I'm learning to see
That there just might be
More than one right answer
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I was less than five minutes into that podcast episode when I found tears springing to my eyes, heart beating faster in agreement.
It was me.
It was all me.
Everything she said about feeling this weight, this pressure to find and make the right decision, it was like she had looked inside me and was reading back what she found.
I've lived, and I still live, so much of my life under the fear of messing up. Under the fear of missing out. Under the fear of making that one wrong decision that unhinges everything.
And through the painful, beautiful, soulful work of others, that they are graciously sharing with the world, I am beginning to see that maybe God doesn't work the way I think.
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Just maybe, He gives us far more freedom in our decisions than I think.
A bad decision is not near enough to unhinge God's eternal plan.
I can rebel my way out of God's favor.
I can make stubbornly, unwise choices that will lead me far away from who God designed me to be.
I can miss out on certain life experiences by choosing one thing over another.
But if I humble myself and seek God, I will not miss out on Him. No matter how many "wrong" decisions I make.
Because God is The Great Author.
An Author Who can write His plots to beauty and purpose and good despite the foolish blunderings His characters create when trying to write their own stories.
Because God delights to give us free will and the ability to choose based not on formal command from Him, but on the good desires He has already placed inside us.
Because God lavishes His goodness upon us, primarily, in the form of intimacy with Himself. And that gift can be given no matter where we physically are in life.
If we will just turn to Him.
If we will just humble ourselves to seek Him.
If we will just delight in His presence.
If we will just enjoy His goodness to us. His presence with us.
Oh to live in that space of freedom and joy and delight in Jesus. That space where my decisions can flow freely and confidently. Not necessarily because He speaks to me directly about every one, but because I am confident in His love and care for me, and resting in the trust that what He has already placed inside of me will guide my decisions as I draw near to His heart.
May we each learn to live in that space of freedom and trust.
Trust that He will give us everything we need to make good decisions as we draw close to Him in love.
Trust that He is powerful enough to accomplish His will in me and in the world regardless of my decisions along the way, as long as I am making those decisions in a posture of drawing near to Him.
I'm learning to see
That there just might be
More than one right answer
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Somewhere in the past two years, I started writing down the things God spoke to me.
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The single word whispered into the stillness of my heart.
The song lyrics that seemed suddenly, unexpectedly profound.
The words texted by a friend to say that while praying for me God had given her a message for me.
The verses that kept popping up everywhere like I just couldn’t get away from them.
The truths that weighed deeply on my heart while studying God’s Word.
The stories from friends and strangers alike that encouraged and challenged me to my core.
The words of conviction and rebuke spoken into my life by trusted counselors.
The promises God wrote into His word that I needed to remember.
I wrote it all.
Anything that stirred my soul or burned in my heart or would not stop showing up in the unexpected places.
And as I began to write these things, I began to change.
I began to remember more. I began to hang onto truth and courage in a whole new way. I began to remind myself of the truth in a way I hadn’t been able to before, because honestly, before I couldn’t always remember the truth when I needed it most.
As I wrote down when He speaks, and looked back at it when I needed reminding, I began to learn to notice and discern His voice more clearly than ever before.
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When the day wore long and overwhelming, I flipped that journal ragged, going back to remember what He had spoken that morning from His word.
When pain stayed open and raw for days and weeks and months on end, I found myself hurrying back to worn pages to reread and reremember what He had said in the past.
When I lost hope of feeling joyful and free and full again, I opened the journal to remind myself of the ways He had been enough for me.
When dark lies clouded my reason, I turned to the places I had recorded how He had come through in the past, the places I’d written His goodness to me before.
When I kept trying to take situations into my own hands, to control and manipulate, I turned to the words He had spoken directly to me, the challenge to let Him be God.
When the guest preacher taught from that one book of the Bible and it reminded me of something, I dug through to find the words I’d hesitantly written a year before.
I’d written down what I thought He was saying. I’d told my husband. But I’d also hesitated. Did He really say what I thought? Did it mean what I’d thought?
So I wrote it down and left it. Waiting. Testing. Unsure if I’d heard correctly. But there it was. Him speaking again through this same book of the Bible, adding clarity and confirmation to words from a year ago that I surely would have forgotten had they not been written down, but that I surely could not have fully understood when they were spoken into my heart.
I would cry if I ever lost this journal. It feels weighty and precious and so very important.
And it is.
This one small journal contains over a year of all the things God has spoken into my heart and life.
All the promises. All the encouragements. All the truth. All the corrections. All the moments that have stirred my heart and brought tears to my eyes and ushered peace into my soul.
I call it my When He Speaks journal.
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Maybe you should start one too. A log of all the ways He has spoken. A place to help us remember that He is good, He loves us, and He speaks. If you do, I hope it changes you like its changed me. I hope we can be changed together to be more aware of God’s voice, more sensitive to His Spirit, and more trusting of His goodness.