Last week my friend asked me, “how do you know you’re on the right path, the one God chose for you?”
GULP. My brain immediately tried to formulate a nice pretty gift wrapped answer to hand to her. The longer I tried the less convinced I was making myself, so I decided to just say, “I don’t know, I need to think about this. I’ll get back to you”. And then in my discomfort I joked that if I knew the answer to that question I’d be a millionaire – because that’s what I do when I’m uncomfortable, I lighten things up with a joke. Do you have a knee jerk reaction when you don’t quite know what to say? When you want to lighten a mood or be less uncomfortable?
I processed her question over the next several days, because I fully intended on getting back to her. During that time I attended my very first writers group meeting where her question and my life collided.
Since it was the first meeting we proceeded with introducing ourselves (an introvert’s dream situation), chatting about some future group logistics and then sharing a little bit our writing styles and genres. As I was listening to other in the group share; I realized I was the odd lady out. I don’t like being the odd lady out, I like having a buddy, I LIKE feeling comfortable. Anyone with me here? Not one of the other writers shared that they write introspective thoughts about faith, light and encouragement for life’s journey; as a matter of fact most of them shared they write about the exact opposite. I started to panic a bit (ok a LOT) and plan an exit strategy that wouldn’t cause too much of a scene in the ice cream shop. I didn’t want to be the odd ball, speak my uncomfortableness out loud and take the risk being judged but I heard that still small whisper from within reminding me I wasn’t alone. I prayed “I need you Jesus” (with my eyes open of course)! As my turn approached I found He gave me the courage to share from my heart about how writing was a new thing stirring inside of me, how my posts are probably nothing but glorified journal entries but I desperately want people to know I’m not perfect; that I fail daily as a believer and I have questions regarding faith. SHEW, I think there were a few sweat beads rolling down my back but I survived and I wasn’t mauled by disgruntled writers! LOL. However, while I left feeling totally exhilarated by the way God took care of me, wondering why his faithfulness always amazes me, I was also questioning if this group was the one for me.
The next day I received a note from the leader of the group thanking me for attending. She went on to encourage me that my journey of faith is a beacon of light in a world that feels especially difficult to live in at times. And that if I fail every day as a believer, as I had shared, then there is hope for everyone. I’m not going to lie, I cried. That writers group meeting was probably in my top 10 most uncomfortable situations (probably only an introvert will understand the magnitude of that) but while I was uncomfortable, God had a plan to encourage and bless.
So in short; I think you may know you’re on the “right” path, the one God has planned for you, when you are uncomfortable. When you know you can’t go through whatever is before you without whispering “I need you Jesus”. When your heart exhilarated and screaming, YES, this is what it’s all about but your brain is saying, WAIT, wait just one minute I don’t like this. Warning, danger, this is impossible. Stop, hold up, turn back, run, FREEZE (everybody clap your hands)! Sorry, there’s that joke to lighten the mood.
I’m not sure my friend is going to be comfortable with this answer but that’s ok; the uncomfortableness (will hopefully) push her to keep searching, journeying and looking for Him.