Year of Youth 2018

When 'What If' Becomes 'Even If' | Year of Youth Blog

Last edited 25th July 2018

When 'What If' Becomes 'Even If' | Year of Youth Blog

Trust in Him. Three words so beautiful, when practised, yet for most of the time, seem so incredibly hard to achieve.
I have found myself on many occasions asking 'What if?’

‘What if my worst fears come true?' 'What if my efforts are not enough?'

In the book ‘Letters to Juliet’ (Abrams, H.N, 2010), it is wisely said "'What' and 'if' are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life."

Recently, I’d been following the FIFA World Cup and in particular the Croatian football team. Being of Croatian background, I felt myself falling into the category of 'football fanatic' at the same time every 4 years. So when it came to the Argentina vs Croatia game, I was understandably nervous.

The Argentinian team are strong and have good statistics to back up the probability that they would win.

My heart was hopeful for the Croatian team and their ability to win and yet the world seemed to be yelling at me 'Don't be foolish, Croatia won't win!'.

Still, I tried to grip onto that hope, as firmly as a baby grips their hands on a teether when their first teeth are coming through. I did not want to let go.

As I got up early to watch the game, I said a prayer for God to take care of the team and help them to play at their best. I found myself repeating the same prayer throughout the first half of the match. Why did I need to repeat the same prayer? Surely God had heard it the first time?

Before I knew it the 45th minute had passed, and the score remained at 0-0. I wondered how the second half would proceed. What if they don't play well in the second half?
As the half time break took place, I again prayed "Lord, guide them to a win if it be your will. Help them to play at their best and maybe lead us to a draw?"

Fear and discouragement began to settle in. The 'what ifs' were becoming more frequent in my thoughts and instead of hoping for a win, I was thinking that if we drew, there would be a chance to go through to the next round.
It was only then that it dawned on me...

How many times have I asked God in my own life to have the courage to trust in Him and His plan? His understanding is far better than my own and I knew that for the times I’d left things in His hands, the outcome was beyond amazing.
Yet here I was, asking to trust Him and allow His plan to take place, but repeating my prayer out of distrust.

Was I trying to place things in His hands and then take it back? Why was it so difficult to place it all in His hands, and then enjoy the match whatever the outcome may have been?

So I proceeded with 'Lord, my prayers are in your hands. I know they have been heard. This team is in your hands. Let your will be done because your understanding is far better than my own. Guide me in enjoying the remainder of this match.'

As I said this prayer, I pictured His strong hands in front of me. I pictured myself handing Him all of my fears and discouragement and knew that as they fell into His mighty hands there was hope. Hope that even if they did not win, everything will be good.

As the second half of the match proceeded, the following took place:

53rd minute - Croatia scores.
80th minute - Croatia scores.
90th minute - Croatia scores.

Final score: Argentina 0-3 Croatia

The Holy Spirit still continues to blow my mind with how He communicates to us what we need in each moment in life. In this case it was in a World Cup match where my 'what if's' turned into an 'even if'. He guided me into seeing that I had a need to place everything in God's hands for Him to then show me the greatest gifts He had for me.

My heart was full. Yes, there are many uncertainties ahead about future games, and personally, about life in general. However, even if my own 'wants' don't unfold, His plans are far greater.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati once said "If you have God at the centre of all your action, you will reach the goal". In this case, it wasn't just one goal. It was three.

Antonia is an Australian born Croatian who's passionate about discovering the beautiful world we live in and practising her Catholic faith. She combines her love for travel and love for faith in her blog, The Adriatic Fox (

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