Tuesday, August 2, 2011

free to choose

it seems like a harmless word {or is that 2 words?}.
but in our current season of life i am reminded of its weight.
this morning when i woke up i had so many questions about decisions i am facing. my mind felt like it was whirling around at warp speed and would knock me on my behind at any moment.  
confusion.  uncertainty.  agony.
and at the same time...
excitement.  gratefulness.  joy.

i attended beth moore's living proof conference a couple of weeks ago.  i could write to you every day over the next month about different things i learned and still not cover it all...it was so rich.  if you are a woman - you should go.  if you are a man - please don't.  9400 women all in one place may be more than you can take.  not to mention - all the men's rooms were converted into ladies' rooms...you get the picture.

anyway - one of the gazillion things beth talked about was 'fragile' seasons of life.  she spoke about her own personal experience of walking through months and years in which there were so many decisions to be made.  she felt like her future and the future of her family would forever be altered (good or bad) based on which paths were chosen.  
i am so there.

this morning - after reading my Bible and praying without receiving any clear direction - i went into 'freak-out mode' and started googling things like...
how to obey God
making major life decisions
hearing God's voice
how to choose wisely
i'm not kidding.  i really did that.  weird, huh?
do you know what i found?  more words and opinions to add to my already overloaded brain.  not helpful.
but eventually i landed on these familiar words...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

::proverbs 3:5-6

and then i pulled out my notes from living proof and re-read beth's encouragement...
when life seems fragile and without clear direction remember that even that time of uncertainty is ordained by God.  it is sealed - as you are sealed - with the promise that whatever choice you make God will be faithful and will work for your good and the good of those around you.

so here's the deal.  sometimes we are blessed in life to be presented with 2 or 3 or more 'good' options.  they all would allow us to continue in our purpose of loving God and loving his people.  they all appear to have advantages for us and for those we are responsible for {i.e. our family}.  
sometimes what is intended as a blessing of abundance starts to look like the burden of decision-making.  
how can i pick one?  what if it's the wrong choice?  what if something bad comes of this that i could not have foreseen?
for all these questions {and more!} that are running through my mind i still find my answer in those words from proverbs...
my part:
TRUST God {with options a, b, and c...after all - He's the one who even made them options in the first place}.
ACKNOWLEDGE God in all things {whether you choose a, b, or c}
His part:
A STRAIGHT PATH {better translated as a path that is 'pleasing to Him' or a 'good and upright' path}

and by the way - john 15:16 is worth mentioning here too...  
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

He chose me.  I followed Him.  now every choice i make {if filtered through His purpose for me} will lead me in the way that is right {thought not always easy}.  He has gone ahead of me to clear cut that path and plant groves and groves of fruit-bearing trees.

whew!  no pressure.  no worry.  freedom to choose.  
the path is really already determined and as promised - it will be good...very good.