Sometimes, the hardest part of a journey is making the tough decision to take it.
I have had the most tumultuous week. I can count the number of times I have been under highly emotional stress (to the point of exhaustion) on one hand. We all have stress in our lives, but I am talking about the “my life is in ruins” kind of stress. They have happened to me on occasion, but they have been few. Last week was one of those times (hence there was no post last week!) I am very glad to be on the other side of last week, a stronger, more faith-filled woman than before. So, I hope this post will encourage you in your own walk with God and particularly, in moments of crisis.
I have always been a “when God speaks to me, I listen” kind of girl. I hear from God and I would like to say that most of the time, I know what He is asking me to do.
So when I felt His prompting two weeks ago, what I should have done is trust Him and done what He was asking me to do. Instead, I pulled a Jonah and ignored it completely.
I was reading through our churches weekly email and at the end, in a small paragraph, was an advert for an admin job vacancy in our church. Now, let me explain, at any other point in my life I would have LOVED to do this work. Right now though, I am doing my dream job, being at home with my boy and taking care of my husband and home. So when I read those words, I thought, “Oh, that would be nice, but I’m not doing that now” and deleted the email. There was a tiny prickle on my conscience and I ignored it thoroughly.
Then one of the elders of our church asked me whether I had seen the advert. He said that I should apply. Do you know what my response was? “No way am I doing that!” It would mean that I have to put my baby into some kind of daycare. Not going to happen!
When we got home from church that day my husband and I were talking about the job and he was asking me questions. But the hardest question he asked me was “What does God say you should do about it?” and do you know what happened next?
I cried and cried and cried.
What was God asking me to do? I could feel the answer inside me, gnawing away at my conscious thought. Knowing what I needed to do, but so badly wanting to ignore it and go on with life. But you can’t ignore God, not for long anyway! I had to apply for the job because I knew God was asking me to. So, by the end of the week, and many tears later, I had applied.
What happened next was far more terrifying than applying for the job or even going for the interview – which, in hindsight, turned out to be the worst interview I have ever had in my life! (No drama intended!)
I was suddenly confronted with the reality of what God was asking me to do if I got the job. It would mean that I have to give up my dream of being at home. I would mean giving up precious time with my child because he would have to go into some kind of day care three days a week. It would mean that I have to give up my dream of blogging. The thought of getting the job was overwhelming and I just didn’t want to even think about it.
I felt like Abraham, being asked to sacrifice his hopes and dreams on the altar. Why was God calling me to do this? Why? I left my interview in tears, not because it was grueling (which it was!) but because I was pleading with God.
“Please don’t make me do this God, please don’t make me do this. I just don’t want to do it.” The tears were streaming down my face as I drove home. “Please don’t make me do this.”
The next day, I got to have some time alone. My mom was looking after N and I came home for the first time since he was born and spent the afternoon at home, alone.
I didn’t realise that the human body was capable of producing so many tears!
If you had asked me before last week I would have told you that I trusted God completely. With every part of our family life: provision, finances, safety, etc. Last week taught me that there WAS an area of my life where I didn’t trust God. I didn’t trust that God had the best plan for me and I realised that I didn’t trust His intentions for my family.
Being confronted with your own sin is a very hard thing to bear. You are swarmed by so much guilt and the shame tells you that you are unworthy. Thankfully, God is a loving Father who desires only good things for us and Jesus has dealt with the guilt and shame for me.
At this point, I have no idea whether I will get the job or not. Probably not if my interview was anything to go by. But I have come to a place where I am able to put this great misery at Jesus’ feet. I am able to say “Lord, if this is Your will for my family, I will choose to trust You… despite the feeling that my world is about to fall apart. I trust that You have my dreams in Your hand and that You have my families best intentions in Your heart.”
And do you know, God’s peace overtook my soul the moment I made the decision to trust Him and I haven’t cried a tear since then.
Making Tough Decisions
So, after all of that, how do you make tough decisions under extreme pressure?
You listen for the voice of God. Listen for the quiet prompting in your spirit. Wait for Him to make a pathway, through your emotions and to your heart. Watch while he guides your footsteps and realise that He loves you, regardless of the decisions you make. His love is big enough to handle our mistakes. Praise Jesus!
**UPDATE** I have since learned that I didn’t get the job. I’m glad to tell you that I didn’t feel overwhelming relief, just peace!