Life has been very good lately.
My relationships with my friends, family, and especially God have been amazing, the sun has been shining, and I am a happy girl.
Amidst all of this goodness and happiness, though, I feel panicked and unsure whenever I’m faced with a decision or commitment that will affect me for more than two minutes. As I delve deeper into what it means to be living for God and working as a light for Him, I find myself fearing my next steps. I’m just waiting for the proverbial other shoe to fall on this season of overflowing joy because I messed up.
Where do I go from here? What’s God’s plan for me in this season? Is this where I’m supposed to be? I want to move forward, but I overthink until there’s one giant question looming over my head, pressing on my shoulders and shadowing my happiness.
What if I do something wrong.
what if I take the wrong turn. what if I start relying on my own strength. what if I make the wrong decision. what if I don’t listen. What if I think I’m listening, but I’m really just overthinking and I think it’s a sign from God and it’s NOT?!
Anyone else been there?
My most recent battle with myself was whether or not to pursue an internship at my church. I like photography. I like videography. I love Jesus. It sounds like a great combination of serving the Lord and doing things I really love to do.
Is that what God is telling me to do? Is He really leading me there? Or am I taking matters into my own hands and doing what I think He wants to see me do?
I like planning everything, and being able to see all the steps laid out for me, ready to follow, so I know where to go and what to do, and exactly how to do it. I like being self-sufficient. I think it stems more from not wanting to have to rely on someone else for things I need.
For years I’ve tried to lean on my own understanding and hold the weight of the world on my shoulders in some weird act of humbleness and strength, but every time my attempts fail, I crawl back to God with my tail between my legs and ask for help picking up the pieces. For whatever reason, humans always want to be in charge. It’s the basis for like 99% of superhero movies. Someone wants to control the world.
I’m pretty sure that since the beginning of time, individuals or groups have always wanted to rule the universe. Why? Why do we strive to put ourselves at eye-level with God? What drives us to believe we can handle all of that? I can’t even handle being in charge of myself on most days.
Because of this innate desire as humans, it takes humbleness and humility to relinquish whatever control we think we have- so obviously that’s what God asks of us. The more I press into Him, the more I realize I have to stop coming to Him with expectations and assumptions about what He will do in my life, and I have to stop handing him a checklist of things I need from Him in order to carry on with my self-sufficiency.
Don’t get me wrong, you could walk up to God with the list of things you want, but He isn’t Santa Claus. He isn’t going to just check the boxes off and hand it back. I’ve noticed that He been asking me to step forward in faith. Faith that He will guide me in the dark, and faith that He knows where I’m going, even if I can’t see it right now.
I’m being forced to live day-by-day. It’s been a very hard lesson to learn.
Not knowing where I’m headed has caused me to overthink e v e r y single thing I do. Then, when I can’t figure out if what I’m about to do is actually what God wants me to do, I search for a neon sign that says ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. I listen reeeeeally closely for a whisper in my ear with the exact directions I’m supposed to take in order to not fall down the stairs. I pray for guidance.
Sometimes my tour guide to the straight and narrow never shows up.
A friend of mine recently explained this idea that God has given us many tools to make wise decisions, like the bible, the Holy Spirit, and our conscience. Then He let’s us work out an answer for ourselves, as all of the best teachers do, while He quietly observes and helps us when we need it. I have the necessary resources, and as I pray for guidance, I take a step into the dark with the faith that he’ll put another step underneath my foot.
So here I am, overusing metaphors about dark staircases and also overthinking everything.
After seriously contemplating for several days, I decided to take on the internship. There was no neon sign, but encouragement from friends and my family as well as conversations with the people I’d be working under gave me peace and excitement that helped me stand firm in my decision. I am doing my best to follow the path He’s taking me down by being present and open to all possibilities, and I’m looking forward to spending the summer doing something I love, spending time with people I enjoy, and continuing to grow my relationship with the Lord through this.