A young lady I know (let’s call her “M“) is conflicted about her next step in life. M feels the pressure to decide, but she isn’t sure which way to go. She thought she had her mind made up, but then something happened and now she’s confused all over again.
Part of the problem is that M’s heart and head do not agree with each other. Like many young adults, she finds herself caught in the tension between two approaches: the passionate “follow your dreams” versus the more practical “pay the bills.” M is also a Jesus-follower, and she wants to stay wide-open to any direction that faith may lead her.
And, to make it even more complicated, though she is single now, M hopes to be in a relationship someday. But what if…she agonizes over the possibilities. Like the necklaces at the bottom of her jewelry box, all these variables have become a tangled mess in M’s mind.
That is, until it dawns on her that she doesn’t have to figure it out on her own. Wisely, M decides to reach out for some guidance. A ten-minute conversation with one of her spiritual mentors produces a few helpful suggestions:
- Pray about it. Though it may seem simplistic, this is the best place to begin when you are conflicted. James, the half-brother of Jesus, put it plainly:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
- Get input from people you trust. One of the ways God delivers on the James 1:5 promise is by putting wise people within our reach, be it a family member, someone we work with, or someone at church. They can’t make our decision for us, but they can sure give us the big “P” – perspective – and perspective always helps.
- Look and listen for themes. M’s mentor told her to pay attention to what she was reading in the Bible, hearing on the radio, and getting from everyday conversations. Was she hearing some of the same things? Was a common theme emerging from these different sources? If so, maybe it’s no coincidence.
M still doesn’t have 100% clarity on what’s next, but she’s okay with that. She is confident it will come in time. In the meantime, she is trying to stay focused on what is clear – that God loves her, He is with her, and He is for her – 100%.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.