“Figuring Out God’s Will For Your Life,” Revisited.

A reoccurring trap I find myself getting stuck in during this life stage is continuing to act with the same anxiety-ridden prayers and ways of relating to the God I was presented with from some Evangelical circles. The prayers where He needs to tell me exactly what to do, please, because I have to make a decision and it HAS to be the ONE decision He wants for me and I need to make that decision soon, now, because I can’t get it wrong! Afterall, I most certainly can’t spend another day doing something that isn’t your will, Lord!…

I think we do a disservice to both ourselves and to God when we continue praying to THAT God… the God who has prescribed a specific set of instructions for your life- and if you don’t follow them, in order, then clearly you’re not following His will and aren’t living out of His/Her “specific” will for your life.

Is that what God wants for us?
I mean, where do we draw the line?

Do we ask what “God’s will is” for our breakfast choices? Lord, show me if I should eat cereal or eggs for breakfast this morning. Help me, Lord, I need to know!

Is it “God’s will” for you to stay or to go or to move or to switch jobs or to leave the country or…

…I can hear those questions now. They roll around in my brain often (the jobs part, especially, not so much the eggs. I’m more of an oatmeal-on-the-run kind of girl).

But I’m done. To those thoughts and harried, twisted, fretful prayers, I bid you farewell.

You say we need faith like a child?
Well, then start simplifying, Child of God.

God has created each of our lives to have meaning, purpose and significance and S/He gives us gifts to show the world more and more of who She is. I just wonder if God is not so concerned with us “getting His will perfectly right;” rather, that we are finding Him along the journey in which He is walking with you. Beside you. Next to you. Embracing you. Encouraging you, present with you in this season, every season, every decision. Perhaps He’s not disappointed when we go left or when we turn right, U-turn or keep the same path, walk or run, or at our weakest moments, crawl. Yes maybe it truly is about the journey, not the destination. The process of becoming, rather than doing the “specific will.” I’m beginning to think all that He just wants you to know is that in life, there will be some goings and some comings, some dark valleys and some unsullied joy, some mess and some yes, some no-s and some grow, and that somewhere along the way, this journey, no matter how traversed, circuitous, or wild goose chase it’s been so far, he will certainly “lead you beside still waters” and refresh your soul.

And so tonight, as I catch myself praying one of those fretful prayers for the umpteenth time, I will stop. Look up. And remember that the God who has gotten us this far, can surely lead us to the next step. I will stop focusing on the destination and find solace in knowing that we will get there, someday, wherever “there” is, anyway. But what’s most important is the journey He’s taking us through, as we seek His face in the glory of the mountains and trees, seek His love in desert, and seek His heart in the times of uncertainty.

Yes, we’ve got a good Maker. And while we seek Him and take a look at where we are and how we’re doing, S/He’ll be making you, be making me.

For more thoughts on “God’s will for your life,” check out this talk by Donald Miller: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLQwxS-rcI

“If you have a donkey and it talks to you, God has a specific plan to your life. If you are a virgin and pregnant, God has a specific plan for your life… other than that, you kinda get to do what you want… You get to be really creative. The people who understand this CHANGE THE WORLD- the people who understand that me and God get to do something really cool out of the creativity of my imagination and the desire of my heart; they get their entire passion. But the people who say, “I’m so afraid that I’m not honoring God!”- they don’t do anything.”

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Searching, Finding, Getting Lost in all the Things I Can’t Explain…

I don’t know what it is that I’m looking so hard for, searching so constantly for, unceasingly, when I have a God who tells me that everything I need is to be found in Him. He tells me where to go; He tells me how to find it: it’s in Him. I know the one big thing I’m searching for is your peace, God, but even that I find directly in you and from you. You allow it to be made visible through your trees, your birds, your mountains, your still waters, but ultimately, it’s YOU, Lord. It’s you my heart wants, even when my head wants explanations to “whys,” and burning bush answers to my paltry prayers. It’s you who my soul was designed for. It is you who created this persistent thirst in my spirit, whose water comes to rescue my dry  mouth with your very own hands.

I don’t know why I fall apart when it would be so much less heartache to fall to my knees.

I don’t know why I think I can protect myself from life’s inevitable heartaches when there you are, telling me how much you love me. That you’re big enough to handle my biggest pains and heaviest weights. I don’t know why I worry about things like money when you’ve taught me how to be responsible and you’ve told me over and over again to enjoy my life. I long to visit cousins in Colorado, to feel a cool misty morning over the backdrop of the Rockies; to camp underneath the stars at the base of the Grand Canyon. But I feel like I shouldn’t spend my money on myself, or think I should save it for this, or be giving to that…

That’s not my voice, you say.
I am not the one holding you back.
I am not the bad guy here.
I want you to enjoy your life, the life that I gave you, forever, whether here on Earth or in Heaven above.

I want to cry; I feel so loved. I want to stop thinking about how it literally sounds crazy that God, an invisible being, can whisper words into my brain, bypassing the hairs you say you can count the number of. It doesn’t make sense. I can’t make sense of it. The more I try, the more I don’t know. The more I go along with it, and allow myself to be brought into wonder and awe and holy mystery and grandeur, the more expansive the world, your world, your kingdom, seems; the more deep your presence, the more I need you to be my answer for everything I can’t explain…

I don’t know why it is that I rush around, run to keep busy, doing tasks, creating to do lists, not sitting down, as if that’s what solves problems or hurts or nagging longings. I don’t know why I settle for these distractions when all you want is to be with me, to be with us, beside us, your child,  your beloved.

Everything you need is to be found in me, you say.

God, I think I’m finding myself in You. And I think I know what you’ve placed on my heart and want with my life. But what if the things I think are you and your will actually aren’t? Just because I think it is doesn’t mean it actually is. You know my heart better than I do. I think I need a blessing, a break, a “Yes” or “No” audible answer, a change of circumstance, a change of scenery, and you think I need a challenge, a chance to grow so that later on I’ll remember how you brought me through the difficulties I’ve faced, reminding me that I’m stronger than I think I am in You.

I know we’re searching, Lord.

Us.
Your creation.
We’re searching. You created us with this need for touch, need for human connection, need for wonder and rest and laughter and love, deep, deep love that is stronger than our own human ability to love.

And so I know this sounds utterly crazy, but tonight I say goodnight to you, like a father, like a mother, like a genuine best friend, like a pervasive and persistent lover. I no longer feel as though you’re far away; in fact, I can feel you right here in my chest. Don’t go. Please stay. I love you…