Where do I even start?
I often ask God to clothe me in boldness – to make me fearless – when the Holy Spirit whispers a command to my heart. The prayers I pray and the songs I sing plea for God to provide me with strength and courage to walk with grace wherever Jesus leads.
But what about when my path seems to lead to nowhere?
Where do I plant my feet when my direction is unknown?
How can I walk in the dark?
Lately I’ve been thinking about where my journey is going, and honestly, I’ve felt completely and utterly lost.
I am an over-thinker. It’s the millennial in me, I suppose.
Part of me wants to believe I am this way because of all the possible opportunities I have for the future, but the rest of me knows it’s because I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Most of me is a little anxious about the future.
As a senior in college, the pressure to know what I am doing with my life is crippling, and often paralyzing… if I let it be.
If I’m not careful, I allow the fear of the unknown to imprison me to indecisiveness. Dear friend, whatever stage you are in in life, you have probably been here too. Let me encourage you with this: God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and self-discipline.
I believe God gives us passions and desires that make our hearts come alive. I believe God gives us resources, personality traits, and talents in congruence with our passions and desires. Our hopes and dreams are within us for one purpose – to glorify our Father in Heaven.
When my heart is overwhelmed and shaken by the unseen, my thoughts must lead my heart to truth, and the truth is clear: we are created to obey God.
Here’s another truth about me – obedience terrifies me.
Obedience became a whole lot harder when I received a text message saying I was going to be an aunt. My nephew is a year old, and I am so in love. The mere thought of him brings tears to my eyes.
One of my biggest fears is missing his life – missing his little league baseball games, his middle school awkward phase, and his high school prom. My fear is becoming just a name in my sister’s home; a person that exists in theory, but never in person. My heart aches at the thought of not being able to leave my fingerprints on his life, of not being able to share wisdom with him. I mourn at the thought of just being a picture on the wall, a profile on social media or, at best, a relative who just appears for special occasions.
I am terrified of not knowing my nephew, and I am terrified of not being known by him.
I am terrified of my family forgetting me if I am not in proximity to them. I am afraid of missing my mom, dad, and sister. I fear not being understood and taking my next step in life alone. I am scared of how my decisions will affect the hearts of those I love most. The last thing I want is my family to feel unloved if God calls me away.
I fear I will get caught in the busyness of life, look up from my work and ten years will have passed. By that point, I could be nothing more than a memory.
Obedience can feel like losing – losing friends, losing family, losing comfort, losing what I know. But while walking in obedience, I have found that God never leads me anywhere He is not. He has never led and will never lead me into darkness.
Though I fear being unknown more than the unknown, I rest in the truth that God is working for my good – and He is working for yours too.
We must take our thoughts, especially our fears, captive to walk in obedience to Christ.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Being a student at the University of Alabama over the past three and a half years has taught me more about obedience than living 18 years in my comfort zone. I am in awe of the grace and gifts my Father has lavished upon my life. He has given me assurance of who He is, a community that deeply knows and fully loves me, and a direction for my life. Leaving this chapter in my life is going to be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do, but it will still be good.
What I have learned so far is simple – following Jesus is always worth it. I cannot even begin to express the ways God has changed my life and blessed my heart because I have walked with Him.
When looking forward, I want nothing more than to be obedient to what God is asking me to do. What He is asking me, and all those who follow Jesus, to do is clear: love God first and love Him with every thread of who we are. As we are loving God, we are asked to love other people the way Christ loves us – sacrificially, unconditionally, truthfully, and fully.
Obedience is following Jesus despite heart-wrenching fears. The question I am asking myself now is will I follow the Holy Spirit and risk feeling like a stranger to my family?
I pray I will.
I pray you will.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” -Isaiah 30:21
The journey is not always easy, and sometimes it’s really, really hard. But how beautiful it is to live a life of reckless abandonment and obedience to God – the creator and sustainer of our faith.
I rest in the truth that whatever is next for me, God is still working it for my good and His glory because He always has.
Walk in obedience, my friend. It’s worth it.
And always remember, you are fully known and fully loved by Jesus.