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.
8 thoughts on “How to Know You’re on the Right Path”
This posting really sounded like you. You are finding your voice–way to go!
Thank you for cheering me on Teresa
Oh, Tara, I for one actually really enjoyed hearing what you had to say the first meeting. I’m a pretty spiritual person myself, even if I’m not always vocal about it (but how I am doesn’t dictate how anyone else should be), and I think we’re all glad you came back. 🙂 I hope you feel free to share your insights, too – I’m not in charge of the group, but I know all are welcome.
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I am SO enjoying the group Amy!
Hi Tara! As a fellow introvert I know exactly how you feel. I’m so glad I met you at the first meeting (and if I can kick this darn cold, I’ll see you again). I’m also glad that I visited your site and read this post. I always struggle with knowing if I’m on the path God planned for me. I’m in the midst of leaving my HR career to follow something I’ve never done before and have spent the past few years praying that He’ll show me the way, let me know I’m making the right decision. I know God answers prayers but it would be much easier for me if He could just give me a call instead of leaving it to me to figure out, lol! I can read too much into pretty much anything! Thank you for your inspiring words because I do feel excited and terribly uncomfortable at the same time… so I guess I’m doing something right!
Susan it sounds like you are exactly where you are supposed to be! 🙂
Hi, Tara! I’m glad that my message encouraged you to continue stepping outside of your comfort zone (and returning to the group!). I really enjoy your calm presence and insight during our discussions!
I’m more of an ambivert in that I enjoy BOTH solitude AND the company of others. I’m completely comfortable in either situation, so I cannot say that I understand the anxiety that comes with being in a group setting or feeling like the odd man out. I really don’t want you to feel like the odd man out, and my hope is that with each meeting you will feel like that less and less 🙂
I may have been a bit misleading in my original introduction with all my talk of cemeteries and death and my fascination with the thin line between light and dark. I also mentioned that I’m kind of a half-assed Catholic. In truth, my fascination with the shadow side of life comes from the fact that 1) I feel so much light (God) inside of me, and 2) I have a penchant for opposites. Since I feel so close to Him (in an innate kind of way), it almost comes just as natural for me to want to observe the darker, shadow side of human nature and life. I actually do have a lot of faith, and I try my darnedest to be a good person because I want to do right by Him, it’s just the logistics (religion, doctrine, etc.) that I trip up on.
In turn, I look up to people such as yourself, whose faith is rooted in not just a feeling but in something more substantial (His word, for example). I know there is plenty I can learn from you, so I hope you continue to bless us with your presence!
Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting after next!
Vashelle thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and encourage me more!! 🙂 I hope that everyone in group know they didn’t “do” anything to make me feel uncomfortable, it’s was only me and my thoughts taking me to those crazy places. I thoroughly enjoyed last group, the discussion, the ideas and the exercise. I can see how being in a writing group is going stretch me and push me to the next level and I really do love a good challenge!