Overwhelmed. Yep, that best describes where I was. Three decisions – major ones – and I was at a loss for each. While none were life or death, each could either be a blessing or a hindrance, depending on my choices. No pressure, though. Lol.
So I did what I always do. I prayed. I asked God for His wisdom and revelation for each decision. Then I waited. Now I was active in my waiting – gathering information, getting sage advice, even making my infamous pros/cons lists (yes, they really work). I started to have some clarity, but thinking the answers couldn’t be right, I just kept praying. Then God made it abundantly clear what I was supposed to do. Problem is, I thought He got it wrong.
See, just because He knows my end from my beginning, loves me more than I can imagine, sees and knows things I can’t even fathom, doesn’t mean every answer He gives is correct. Just because I can look back on countless times that I’ve heeded His wisdom and been so thankful for it, doesn’t mean He’s correct. Just because I have faith and trust in God and His direction doesn’t mean He’s correct. Especially if it doesn’t line up the way I think it should …. Or does it?
And there lies my answer. I can’t name a time when I’ve truly heard from God, and honored the instructions, that He’s steered me wrong. Not a single time. In fact, the less sense it seems to make to my head, the more faith it requires to follow God, and it seems the better the results. So in spite of myself and my head, I’m going to follow the One with the answers and wisdom I need and seek.
I’m listening, Father. What’s next?
I am truly blessed to have a lot of talents, abilities and gifts. I know a lot of us are. Sometimes, it can be hard to choose which gift you will focus on, and where you will direct your energy. I used to struggle incredibly in this arena. I felt guilty for not agreeing to things, not taking on tasks, not doing what someone else wanted me to do. Then … inspiration. It’s not about what anyone else wants me to do. It’s not even about what I want to do. It’s about what God desires for me to do.
God wants me to be a whole person. Yes, absolutely, He wants me to selflessly serve my gifts to His glory and to benefit His people and His purpose. But I am also one of those people. So that means to be whole, I need to be sure I am served. So I serve myself with … rest … times of refreshing …. and by guarding my time. It sounds easier than it is, but with focus and determination, it can be done.
First, pray. Filter EVERYTHING through what God has called you to do right now. Pray and ask Him is this in line with my purpose and focus at this time? If you’re in a season of purging and simplifying, do you really think you’re meant to take on additional projects? Or if you know it’s your time to really focus and pour into your family because you’ve been a bit neglectful, should you be running off to further your career or volunteer for another project?
Next, don’t be moved by people. Don’t be moved by people. Do not be moved by people. Others will gladly tell you what you should be doing with your time, or how they think your time should be spent. There’s just one problem with that. They are not you. They don’t hear from God for you. Don’t let their disappointment or their desires overshadow what God is speaking to you to do.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to shift. An opportunity may come along that is perfect and what you should do. Or perhaps you have one plan and focus in mind and this latest offering takes you in a different direction. Go back to what I said first – pray. If this shifting is in line with what you should do now, go for it. If you told me before kids that I would end up homeschooling or loving being a stay-at-home mom/freelancer/visionary, I would have laughed in your face. But right now this is my calling. It’s exactly where I should be.
I feel like a lot of my posts are about decisions. It seems like life is decision, after decision, after decision! Some are small – what to eat for breakfast, what to wear today, makeup or no makeup. Then there are slightly more weighty decisions … what school curriculum to use, what activities to involve the kids in, do I schedule that meeting this week or next. Important decisions, yes, life or death, no. My problem is, I make some of the important decisions, out to be life or death. Do you ever catch yourself doing that? I hate it because I get stressed out about something that will work out just fine in the end. I’m not diminishing the value of moving in God’s timing or doing things when they need to be done. But sometimes, it just ain’t that serious. Let this encourage those of you who can be a bit like me. Breathe, relax, take a step back. It will all work out.
I recently received an interesting … and potentially very lucrative … offer. It appealed to me for a variety of reasons. First, it involved organizing and structuring an event, something at which I excel. It offered the chance to pay quite well. It would allow me the opportunity to be in charge, and orchestrate the flow of the event. And it involved lots of famous people. While I’m not the type to get star-struck, the last point made it sound fun and like a great opportunity to network. The person offering the job had the utmost confidence in my abilities to pull it off successfully. He knew I could do it; I knew I could do it; so why didn’t I do it?
Once I stepped away from the glitz and glamour of the offer, I looked at the reality of it. The time needed to make it a success would be practically 24/7, non-stop, due to the short time frame to accomplish the task. It would be a constant grind, and I’d have very little assistance. These two factors alone, however, didn’t deter me. I am definitely no stranger to hard work, and actually thrive under deadline pressure. But the final reason caused me to completely step away. This opportunity, beautifully packaged and wrapped with a bow, was a distraction.
As I study and pray more and more about my purpose, and fulfilling it with passion and determination, I realize I can’t take side journeys that may lead me down the wrong path. Now there’s nothing at all wrong with making additional money using your talents. There’s also nothing wrong with accepting a job that may not be exactly what you want to do – especially in a short-term capacity. However, this job seemed to have all the makings of getting me caught up for longer than I wanted to be, doing more than I wanted to do, at this time. So I had to pass.
Maybe the chance will come back around and I’ll be ready. Or maybe its sole purpose was to see if money would be my guide. But money isn’t everything. Pursuing my purpose, is.