Thursday, January 3, 2013

Resolution 2013: Forward

When I mentioned to a friend that I had started a blog, her first response was surprise that I hadn't done it earlier.
When I tell people that I've already graduated college, they are surprised at how quickly it went.
When people ask what I do, many of them are surprised that I haven't arrived at a steady job yet. (Not that I've ever quit; all the jobs I've had so far have been temporary tutoring positions)
Where I am today is very much a long ways from where I could be, where I always imagined I would be, but never quite developed the necessary "gumption" to actually get there.

Not too long ago, I was faced with a decision. Both options were equally good; both would require some sacrifice on my part, so it wasn't like picking one or the other would be the "easy way out." I guess that's what made it so hard to decide. Sometimes, it's not about black and white, or even grey and grey; sometimes it's white and white... but you can't do both.
At last, it came down to decision time, and--apprehensively--I made my choice. (Praying fervently all the way). The results were so much better than I imagined they would be in the initial stages of my decision.

I learned something that day: sometimes we will come to "forks" in the road of life, and God doesn't say "Take that one," or "Take the other one." In your typical allegory, there is one path that is obviously the right one, and one that is obviously the wrong one; if all decisions were that way, life would be simple. But then who would be making the decisions? Perhaps God makes some decisions difficult for us just to remind us Who is really in charge, to encourage our dependence on Him. I know I was forced to give up my expectations for either option; it was the only way to function effectively in either situation. Once I did that, I clearly heard God's leading on my heart.

He said, "Move forward."

I asked, "Which way, though, God? Which is the path you have for me? What kind of person are you shaping me to be, and which path will get me closest to there?"

God said again, "Move forward."

"But I don't know where I'm going! How can I obey You and move forward if there's no clear direction on which path to move along?"

Again, the gentle answer, "Move forward."

So I did. I picked one path and took a few tentative steps forward. Immediately, such peace as I have only known a few times in my life washed over me, and I heard the voice of God say, "That's My girl! Now let Me show you what I have for you down this path."

My dad always said, "It's nearly impossible to steer an anchored boat." Sometimes in the face of choice, we are tempted to choose neither and just put down an anchor until God tells us what to do. I know that's my tendency.

But God wants to lead and direct us, and He can't do that if we're not moving! God has given me many more opportunities to "move forward" and experience His guidance, to step out beyond the cushions of my comfort zone and assert my faith to follow His will. It requires stepping, even, beyond myself, beyond what I think I am capable of doing, into what He gives me the power to do. This blog is one of those "forward" moments. This year, and in the years to come, I look forward to achieving the other opportunities He opens up for me.