I'm officially ready for the next phase of my life. For once, instead of anxiety, I finally have a sense of impending happiness. It's so foreign to me that I'm not even sure how to function. I've been praying for quite awhile that God would show me what the next step is in my journey. I still don't know, to be honest. But I feel like I'm so close to seeing it that if it were a minnow it would be nibbling on my toe in the water. (It's a much better metaphor than 'if it were a snake, it would've bit me', don't you think? No? Well, I like minnows nibbling on my toes, so... yeah.)
I've spent entirely too much of my life attempting to be in control, and it's never put me in a position that I've wanted to be in. Whenever something goes wrong, my first instinct is to try to fix it immediately -- my way. Whenever something is unclear, my first instinct is to figure it out and clear it up -- the way I want it to be. It's taken 36 years, but I've finally realized that that doesn't work. My first instinct needs to be to go to God and ask Him what's next. Not 'How will this end?' Not 'What are the next fourteen things that are going to happen in succession?' and not 'Why is this happening?'
"What's the next step, God?"
Harder than it sounds, believe me. But you probably already know that because we're born wanting what we want when we want it. We're hungry? We cry. We need to be changed? We cry. We're lonely? We cry. We have pain? We cry. It's too quiet? We cry. Then, we get to the age of 2 or 3. We want something? We sneak behind our parents' backs and get it. Then we get in trouble. We're hungry? We shimmy up onto the counter, grab the cookie jar, fall off the counter, break it, and cry. Then, we're teenagers. We want something? We get it. We get in trouble. We yell and slam our door and hole up in our room telling everyone on Facebook how horrible our parents are. We're hungry? We eat an entire pizza and a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and a half gallon of chocolate ice cream and can't sleep and throw up and feel generally bad for about twelve hours. Then, we're in our twenties and we want a significant other, so we compromise our standards and put up with crap we never should have in the name of 'love'. We break up. We cry.
What are we learning?
We're learning that, on our own, we make lousy choices. We follow our feelings and emotions, which lead us to ridiculous places like falling off of countertops and, sadly, sometimes jumping off of bridges. Most of our choices end up in tears because we haven't learned to choose wisely. Which, again, should be simple... if the one choice we always make is to talk to God first, we gain clarity.
We might not like the answer.
It might take a lot of work on our part for the next small step.
We have to give up our desires to focus on His.
It will take a lifetime to achieve the outcome.
We have to take a series of steps, knowing that each time we'll have another one.
We have to retrain our brains to stop being so selfish and egotistical.
We have to be willing to listen and follow.
What happens when we choose to talk to God first?
"Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." --Matthew 6:33.
Go to God first and you'll get the answers you're looking for. He will provide all you need and more. But if you spend your life trying to pursue those things without Him, you'll never find them and, chances are, your choices will end in tears.
Something's coming. Something good.