This summer has been so good in many ways, and challenging in others. I’ve enjoyed a lot of leisure time with friends and family, but I have also struggled with not having clear plans. There has been this nagging feeling like things just weren’t falling into place how I wanted them to.
Although I can’t believe it’s already August, there were times that the uncertainty of things made this summer drag on. Sometimes our seasons fluctuate between tumultuous transitions and other times it is comfortable coasting. A lesson I’ve been learning though, is that no matter the season or what is happening in your life, you can find peace.
I’ve been blessed that a tangible vision of what life will look like for me in the coming months has come together recently. But along with that came making some decisions too- which is maybe even harder for me than not having plans. I can be a very indecisive person who asks my friends for their opinions on a lot of things.
With having some choices to make about the future, I’ve been turning to all of my friends and family for advice. I even called Bob Goff to get his take on things. With all this advice swirling in my head, I had a realization about what I was missing in my decision making.
Allow me to set the scene; I was driving home from bible study last week, and one my friends offered to host a campfire at her home in the country. I got a little lost on my way there, so on the drive back I was very attentive to make sure I didn’t lose my way again. Without street lights or other cars on the road the country roads were extremely dark.
In the darkness I could only see as far as my high-beams, but I trusted that my GPS was guiding me the correct way, and the left turn in 700 meters would be there even I couldn’t see it yet. The experience felt like a perfect illustration of how this summer often felt, motoring along trying to trust that even though I couldn’t see much of the road ahead, things would workout. The twists and turns I needed to make would come and I could trust the God knew the road I was going down even if it was unfamiliar to me.
And that is when it hit me, I realized that I ask for advice a whole lot more that I’ve prayed for guidance recently. I wasn’t asking God what I should do, I was actually asking pretty much everyone else. In my own life, the choices that I feel most confident in and at peace about, are ones that I have prayed about and that I feel get me closer to the path I am called to be on. It doesn’t mean I know exactly what direction I’ll go but I’m trusting that God’s plan is still there, just past the high-beams of my own understanding.
My backseat could have been packed like a clown car with the people I turn to for advice. My friends, my brother and his wife, my parents, the author’s of all the books I love. If I had all of them in my car navigating me home it would have taken twice as long to get there, if I was even able to make sense of layers of voices speaking to me. Sometimes advice is good, especially from someone you respect, but it is also easy to become confused by so many opinions rather than the one that actually knows where I need to go.
It is easier to ask for advice than to be still and ask for guidance. If you struggle with feeling indecisive you might relate to the feeling of wanting answers handed to you. But wrestling with choices is important, and trusting in the power of stillness and praying for guidance is too. It’s okay to not fully see the road ahead of you, it’s okay if things aren’t falling into place how you hoped, it’s okay to be uncertain about your next step.
As I kept driving home I just started to pray and ask for clarity about the choices I was facing- because at the the end of the day that’s the best advice I can get. And y’all, the Lord provides. We have to believe God is good, even when we can’t see what exactly he his doing in our specific situation.
If you’re also in a season of feeling like your plan is up in the air, learning to trusting in His plan gives you steadiness. He is in control. As I was sitting in bed outlining this post I started thinking about the Hillsong song None But Jesus, the lines:
In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that you are God
In the chaos, in confusion
I know you’re sovereign still
felt like such a great picture of what I’m trying to articulate this week. In the confusing seasons and the moments when we dig deep to find stillness, the truth of our Lord always rings true.
This week I’ll leave you with a C. S. Lewis quote from the book Mere Christianity. Lewis where he talks about the idea that we are a living house, and God is doing renovations on us – but we don’t know what the final product will be.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
If the path of your life is clear and you feel like you’re driving in daylight, that’s awesome. If you feel like things aren’t so clear and the turns you’re taking don’t seem to make sense don’t hesitate to hush the opinions people are throwing your way (or that you ask for too often, if you’re me) and make that time for stillness.
Having faith and trusting that He is in control is my best guarantee for hope and peace when I can’t see past my high-beams, and I hope it can be for you too.