There are times when I know the direction I’m headed is right. In fact, on occasion, it may have involved a decision I wasn’t happy to have to make. In the big scope of things, I am talking about usually small decisions that many acquaintances wouldn’t even be aware of. There are a few safeguards that boost my confidence as I make decisions, especially when they effect others. First, I see if the decision squares with my spiritual plumb line that lights my path, I pray about it and take note if I feel God’s leading through scriptures or someone’s counsel, I give it ample time to fade from my thoughts, I evaluate my motives to detect selfish ambitions or wrong motives, and, as a wife, I make sure I have the blessing of my husband, and not only that, have his best interests at heart. If it passes those safeguards, then I just keep honing into the voice that is calling me a particular way.
I will, from time to time, have to put my focus back on Christ, my Good Shepherd. He has the best tailor made plan for me and my future, and only He can see what’s ahead. There may be some around me who have been friends in the past, or maybe still are, who will not understand, or worse yet, will persist in judging unfairly. It may be sad to leave the comfort of their approval. As Holley Gerth says in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, “If you have prayed, planned, and sought wise counsel from a small group of people in your life, then go ahead and move forward….Be prepared for the questions – and even opposition. Then smile, nod, and move ahead anyway.” I may long for people, especially friends, to understand better, but I won’t let it keep me from following the path I know is for me.
Thankfully, there are most often life seasons when I am doing what the majority of people around me expect. Those are fun times and, oh, how I love them. It is nice to be lifted up by the euphoria of camaraderie, even if just a friend or two nearby. Thank God I’ve had more of those times than the lonely path of misunderstandings and misjudgements. I often seek out a support group, either locally, or online, for some difficult role or season in life. But there are times when I know I am called to do what I’m doing in this or that decision, be it a big one or small one, with or without the accolades of most of my community and there is just not energy or even desire to seek out support.
It’s those times, as I forge ahead and resolve to smile and forbear despite the momentary heartache of someone’s disapproval, when I feel wrapped in Christ’s love like a cocoon. He makes Himself real, often with an added confirmation, a sweet dream, or a personal affirmation from some unexpected source. Always, I feel His love, leading and comfort. I keep taking the next step and growing in trust. He humbles me with the knowledge that I have been in the judging position where I didn’t belong at times, whether consciously or subconsciously. This is not to throw the towel in with the huge lot out there who think they’re being world peacemakers and diplomats by rarely having a judgment on anything. The difference is in judging by our own thoughts, standards or experiences rather than by God’s Word (that plumb line I mentioned at the beginning). Most decisions I make in my life are small ones that don’t make ripples far beyond my own home. But they add up to a life story. And with God’s help, guidance and love, the story will be mine and have His blessing. It won’t look exactly like anyone else’s, nor should it.
Your story won’t look like that of anyone else either. Have you ever had to leave a comfort zone of approval because you knew you were following a plan God had nudged you toward?