Peace and clarity in life are not always united. But peace can often confirm a sense of clarity. Is this from God or is it from me? Life is a constant discernment. It is a roller coaster of choices that keep you on track. This way or that way?
When all you want is to know what to do in life, where do you turn? God is usually a popular choice, namely because He has the answer and is ALWAYS right.
I was in spiritual direction one day, after a month of prayer trying to figure out what God wanted of me at that particular point in my life, Father asked me, “what is next for you?” I looked at him and said, “well I’ve been thinking about going to Franciscan University.” and he asked, “why?” so I responded, “because I need a place where I can foster my spiritual growth, Franciscan has an atmosphere of faith, a strong one.”
So there, step one was taken, recognizing the direction I should be headed. But recognizing doesn’t really do much if it doesn’t have a follow up. So naturally, he asked, “have you seriously looked into it?” and I said, “no, but I’ve thought about it.” He looked at me in silence and simply said, “what good will thinking about it do?” And then came the reality check, the “I actually need to act on this”, and then the list of things I would have to do 1) leave family, AGAIN. 2) work extra hours to have enough tuition for at least a year. 3) oh yes, Apply! 4) Quit my job 5) leave my apartment 6) move to a different state and start over…I hate transitions.
“Lay all your cares about the future trustingly in God’s hands and let yourself be guided by the Lord just like a little child.” – St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
The more I thought about it the more I began to shy away from the whole Idea. But after looking at the process that brought me to this conclusion I began to realize that it was no mistake. An inner peace fell over me. It was clear that God wanted me to, not only get an education from one of the best Catholic schools in the nation, but he wanted me to be rooted in relationships that were centered on Him. This clarity was undeniable. But. . .
Was my inner peace aligned with my exterior reaction? No, my response contained a generous amount of chaos. I was hesitant to move. But I was not uncertain, I slowly began to take the necessary steps one at a time. I did this with confidence because although I was not entirely sure if I wanted to make the move, I knew that God did want me to move and that allowed me to put ME aside. I knew the difference between what I wanted and what God wanted and abandonment became sweet, and easier to practice. After my first semester, I was all in, I was completely on board with God’s plan and I was loving my new life. Trust! Trust! Trust! it is what will help you take initial steps in God’s plan, specially when you cannot see the outcome. Have a little faith, I hear it moves mountains ; )
But just when I was beginning to get comfortable, God came knocking. . . again.