I remember growing up one of the most awesome book series to read was the “Choose your own adventure” books. For those of you who may not know what I’m talking about, I’ll explain. You would begin the book like normal, but a few pages in you were given 2 choices. If you chose #1 you would turn to page 15, if you chose #2 you would turn to page 36 and the story would continue from there depending on what you chose. You were given choices throughout the book so you could read the book over and over and get somewhat different stories every time. If you didn’t like where you ended up, you could go back and pick something different. It was so much fun!
Unfortunately in life we rarely, if ever, get to go back and take a different path if we don’t like where we’ve ended up. If we do have the opportunity, there are usually consequences that we have to deal with from choosing wrong in the first place. I am a processor in my thinking, almost to a fault. I like to over analyze the situation to death and sometimes think so long about something that the opportunity passes me by and I end up kicking myself for not making a decision quicker.
Unfortunately in life we rarely, if ever, get to go back and take a different path if we don’t like where we’ve ended up.
One of the hardest decisions I have ever been faced with was the decision on how to handle the information Phil shared with me about naturism. As you may have read in our first post he presented me with 3 options:
- Forbid him from participating in any way.
- Allow him to participate, but not participate myself.
- Go on this adventure with him (he didn’t word it that way).
During my time of processing I considered many “what ifs.” What if he is just doing this to justify seeing naked women? What if this really is a sin in the eyes of God? What if someone finds out? What if he loses his job? What if our church kicks us out? What if our families disown us? What if our children hate us? And the list could go on and on!!!
Once we discussed all of these questions at length and were able to come up with answers for most of them I was able to make the decision that the thought of Christian naturism was ok by me. When I was coming to grips with what that meant for me practically a whole new set of “what ifs” came up. What if I’m fatter than everyone else? What if it’s super awkward for me but Phil is ok? What if Phil is not ok (if you know what I mean)? What if people stare at me? What if no one likes me? What if it’s horrible? That list could go on and on too!
Discussing those reservations, the only answer we came up with was that we weren’t going to know the answers until we tried it. So we did! After jumping in and experiencing many naturist group activities and just going to a park near us, I have the answers to those questions.
-What if I’m fatter than everyone else?
Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. But you know what’s awesome? NO ONE CARES WHAT I LOOK LIKE!!!!
-What if it’s super awkward for me, but Phil’s ok? What if Phil is not ok?
There are moments where it’s been awkward, especially the first couple times, but that’s normal. Doing something new is always awkward, even fully clothed. Phil has never had any issues and neither have I.
-What if people stare at me?
Never once has anyone looked long enough to make me feel uncomfortable.
-What if no one likes me?
I have met the nicest people! So far everyone seems to think I’m ok.
-What if it’s horrible?
Trust me, it’s not!
There are still many what if questions that come up from time to time and we try to figure those out as they come. In thinking back, some of those have been difficult and some of them have been reflective. What if I had forbidden Phil from participating? What if I’d allowed it but refused to entertain the thought for myself? I am confident that our marriage and relationship would not be as strong as it is now, and our relationship with the Lord would not be as solid.
During the last 9 months as we have written this blog, we have had many men reach out to us asking how they can encourage their wives. Here are the questions I would ask them:
- What if it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be?
- What if no one cares what you look like and loves you in spite of all the flaws YOU see?
- What if your relationship with your husband could be stronger and more intimate (not just physically) than you could have ever hoped?
- What if you actually feel more confident nude? (I know you don’t think that’s possible, but trust me, with first hand knowledge, it is!)
- What if you actually really enjoy it once you get past the little bit of awkwardness?
- What if you miss out on the best friends you would ever have?
- What if you let your own insecurities get the better of you?
- What if it’s nothing like the fears you have in your mind?
- What if it’s one of the best things that ever happened to you?
Consider these questions and then choose your own adventure!