Your college major, your job, future spouse, number of kids, living location, health status. You just want answers. You desperately want direction and are willing to follow God wherever he leads. You pray. You wait. You talk to wise people. You wait. You research. You wait.
Still. No. Direction. Maybe at this point you’re pulling your hair out, eating everything delicious you can get your hands on, all while going through an existential crisis.
As I sought to figure out my future spouse and certain job transitions, there was a lot of waiting. A ton of unknown. No guarantees and little direction.
Here are some tips that help me when I am desperately waiting for direction.
Make Someone Else’s Day
I remember a time when I was very discouraged and decided I needed to encourage someone else. I knew it would help get my mind off of me and also help make someone else smile. So I left a surprise, affirming poster on a friend’s car. It was the best thing I could have done at that time. I was so excited for her to get it and experience her reaction. It also reminded me of the friendship and support I had. When you are discouraged, find someone to encourage. Buy them coffee. Send them a card. Reach out to see them. Surprise them at work. Research shows that when we help others, we are also helped.
Do The Next Best Thing
A couple of years ago my bible study leader shared this quote with our group. I loved it because it was simple and brought clarity to confusing times. It reminded me that the goal was not to figure everything out and wrap a bow on it, but instead to figure out the next step. Possibly the next step is doing laundry, picking up the phone to call your mom or starting the non-profit that has been on your heart for years. When we focus on the next best thing, it frees us to take small, faithful steps with God.
Talking to someone you can trust and who has experience walking with people in transition is a game changer. People that take these roles are there to listen, ask insightful questions and guide you in a helpful direction. It’s a prime opportunity to work on heart issues that may be causing some of the desperation. God has used my therapist in unbelievable ways to influence my beliefs and actions. Invite someone along on this journey with you and it will remarkably change the experience.
I am also challenged to remember that I am thankful God doesn’t leave everything on the table figured out for me. If he did, when would I turn to him? Why would I spend time seeking him? How would my intimacy with him develop? We know God is wisdom, so let us choose to seek the ultimate source of wisdom in our times of desperately wanting direction.