“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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Dwell in Those Moments

8.15

After days on end of realizing that if I don’t make a change soon, feeling agitated, unsettled, and stuck are going to become the pedestrian emotions of my days.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m extremely grateful for a job, for God’s provision, for a roof on my head, food to eat, crickets to listen to, my new road bike that I never want to hop off of… love and life itself…

But something is desperately missing.

I am not the passionate girl I was once used to be.

Oh I’m coming alive, trying new things.

But some of the dreams I have on my heart are layered in feelings of impossibility, doubt, fear, and one more triple-thick layer of self-defeating thoughts, desperately trying to remind myself that like A.A. Milne once wrote, “you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Those are moments of doubt… they are wasted moments. Those are the most wasted moments we can spend on life, EVER.

No, we don’t have to put up with those wasted moments any longer.

You see, there’s these other moments you get; moments that feel like drops of honey being fed to your mouth by the Hands of God. These sweet, sweet, intoxicating moments of life where you grit your teeth, dig in deeper, love that much harder, push that much further, and simply refuse to let the obstacles speak louder than the dream…

You… you decide to do hard things.

You simply do hard things.

Those are the only things in life that hold any real value; the things you earn only through sweat, sticky fingers, tireless devotion, unconditional love. You might as well do them so when you reach some ripe old age and can’t turn back the clock, you’ll have a fist-full of dreams to release into the sky like peace doves and red balloons- those you pursued, that is, not those you avoided.

And those moments- those moments where you kick yourself in the… rear and realize that enough is enough, enough time has been wasted, enough energy compromised on people pleasing and doubting yourself, and doubting the person God made out for you to be, heart full of unique passions and convictions… those moments where you look your dream in the face and say “yes” it’s possible and you whisper “yes” as you inch one step closer to the dream, even if you’re shaking… Those moments…

Those moments where you are absurdly fearless of the place between reality and your dreams.

Those moments where you truly fathom that life is precious but ever slipping through your fingers, with time that you can never re-live and edit and you know, deep down in your heart, that you can and will live your best life now.

Those moments…

 Dwell in those moments.

In those moments where God meets you half way, like half way up the hill you’re climbing on your bike, or half way up the hallway to a job you really hate but are too scared to leave to pursue what you actually care about for fear of its ambiguity or enormity.

And you hear His voice.

You know it’s Him.

And He reminds you to go back over the story, the one He’s been telling time and time again through people like Moses or Rosa Parks or your very self. The story that says trust… have faith… dig deep. The stories that have movement from complacency to action, that take you on some weird, unable-to-be-explained-in-the-present-time wilderness journey that makes you wonder if this is all some sick joke…  and you make it to the other side. You make it so that you are able to take the risk. Able to take the test. Apply for the job. Sign up for the race. Make your life count. See the fruit of your journey in the desert.

Dwell in those moments.

In those moments where you decide that being nice is well… nice. But you are DONE with living the innocuous life.

Dwell in those moments.

Where you decide to risk failure, point to your horizon and run straight after it, letting doubt, fear, and the opinions of others simply vanish and evaporate to try and trap someone else in a spiderweb. You, you, my friend, have been set free from that web. You are untangled, you are unraveled, you are unfettered, you are free. It may not look like it now, but oh yes, you are indeed free.

 Dwell in those moments.

Those moments where you’re an unstoppable lion.. or lioness with a fervor that cannot be tamed.

Dwell in those moments where doubt and fear have been kicked out of the building and all that’s left is open doors, open palms, green grass, room to breathe…

Dwell in those moments where you KNOW, deep within your core that anything is possible, but that you have to go through some… stuff to get there. And you don’t care anymore about what the “stuff” is because you’re committed to making it past the “stuff.”

Dwell in those moments, child, because you’re worth it… and if each of us operated out of the voice inside of us that actually pursues what is meaningful to us, that says the words we truly want to say, no matter how scared you are of someone’s reaction or being labeled as “too emotional…” if each of us sang our songs, wrote those letters, spoke up so that others can actually hear you, pursue the ideas that just popped in your head and refuse to let reason and logic engulf it…. If each of us actually said a hearty, “hello!” to the homeless person on the street holding a sign instead of sitting there squiggling around in the seat of our car, trying to avoid eye contact and the urgency of “what am I supposed to do!!?” If each of us vowed to take off our masks and dulled-down beliefs or feelings… If each of us rose up each day with this fire, this fervor, this passion, we would literally astound the world, ourselves, and each other.

Dwell in those moments.

Come back to them when they feel far away.

And may we always remember to pay attention to those nudgings on our hearts… for the world will be better for you having pursued them.