God’s Will For Me
I’ve been writing a lot lately about finding God’s will, especially as I try and figure out what to do with my life. How are we supposed to know how to find it? Is it waiting for a sign? Listening for a voice? Or do we decide and hope he blesses us or stops us as we move forward.
I rebuffed my former small group leader’s idea that God spoke to us through small ultimatums that we give him based on our limited understanding. I know its not a yellow brick road but I feel like I’m hitting my head on a brick wall trying to figure out what to do.
I just want to do what God wants me to do. I know that in that space there is joy, fulfillment, peace and contentment. This is a deeper, gnawing at my soul, type of discontentment. Right now I just feel a little lost, confused and a lot uncertain. I’m not unhappy, I’m not unpeaceful. I just feel stuck. I know this isn’t new for me. These have been the feelings of the year, perhaps a lifetime.
Outwardly, things are good. I know I have a good job and I’m grateful for it. I love my boss. He’s encouraging and empowering, unlike any other boss I’ve ever had. He pushes me to do and be more. Roommate is good. I mostly like her, she’s a little bit messy for my taste. She’s happy and pushes me to be more vulnerable. She asks questions that border on inappropriate, according to me, but that’s ok. I’ve also made some great new friends and am enjoying getting to know them.
Yet there is still a restlessness that plagues me, like something is missing. My life should be more, it should feel/be/seem different. What am I not getting? For a while I thought it was marriage, that would fill the void, so I tried to make the relationship with Brian work. But in the end I was more lost, confused and uncertain. Now, 11 months later I feel like I’m getting back to center, that I remembering who I am and the journey God has me on.
As I read Henry Nouwen’s book, Gracias! I hoped his struggle with discerning God’s will would fill in the missing pieces and help me figure out what God wants me to do. Nouwen says:
Today, I realized that the question of where to live and what to do is really insignificant compared to the quesiton of how to keep the eyes of my heart focused on the Lord… There is not such a thing as the right place or the right job. I can be happy and unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure. The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I know that I was walking with the Lord, I always felt happy and peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided.
It is a somple truth that comes to me in a time when I have to decide about my future. coming to Lima or not for five, ten, or twenty years is no great decision. Turning fully, unconditionally and without fear to the Lord is. i am sure this awareness sets me free to look around here without much worrying and binds me to the holy call to pray unceasingly.
Maybe the restlessness is my soul longing for my time with God. I’m not good at being still. I’ve been forced more so this year than any other, everything I depended on, other than God, has been stripped away. But I still struggle to sit in his presence and be still, not speaking, not demanding, just being. I’m much more of a doer than a be-er.
I still feel like there is something else I should be doing. Maybe that will subside as I learn to be.
“’I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 (NIV)
Maybe I need to figure out what it means to abide in God. How does that work? What does that look like? How does abiding relate to sustaining? These are a lot different type of questions than I usually ask God. Maybe that’s the beginning of abiding.