Trust & Follow

I know that I should “Trust & Follow” where God wants me to go. In many things if there isn’t something that is telling me I am clearly off course I trust that I am on course and following where God wants me to be.

But I always stumble and doubt at the moments when there is a choice to make. I struggle to clearly see which is the correct path forward. Which path does God want me to take?

I often want it to end up as “the best of both worlds”. I somehow reach a decision point and after much fretting, stress, and prayer I somehow I walk away where I get both. I know that in these times God has guided and granted this “you get both” option. It has been a major blessing in my life. And afterwards I wonder why I worried so much leading up to that decision point.

But then another decision point comes along and I repeat the entire process. And then I wonder: Am I supposed to pick just one? Or am I supposed to somehow have both? Is the “both” for me and God is just so generous? Or is the “both” for Him? Which the the proper way I am to Trust and Follow what God wants?

Does God leave the door open on Option 1 because I am to take it?

Or does He leave the door open because I am to see it and it’s there because He is testing how well I trust? He shows me that either way forward are valid options. but He puts it on me to decide between the two. Is it a test of trusting and following? Do I fail if I take the cracked door of Option 1 over different, new, challenging Option 2?

I feel like I struggle in this way with every. single. major. choice. that I face. Am I properly trusting? Am I properly following? How do I know which is the right choice? God, can’t you just tell me? Like, say “Psst. It’s this one.” I feel like that would really help. But I also know that’s “cheating”.

God wants me to choose Him. And it’s not that I’m not trying! It’s just that which choice best chooses Him isn’t always clear!

I recently read a write-up about Ignatian Discernment and it said: When both choices will give glory to God you pick the one that gives him greater glory.

That has been incredibly helpful. …I think…

Because it isn’t that I don’t still struggle to decide. But it helps make clear which one of the options would best fit the definition of “the best”. And with greater clarity there it helps me see the path where I am called to Trust & Follow.

So let’s take my current dilemma… After 7 years of longing, waiting, and praying I am about to have a second child. I have dreamed of this moment for our family. I figured that at this point it was impossible or at least highly improbable, so what a blessing God has granted us!

It seems obvious that the choice here would be easy: Stop working, become a stay-at-home mom. But for some reason it hasn’t been easy — because the “moment of truth” is upon me and while I’ve always said my dream was to stop working and just be a mom I am now face-to-face with the decision: Option 1: Be a mom and also work OR Option 2: Be a mom.

By God’s loving grace He has left both options open to me. And so it’s up to me to figure out which path is the one I am called to Trust & Follow.

I have prayed and prayed and worried and contemplated and made lists and talked with people and tried to figure out “This is the right choice.”. I don’t come at decisions or to decisions easily. It is a strength? Yes, let’s call the endless worrying and constant “If this then this, but if that then this” scenarios as things that are a strength. (PS. They don’t feel like a strength.) It’s a strength because this is how God made me: overthink, over-analyze, over-pray, over-worry, over and over again about decisions.

Decisions and change are hard in general. Then layer on top the whole “What is God calling me to do? Where is He calling me to go?” and it becomes quite the think-fest.

But that is also where I see my weakness. I think I have to figure it out. I think I have to have the answer. I think I have to be able to clearly see the right choice.

So that shows me: I don’t trust. …Or at least not as well as I should trust… Because if I trusted more I would listen more rather than think and talk and think. I would be calm and quiet and still and listen to God’s direction.

And so in this most recent Big Decision Moment I have been given glimpses and whispers of which choice is the choice which will give God the greater glory.

And I have seen that in this case most of my desires for Option 1 are driven by worry –about the future, finances, career– and that I would primarily keep that door open because in the future I may want that door to still be open. But interestingly enough I don’t want to go thru that door right now for right now. It’s a “door to the future” for the future and one driven by trying to control the future.

Hmm it sounds to me like I lack trust.

And as part of realizing this I remembered this Bible verse:

“Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span?” – Luke 12:25 and Matthew 6:27

Why worry about such things that are a part of the unknowable, uncontrollable future?

I would be a better truster and follower if I focus on this present moment and decide based on it.

Which leads me more pointedly to Option 2: Be a mom. No worries about work. No balancing between two demands. Just enter a season of life where how I live and what I live for are to serve God as “mom”.

How do I know this decision is the one which will give God greater glory?

Well, when I thought “This is the right decision” I felt more inner peace than I have felt this whole time worrying. I thought of how if I focus all my efforts on momness and parenting then I will be forming a new life as best I can for God. And isn’t that going to bring so much greater glory to God?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am actually pretty scared to make this decision. Mainly because all decisions terrify me. But also because I am making a choice which more firmly changes my path in life. I am no longer going to be a “working mom” but a “mom”.

This decision really requires that I trust & follow where it is I think God is leading, where He is calling me to go.

It is also a freeing decision. One that lets me say “OK God. This is what you want. I trust in you. I trust that all my fears and worries about the future aren’t things that need to be fears and worries. You will take care of me. You will guide me. And you will ensure that I can handle this path.” (Because honestly while I desire this I am also scared that I won’t be “cut out” to be a full-time mom. But this is where trust comes back in. I trust God will see my trust in Him and that I have followed Him that He will provide for me on this new path.)

So thus I move forward into a new chapter of life. One where I must set aside my weaknesses and fears and worries as I open a new door and most importantly I move forward in trust. “Here I am Lord; I come to do your will.”

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