I suppose it’s normal to think of someone who loves travel and adventure as a “free spirit”, happy-go-lucky, totally carefree. But truth be told I don’t think of myself reminiscent to The Runaway Bride because she ran away for fun. Because she didn’t. She ran away for thinking too much. By the way, you can think of this as Part Two, to How Did I Know He was THE One, where I may have made decision-making seem like a piece of cake for me.
The truth is, I’m a
deep thinker… actually I’m an overthinker… No, I’m just a deeply overthinking person.
I make spontaneous decisions but I choose carefully what they are. I second guess myself all the stinkin’ time. I think through all the possible scenarios before I allow even one of them to play out. No, I’m not the gal who wants to run… I’m the gal who thinks she has to.
The last couple of years however, God’s been un-training me in some senses and really, setting me free. It’s a process though which is why I still vacillate between The Runaway Bride and the bride who stayed and became a wife.
Now let me interject here to say, if you register on the other end of the spectrum and forget sometimes to stop and consider the long term repercussions of a decision, you should stop reading this, and, I dunno, go read an article like the popular one (at least in my newsfeed) It Matters Who You Marry. Because it does matter. Then you can come back and read the rest of this.
But if you’re like me and you’ve already thought of all the points to that article on your own and then some, and just generally find yourself a slave to overthinking, i.e. overheating your brain until intermittent puffs of smoke are coming out your ears and your heart feels as limp as a dirty sock, then please, read on.
To sum it up in one sentence, what I’ve been un-learning is the fear of making the wrong decision. Instead I’m learning to make a right one in the right way. I’m learning to turn off the constant dribble, dribble of doubt and anxiety (many times referred to as “seeking God’s will”) and discipline both my heart and mind to replace the dribble with two simple questions.
1. Is God smiling about this? When I’m not sure if I’m in the right place or about to make the right decision, I try to stop asking and concentrating so hard on, “Is this the right way? the right guy? the right choice?” and start seeking out time with God, for the sake of getting to know Him better. This is incredibly freeing, because the focus goes from constantly wondering if I’m in or out of God’s will and fearing for my own safety and future, to a beautiful journey of learning what He loves. If I am to know what makes Him smile, than I must first know Him. This is the freedom I speak of. This is relationship. And I truly believe the process of getting to know each other, delights the heart of God like young lovers are delighted with each new discovery they make about each other.
2. Will I be proud of this decision? (Or, which one makes me prouder?) If the answer is already yes to the first question, then hopefully it will automatically be yes to this one. But sometimes it really is hard to see through my own emotions and ask myself objectively if God is pleased or just allowing it. I do not believe emotions should be ignored by the way, but my emotions are not a constant to say the least. Instead of asking myself, “will this make me happy?” I ask myself, “Is this something I can and will be proud of?” I don’t necessarily take the human element entirely out of my decision-making. I make the choice which I myself would respect and admire. (So long as what you respect is molded by a love for God and what you understand of His words–don’t go making your own standards up!) If it’s still not clear which choice that is, then I’m learning to trust God to lead me to make the right choice even without me being aware of it. Believe me, it has happened.
A friend and mentor once told me, “Kay, all God really needs is a willing heart.” And believe it or not, if you’re heart is willing, it’s not actually that easy to mess up your life. And yes, by the way, you need to know, that even being completely in the center of God’s will can feel like a mess sometimes. There’s peace that passes understanding, but a mess none the less.
I hope you feel released and a bit more peaceful reading this today. Maybe you can even imagine why the picture of me dancing moves me to tears and I seem to be able to hear a voice in my ear whispering, “You’re free“.
There is no fear in love. For perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4: 17&18
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
( I just searched for the Bible verse about there being no fear in love and this song by an artist I’ve never heard of was the first result. It’s strikingly simple and just so perfect. Letting go of our facade of control and just loving and trusting Him should be so much simpler than we make it. I told you, I’m still smack dab in the middle of this process, so thank you for letting me wear my heart on my sleeves in this post. Excuse me while I go cry a big one. )