Monday, August 1, 2011
Where is God in Important Decisions
Yep, I've made my pros and cons list. I've listed my strengths and weaknesses. I listed out what I could bring to this decision, good and bad. I've analyzed it. I've battled insecurities and fought through my own limits in order to make the right and prudent decision.
And still, I am at a cross roads. And it isn't clear which path is the less traveled one. It isn't clear which one makes the most sense. It isn't clear to me. And it usually is. The lists are helpful, yes, yet distinctly vacant of one clear denominator: God's plan.
What is God's plan in this decision I must make? Does He hope I will grow and change, in THIS direction or THAT direction?
The children, for me, are always my top priority. Always. That will never change. However, I am seeing, the ages of the kids are shifting the scope and dynamics involved in raising and forming them. Perhaps God is asking me to serve them and this entire family in a new way. Perhaps He is asking more of me, to step out....to take a leap of faith and hope in Him that the timing must have been His design, His purpose, His finger pointing of which way to go.
This decision is difficult in many ways, the exciting part is also the exact reason it's daunting.
I've been cocooned, I'd say, for quite a while. I've stood back, supported not only my husband, and my children, and quietly pursued interests that kept me busy. Yes, for sanity's sake, but also for health, for fun, for building apostolic projects in the Church and so on.
Where to go after the lists are made? Who will give the advice I need to hear? Ultimately what will give me the confidence that what I have chosen is the correct choice, that God had intended for me all along?
Stumped, I went to Adoration. This empty chapel gave me the courage to speak aloud all my lists, all my concerns, all my questioning, all my doubts, and lay them at the feet of Our Lord. Finally, after mentally exhausting all my arguments, I sat in silence, and begged for direction, begged for lights.
He doesn't disappoint.
My light was clear and distinct, as from yesterday's Gospel of the loaves and fishes. The meager collection of a few fish and few loaves given to Our Lord, in true generosity, yielded in abundance. It just took true generosity. What God can do with our meager offerings, out of Love for Him and others, well, it's staggering. I admit, for me, I tend to be guarded, and on the defense. I tend to react by pulling inward, shutting my blinds, and keeping out the world for a while. I tend to circle my wagons and retreat, for fear of change, judgement or condemnation.
Is this what God would want for me? Is this what pushes me into a new level of womanhood or motherhood? Retreat should be the last resort, not the first instinct. And I can see, that instinct needs change. I am eager to mature and reach new levels in my own personal growth as a human being. I fear taking the easy route in this important decision I must make, will only stifle the progress I may have made thus far. Is God always keeping us in check by giving new and difficult decisions to make, in order to search Him out? Does He challenge us in these exact ways, in order to find Him?
I don't know. But I CAN say, I've prayed more in the last twenty four hours than I thought was possible. I've reached out to God in joy, in fear, in frustration, in hopelessness and probably a host of other emotions that have flown around over the course of two days.
Knowing oneself can be a tremendous gift. I know exactly what pitfalls, that I could bring upon this whole situation, this whole decision, and how I could hurt the entire project if I don't keep myself in check at all times. Not only would my work load increase, but my own personal work to keep my eye on the prize of personal growth, adds a whole new dimension, a whole other work load amidst the project itself.
And, to me, that is the most exciting part: to actually sense that this new project could increase my own maturity and feminine dignity, confidence and personal growth. If I should give my meager offerings, what God could do with it. Would there be bushel-fulls left over as in our Gospel account? Would this simple act of faith and courage, be an example to my own girls, of what is possible with God's blessing and grace? Would I stand, dumbfounded, if my offerings multiplied, because God had a hand in it? Or would I expect it, knowing the Holy Spirit is always moving and acting and whispering into our hearts?
Would this growth, if indeed I allow it, make me a better Mother? Wife? Daughter? Sister? Christian?
Would the skills I learn allow me to give more, because I have more?
I don't know. I don't have the answers to any of this yet. But I do believe, these are the exact questions that need answers in order to make prudent and right decisions. I believe, as wives and mothers, we must take into account everything we possibly can, the ways the family might be enriched and the ways the family might suffer.
I could go years without making tough decisions. Most of my decisions are quick and easy. But lately, I've been in a string of major life-changing decision making processes. I'm out of practice on how it works. Yet, here I am again, this being probably the fourth major decision that I couldn't give to HH and obediently follow his lead. God seems to be giving me the opportunities to choose for myself, the paths to take. He seems to trust that I WILL indeed find Him, in this process and search out His will for me, personally.
That's tough. For so long, I have seen my role as part of something bigger, one of the wheels in the massive churning machine that is our family. I trust my HH implicitly, and because of that, it gives me a security and luxury that he is leading us and our family in right directions. He has yet to fail us. He has proven again and again, that he is a great decision maker, and I have complete faith in what he decides.
Unfortunately, here in these last major decisions, it's up to me. I can't give it to him. Trust me, I've tried. He won't take it. In a way, I appreciate that trust that HH has in me, as well. He has a confidence and trust in me to do what's right for the family and for our future.
All I've got left is prayer. God in His infinite wisdom will show me, I just know it.