other times, you take the train and look out at the countryside, relaxing while someone else guides your journey. At other times, you don’t even go on the trip you thought you were going on. It’s inconsequential. A moot point. And even if you do come to that bridge, you’re never crossing it alone.It’s not just YOU crossing the bridge, it’s you and ME.”

I don’t know if anyone else needs to hear this today but…

  • You might not even cross that bridge you’re concerned about, at all.
  • You might fly above the fray and not have to deal with what’s going on, aside from prayer..
  • You might go on the journey but will be able to be still, know He is God, and watch Him work it out.
  • You might actually have to cross THAT bridge you’re worried about, but you’ll never do it alone.

My friend Arthelene Rippy once told me, “Don’t look too far down the road…the road may turn.” I have tried to remember that advice. Her father told her this, and she said it was one of the most important things he ever shared with her. I have a dark side, as a visionary, of looking way too far down the road.

I am also reminded of this…

“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.”

~ Kahlil Gibran

So much of the what ifs take up space in my mind because I want to try to avoid outcomes that are undesirable to me. I have to keep in mind, they may be undesirable to me right now, but what if they are exactly what I need in my future?

Taking just one slice of time…

In the last ten years, I never imagined the grief and loss I would face, losing multiple family and friends to death, including most recently our precious grandson, in the womb..

In the last ten years, I never imagined the betrayals I would face and who committed those betrayals. (We never imagine it, do we? Our Judas always surprises us.)

In the last ten years, I never would have imagined facing some of the physical issues I have encountered.

In the last ten years, I never would have imagined facing some of the political games, frustration and heartache I have gone through in the ministry.

In the last ten years, I never would have imagined going through the pandemic, and having Covid three times myself.

These were bridges I did not want to cross, but I did not cross them alone, and I am also reminded that…

Ten years ago, I never imagined I would not only find my birth father, but KNOW him, actually have him LIVE WITH ME, and have a RELATIONSHIP!

Ten years ago, I never imagined that I would have four beautiful grandchildren by now.

Ten years ago, I never imagined going back to school and getting not only a masters but a doctorate.

Ten years ago I never imagined being an adjunct professor.

Ten years ago I never imagined I’d serve on the Elevate Lead Team (of the AG Network of Women Ministers) as their curriculum developer.

Ten years ago I never imagined that I’d have a book contract with the largest independent Christian book publisher in the world.

Ten years ago I never imagined I would have a whole other family of friends in Richmond, Virginia…my “boots on the ground” as I call them as well as new found friends, in what is also considered my “hometown.”

A lot of hardships have taken place the last ten years, BUT many hardships that I feared never even happened. And,even more blessings I never had on my radar came into view.

“How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened?”

~ Thomas Jefferson

I’m trusting the Lord and will remind myself often of what he spoke to me about bridges today.

I am feeling comforted and am expecting a better night’s sleep tonight.


  1. Laura Elizabeth Flora

    You are not alone on the what ifs….. I overthink about things, my future, Ect, ADHD for me at its finest I suppose,
    I also have a lot of what ifs from my past, what if I hadn’t left my job to help dad take care of Mom after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis…

    What if I had known about boundaries and had actually stood up for myself over the years….

    But would I be the person I am today if those things hadn’t taken place?

    Am I stronger now because of it all?

    I’ve had Alot of hardships but also Alot of blessings along the way too…

    I love you my friend
    I’m allways Praying for you

    Let’s both let go of those what ifs

    And Rest in what God has for us 💞

    • Dr. Deanna Shrodes

      I’m with you! We CAN do this together. I love you too!


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