Discerning With a Deadline

Aka how to make a decision that aligns with God’s will when the clock is ticking. Aka why am I giving you advice when I am the last person I would ever recommend for you to come to when you need guidance on this topic. My shoulders are shrugging.

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Decisions of any size are not my area of excellence. As I’m getting older and realizing that my choices now have the power to significantly affect the rest of my life, I am taking them much more seriously. Heightened anxiety is accompanied too.

So what is a girl to do when a multiple month process of praying and stressing and possibly avoiding (never a good combination) a big decision is coming to a close. People need answers. I didn’t have them. I’m still not sure if I do.

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I talked myself in and out of this choice for weeks.  One option I was prepared for, was comfortable to the world and had future security written all over it. The other was quite the opposite in almost ever possible way. Time only prolonged my indecisiveness and actually created even more variables to take into account.

My #2 strength from StrengthsFinder is intellection. That means I think and I think a lot. Actually, it never stops. I love it and I hate it and in this instance, it caused me to be distracted for a loooong time.

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I couldn’t do any task for longer than five minutes without asking myself, God or someone around me, “What should I do?” in a series of different question formats (I apologize to the ones who heard them all). When it came down to the night before the official deadline, I felt further from any answer than I had ever formed before. Was D) “all of the above” an option?

My roommates sat me down and physically made me draw out a pros and cons list. They know me well. I’m a list girl. They also know me well in interpreting my facial expressions, body language and ramblings because at this point, I don’t think sentences were being formed on my end.

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They noticed my want to please others in this decision. They recognized how far I had distanced myself from…well, myself. They witnessed my distraught in trying to figure out God’s will for me. Fear paralyzed me and my faith.

Exodus 14:13-14 has been hanging on my fridge since I became an owner of a fridge this past summer and will not be taken down any time soon. 3 meals and 2 snacks = at least 5 times a day that I need to be reminded to offer it all up to the One who offered himself for me. “Fear not! Stand your ground and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today…The Lord himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”

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As people of faith, we naturally want God to reveal what He has already prepared for us in complete intricacy. However, the awareness of His already established plan makes me terrified that one choice could ruin my entire life’s journey. My mind races into the long-term of what God and only God controls. But His master plan is not a rubiks cube that needs to be solved. All will unravel with faithfulness and trust and on His perfect time.

So you must still yourself. Focus on the now. Allow Him to complete His sentences (I promise He won’t tell you that you or any part of you is ridiculous). He holds every answer and He is not trying to hide them from you. Our Lord wants you to have overflowing joy found in His design!

Eventually, you must act. You can’t live on the fence forever and think that divine intervention will cure every single issue that you face. You may not be ready but was our Blessed Mother ready when she made the biggest decision that humanity ever faced? Embrace Mary’s fiat (meaning “let it be done” in Latin) and make it your own. Let it be done to you. Just let it happen.

So post-mess of a person, I carefully chose. Some told me I screwed up big time. Many were happy for me. He provided peace through it all. Undeniable peace continues to remain.

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Am I still confused, overthinking an already made decision and nervous of what lies ahead? D) “all of the above” is now adequate. But sweet assurance overpowers. Because “whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21. And God made His path known.

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