Category Archives: Making Decisions & Seeking Guidance

When in Doubt, Pray

There are some lessons I need to be frequently reminded of. One of those is to take time to pray when I’m unsure about something. A typical example is that I’ll be writing to someone and I’m about to say something, but then I wonder if I should. I may think I have very good reasons for why I should share that particular information or thought, but God may have reasons for why I shouldn’t. It may be something that should never be said, or it may be a matter of timing. God knows the needs of the person I’m writing to, so if I care about their feelings then I should consult, and obey, the Lord.

If I’m lacking peace about something, that’s a good indication that I should pray for guidance and give God time to reveal His will. No matter what type of decision I’m making, large or small, it’s always wise to seek God when I’m not sure what to do and then wait until I am sure.

In short, when in doubt, it’s best to pray and wait until I come to a conclusion that brings peace to my mind and heart.

Expectations

Disappointment is usually the result of unmet expectations. I re-learned some valuable lessons when we took our son, Shon, to Branson, Missouri in 2013.

Tom and I first visited Branson in October of 2012. The whole time we were there, I kept thinking, Shon has to experience this! It was everything he loves: lots of gospel and western music, patriotism, and a generally Christian feel to the place. So, we planned a trip for him as a birthday/Christmas present. For a year, I looked forward to watching Shon’s delight as he experienced it.

Shon started coming down with Bronchitis our second day there. He went steadily downhill. Even the handicapped bathroom he had most of the days wasn’t ideal, but it worked. The last two days he had to move into our room and that didn’t work at all. I’ll spare you the details, but Tom and I got quite a work out (especially Tom).

Shon was a trouper. I know that when I feel miserable, I’m not interested in doing much of anything. Praise the Lord, we had planned out the schedule so that all but one day, the earliest show was 2:00 PM. Only once did we have to go out at 11:00 AM. When we weren’t at a show, we were resting in the room. We only missed 2 shows (evenings) out of the eleven shows planned. We also only had one rainy day, in the early morning, so no shows were missed because of weather and God kept us dry (answered prayer).

During some of the days, I read aloud to Shon (something I did often when he lived at home) and he really enjoyed that.

So, we watched God’s grace at work in giving us wisdom, patience, grace, physical strength, and time when we needed it. The biggest blessing for me happened on the way home. I had told God I wondered if Shon would have any fond memories of the trip, or if he’d only remember all the trials and how sick he was. My greatest heartache was that perhaps, instead of being the wonderful experience I’d hoped for, it would be an unhappy memory for him.

On the flight home, out of the blue, Shon told me that, while the trip didn’t go the way we thought it would, he still saw God’s provision and strength through the help of family and prayer and we made some nice memories. He said he saw teamwork in action. Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord! The Lord also miraculously kept Tom and me healthy and blessed us with a wonderful, restful week in up-state N.Y. two days later.

The best way to avoid disappointment is to have the correct expectations. The one expectation that will never disappoint us is if we expect that, in every situation, God will work everything out to His glory and our ultimate good.

It also helps to have an attitude of humble surrender. The Bible says, when making plans, to remember to say Lord willing. Seek the Lord’s will, step out in faith and make plans, but be prepared to have His plans be different than ours! With that perspective, it’s much easier to rejoice in all circumstances!

Define Your Calling

One of our pastors once said something in his sermon that caught my attention: In order to set your priorities, define what you are called to BE. But I didn’t fully recognize how to apply this until later.

 

My husband was interested in going on a one- week mission trip to Haiti. (See “A Helpmate or a Nag?” in chapter 1 of this book.) Because we had always gone on mission trips together, it didn’t really occur to me that God might lead me to stay home, so I started the prayerful surrender process. I wasn’t interested in going, but I finally got to the point where I had peace that God would provide for all my needs and I was willing to go, even though I couldn’t claim to be enthusiastic about it. I just figured God would give me the enthusiasm once I got there, like He did on a previous trip to Romania. Therefore, I told Tom I would go. Then one night, I awoke with a strong impression that I needed to continue to pray about going to Haiti. So, I began praying again and within a week I had confirmation that God was calling me to stay home. However, I cheerfully continued to help Tom in his preparations to go.

 

Later, the revelation came to me on how to apply that sermon tip. Write out who I’m called to be, and then see how the thing I’m considering lines up with my calling.

 

I’m called to BE:

a) a supportive (not manipulative) Christian wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandma, and friend.

b) a mentor to women (individually, in groups, or via my writings)

c) a mentor to our grandchildren

 

I finally learned that it’s ok for Tom and me to have different passions and callings (but there are ways we can be supportive of each other). Tom serves in the church as an elder, an usher, and sometimes as a leader in the mid-week children’s program. I serve in the women’s ministry and to women outside of our church. I feel called to write, but Tom doesn’t. He feels called to periodic short- term mission trips and, in general, I don’t. (Though I will always pray about any trip he plans to go on.)

 

Until the Haiti trip, I just assumed God would always want me to accompany Tom (since I always had in the past). But after I’d surrendered and decided to trust God, and He gave me supernatural peace about trusting Him, He revealed He wasn’t calling me to go.

 

I think I had gotten confused because, in the many years of raising children, with the exception of our professions, we always did things together (as a couple, or as a family). Now, in our retirement years, we often do things separately during the day, and we’re both fine with that because we also have many times together.

 

So, it is helpful to define who God created us to BE and identify our passions. Then, when faced with a decision, we can see if it aligns with our calling and abilities.

 

 

 

Be Flexible

Tom and I like to play a game called Rummikub. The object is to create either runs of the same colored tiles (ie; orange 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) or a grouping of the same number in different colors (ie; the number 5 in three or four different colors). It’s necessary to be flexible in your strategy. For example, I may have the orange 8, 9, 10, and 12 and I think I want the orange 11, but as things play out, I realize it’s best to let go of my idea of completing that run and use those numbers to create other options.

 

I have found that life is like that. I’m headed in one direction that seems to make sense, and then circumstances change and I have to decide if I’m going to cling to that path or let go and try something new. It takes time and prayer to discern whether to persevere on a particular path or change directions. But I have found that if I’m truly open to God’s leading (ie; willing to go a new direction) and if I’m patient, He will eventually make it clear as to what I’m supposed to do. That applies to major decisions, like career choices and where to live, as well as smaller decisions like what to say or not say to someone. The hard part is surrendering my ideas of what’s best, or what I want, and being open to God’s leading. The surrender process also takes time and prayer, but God is faithful if I’ll wait on Him. I may not always understand why He’s leading me in a certain direction, but He will make it clear what I am to do. May the Lord empower us to surrender and be flexible, so He can fulfill His glorious plan for us.

Using Priorities as Guidelines

Daily, we are faced with choices about how to spend our time. Some options are clearly destructive, but for most of us, it is often a matter of choosing between a number of good options.

When we’re trying to decide what to bring into, or take out of, our lives, it helps to ask ourselves questions like:

-Will it draw me closer to, or away from, my important relationships (ie. God, spouse, children)?

-Does it feel like a joy or a burden?

-Do I have the necessary skills and talents to take this on?

-Does it interest me?

 

Satan can take advantage of hearts that desire to please God by convincing us to take on more than God intended, and then making us feel selfish or guilty if we don’t like the results. It takes lots of prayer to know when we’re being selfish, and when we’re just being wise.

 

As I’ve heard it said, just because there’s a need, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re the one being called by God to fill it. When our children were young, one of the measuring sticks I used in deciding whether or not to take on a commitment was to ask myself: How will it impact my family? Will I still have the energy and time necessary to meet their needs, if I take on this new commitment? If not, then I shouldn’t do it.

 

I am not a natural homemaker type, so it was very easy for me to get wooed into commitments outside of the home. I had to learn to exercise discernment, or I’d soon find myself being emotionally and physically burned out, to the detriment of our entire family.

 

Now that our children are grown, I still have measuring sticks I use as guidelines, both for how I spend my time and money. Having clear priorities helps me to evaluate what to commit to, and what not to.

 

In summary, we should take a few minutes to make a list of our priorities, both for our time and our money. List them in order of importance. (If we are married, it would be good for our spouse to do the same, and then to compare our lists and make a mutually agreed upon list.)

 

When we are faced with a decision about how to invest our time or money, we should evaluate how that will affect our key priorities. If it looks like a good match, we can step out in faith and give it a try. If it doesn’t line up, it is probably best not to go that direction.

 

 

 

 

 

Calm Your Heart

I am learning how important it is when, in a state of panic or anxiousness, to STOP (even sit down, if necessary), PRAY and WAIT for God to quiet my emotions so I can hear what He’s trying to say.

 

Too often, when I’m in a panic, I’ll shoot up a prayer for help, but then I continue to try to solve the problem myself. Some simple examples are getting locked out of the house, losing the car keys when I’m about to leave for an appointment, or, after receiving an emergency phone call, trying to decide what to pack as I get ready to head out to help.

 

Sometimes I even turn to humans unnecessarily. One time, I couldn’t get the house door unlocked. I was hot and frustrated. I prayed for help but didn’t allow God to calm me down. After a few more attempts, I called a friend. By the time they got to me, I had the door unlocked, so I inconvenienced them for nothing.

 

On the other hand, when I STOP what I’m doing, PRAY and WAIT for God’s peace, then I’m in a state of mind to receive the thoughts He’s trying to communicate to me. It works! I’ll hear that still, quiet voice that tells me to push on the door as I turn the key, where to look for the keys, and what to pack before I rush out of town. Or, if I’m simply feeling overwhelmed and anxious, if I give God time, He’ll calm those feelings, sometimes with a love touch like seeing a prism rainbow on the cupboard (which always makes me smile), or a thought to tackle the project a little at a time, or guidance on how to prioritize my activities. In other words, I need to trust Him to provide the help I need and stop trying to solve the problem myself.

 

So, when faced with negative emotions, I need to STOP, PRAY, and WAIT for God to calm my heart, and then I’ll be more receptive to His guidance.

Don’t Lead When You Should Follow

I learned the hard way that I need to keep focused on what God’s calling me to do, and let others discover what Gods calling them to do. I once had a vision for our son, and my husband and son pursued that vision with me. The problem was, that wasn’t God’s vision for our son, and as a result, it became a source of frustration to all of us, rather than a blessing. I should have recognized the primary problem, but I didn’t. The problem was that I was leading when I should have been following! I was frustrated because I seemed to be doing the majority of the work and the motivating. They were frustrated because they felt I was being pushy. And now I realize that I was, indeed, guilty, because I was trying to motivate (push) them in a direction God wasn’t calling us to! Thankfully, I finally realized I needed to resign as the leader, and once I did, the project came to a halt.

 

LESSON: Focus on discovering God’s vision for myself, not for other people! I need to let them discover God’s vision for their lives and then follow their lead as to how I can be helpful!

 

 

Don’t Ignore the Facts

Back when I was a fairly new Christian, I think I had erroneously come to believe that walking by faith meant I was supposed to ignore my feelings, lay aside all logic, and say yes to everything that appeared to be the unselfish thing to do. This belief system complicated the decision- making process unnecessarily.

 

I’m going to share some samples from my 1992 journals, but in case you don’t have time to read the examples, I’ll begin with what I’ve learned.

 

When we’re feeling overwhelmed and confused, we can ask ourselves the following questions (and perhaps discuss them with a trustworthy, objective person):

 

  • Laying aside, for a moment, our thoughts about what’s right or wrong, selfish or unselfish, how are we feeling right now? Overwhelmed? Confused? Frustrated? Unappreciated? Tired? Or at peace, cheerful, refreshed, etc.? God doesn’t ask us to ignore our feelings. He asks us to talk to Him about them. I love the Psalms in the Bible because they contain all the human emotions. God’s big enough to handle them. Yes, He’ll still love us even if we tell Him we’re mad at Him or we think life’s unfair. He’s a great listener. Its ok to vent. But then we should ask Him to reveal the cause of our feelings and show us what to do about it.

 

  • If we have a husband or children, it helps to ask ourselves how they are being affected by our present decisions and how the decision we’re considering will impact them. The same applies to other relationships as well, such as friends, co-workers, etc. But I believe that, next to God, our family should be our top priority, so it’s good to begin with them.

 

  • Ask God to reveal our fears to us. Do we need to entrust a loved one to Him? Our finances? Our reputation? List our fears.

 

  • Pray for wisdom and wait for clear answers and peace of mind. (The Lord may need time to help us work through our fears or our erroneous beliefs.) In moral decisions, we should let Scripture be our guide, and prayerfully follow our conscience.

 

I will now share some examples from 1992. At that time, our special needs son, Shon, was 11 years old and in 4th grade. Our daughters were 8 and 6 years old (Heather and Kristy). My husband, Tom, and I had known the Lord nine years. Neither of us had been raised in Christian homes, so we had a lot to learn and change came slowly. Things that are so obvious to me now weren’t obvious then.

 

The first story I’ll share centers around our son, Shon. Over the course of his school years, I home schooled him at times, acted as his aid in school at times, and other times he was on his own in public special education programs. At the time of the situation I’m about to describe, he had spent two wonderful years going to a private Christian school part time. Now, he was in the 4th grade and the work was much harder. They graciously allowed a number of situations: he would just be in class for certain subjects, or I would be in class with him (sometimes with six – year old Kristy at my side) or we hired an aid to assist him. As the year progressed, we were faced with a difficult decision: was it time to place him in a special needs program in a public school? If I had followed the advice I outlined for you, the answer would have become clear fairly quickly. But we did not see the solution until we’d spent a year trying everything we could think of to keep him where he was, including trying to get a special needs program going at the school.

 

  • How was I feeling? Most of the time, I felt overwhelmed and frustrated. But I tried to embrace God’s grace and I asked Him to help me be unselfish and uncomplaining. He did comfort and strengthen me, but I wasn’t hearing His solutions.

 

  • How was this affecting other people? I found this note from Heather written on one page of my journal: “Mom I want a kiss. From Heather to Jorja.” Kristy would periodically break down in tears and sometimes opt to leave a fun activity so she could have some snuggle time with me. Shon’s teachers and aid voiced their concern about how much of his class time was wasted. (Ironically, I had been a teacher for eleven years and I doubt that I would have tolerated such a situation.) He couldn’t read, so things had to be read to him, which either disturbed the other students or he had to be taken outside. I barely managed to keep up with the laundry, housecleaning, and cooking, and was exhausted by the time Tom came home from his exhausting day at work and long drive home. I did my best to meet everyone’s needs but often felt like a failure.

 

  • What were my fears? I feared that Shon wouldn’t be morally strong enough to face what he might be exposed to in public school. I wanted to keep him in a protected Christian cocoon. I had to learn to trust God.

 

  • I did pray for wisdom (and God finally got through to us) but for a long time I wasn’t sure if by faith I should trust Him to open the doors for Shon to stay there, and persevere, or if I was supposed to trust Him to take care of Shon in public school. When our situation became intolerable, I looked into public school. In time, we saw that the public school special needs program best met his educational needs and the Lord protected and blessed Shon there.

 

Here’s a second example. During the same year, our church said there were Russian children who needed homes. We were praying about it and in this case, I did list my concerns. (When you read this, you’ll see why I praise God that our kids turned out so well!) Here’s an excerpt from my 1992 journal: “If I look at our circumstances, I say ‘No way!’ Kristy’s showing signs of stress, wanting more of me. We don’t always even get the kids’ teeth brushed. They get baths about every two weeks or less. I have no idea how involved with Shon I’ll be, next year. Tom’s just starting a second job, and both of his jobs are taking increasingly more of his time. I know it is mainly my shoulders this burden would rest on. So, there’s no way I’ll do this unless I’m convinced it’s God’s will, for I could never do it in my own strength. Also, Tom and I rarely talk, as it is. Now enter an emotionally traumatized kid, who doesn’t speak our language or eat our food–and I’m a rotten cook, on top of it. I can’t find one logical reason for saying yes. Yet my heart is open and my two greatest fears–the age and the sex–have been removed. So, this could be the Lord. (If you’re wondering why our kids weren’t more independent, that’s another story.)

 

When I finally shared all my thoughts and feelings with Tom and asked if he could be content with the three children we already had, he simply said, “Sure,” and that was the end of it!

 

In those days, we too often made decisions based on our emotions or we failed to communicate our feelings to the other person. Thankfully, we have learned to take our time, listen to each other, and prayerfully analyze the situation.

The Importance of Flexibility

Determination is good when it’s truly needed, but if we fail to be flexible, we can miss out on a blessing. My husband is better than I am at balancing work and pleasure. I have asked him to help me in this area.

I will share an example of when my determination robbed me of a blessing. To give you a little background, for years I had felt the need to clean out and organize our filing cabinets, but every time I looked at them, I just felt overwhelmed. Finally, the day came when I had both the time and the motivation to attack them! For about a week I worked on them and it felt great! We actually got rid of two filing cabinets and I ended up with lots of space in the remaining 12 drawers! I was managing to take breaks to enjoy time with my husband and I felt God in it.

But then the day came when my determination, coupled with a lack of flexibility, caused me to miss out on a blessing. After weeks of what we Californians call June gloom (a marine layer of solid gray skies for at least the first half of the day), we got a gorgeous clear, blue- sky day. I did manage to run an errand with Tom, but I wanted to finish up the last two filing cabinet drawers. Knowing how Tom enjoys cruising in the GTO, I suggested that maybe he could go out for a ride while I worked. He did, and God really blessed him. I felt the tug at my heart- strings to enjoy it with him, but to my regret, I opted to stay home. I felt the difference in my heart: my task was now feeling like a chore and I was longing to be enjoying the beautiful day with Tom. At least the Lord drew my attention to the clock when it was time to prepare dinner, and I put aside my work to do so.

God was gracious to me. I did finish the last two drawers, but my failure to lay aside my plans robbed me of a greater blessing. So, it’s important that we be flexible with our plans and take advantage of God’s best for us.

Quit or Persevere?

I once read an account of the many political defeats Abraham Lincoln suffered before he finally got elected to the presidency. I wondered why he hadn’t given up. I decided that God must have continued to encourage and motivate him to pursue that path.

The apostle Paul, on the other hand, asked three times for the Lord to remove his affliction (which some scholars believe to be a loss of sight). God finally told him no, but graciously explained the purpose of the affliction: to keep Paul humble and to demonstrate that God’s grace was sufficient for him, and that His strength is made perfect through our weaknesses. Once Paul understood God’s purpose in the trial, Paul quit asking for deliverance because he lived to glorify God, not for his personal comfort and pleasure. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

If our desire is truly to please and glorify God, He will reveal His will to us. He will show us when to persevere and when to give up.

How?

This is the process I have discovered that works for me:

 

  • Become very familiar with what the Bible says.

It is through the Bible that we learn of God’s character and what He considers right and wrong. When I started reading the Bible on a daily basis, I discovered that many things I had thought were ok were not ok in God’s eyes! He will never direct us to do anything that goes against His standards of righteousness.

 

  • Prayerfully ask God to reveal my true motives to me.

The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV) Our sinful nature is very good at self-justification. The only truly pure motive is to do something simply because God said to, with no expectation of receiving any human reward (not even thanks or appreciation). My reward in obeying God sacrificially is the joy I feel at knowing I’m pleasing Him. If I’m doing something nice so others will think well of me, that is a selfish, impure motive. So, I need to ask God questions like: Is selfishness my motive? Is there something I’m hoping to get out of this for myself? Is fear my motive? Am I doing something, or avoiding something, because of fear, panic, or anxiety?

Any sin that I have not confessed and repented of will hinder the work of God in my life: gossip, a lack of forgiveness, lust, rebellion, etc.

I must ask God to reveal my sin to me, so I can deal with it and be cleansed through repentance and His forgiveness. Many times, when I think I’m waiting on God, it turns out that Hes waiting on me!

 

  • Wait.

Give God time to reveal my motives and sins to me. It also takes time to surrender my selfish desires and allow God to replace them with His unselfish desires. My sinful nature is most concerned about my comfort and what I feel is best for me. It takes time and prayer to surrender my selfish perspective and take on God’s perspective.

 

Sometimes the waiting period has nothing to do with my motives. It may just be a matter of God’s perfect timing in working out the details.

 

Or, the Lord may be waiting on someone else. For example, when our disabled son, Shon, was young, I was praying for a wheelchair for him, but my husband, Tom, insisted that the large stroller we had was adequate. So, I concluded that God intended to heal Shon and started praying accordingly. Instead of a healing, I eventually got a confession from Tom that he just hadn’t been ready to face the reality of Shon’s handicap. When he was ready, the Lord provided the wheelchair I had been praying for.

 

I also may need time to work through the surrender process–giving up what I want and yielding to God’s will, instead. Even though I know, through plenty of experience, that God is far wiser than I am, it’s still hard to let go of my dreams and desires and embrace His.

 

  • Once I have surrendered to God’s will, take a baby step in the direction I feel led to follow, asking God to guide me.

 

  • Listen for confirmation from other people, especially those I trust. Also, be humbly open to hearing that I should go a differentdirection. What message is coming through most consistently?

 

Pay attention to circumstances. Watch for open or closed “doors”, or things that seem to indicate that I should go in a certain direction.

 

I will now share one example of this process: my writing.

I have kept journals since I was a child. Sometimes, I would share a poem or a piece of prose writing with a few friends, but mostly I just wrote for myself.

I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 1983 and began reading the Bible daily. Gradually, I began to get the idea that I was supposed to share my writings with others. At first, I mainly wrote notes of encouragement and letters sharing my faith. Occasionally, I would share with a Bible study group some of the thoughts that came out of my Bible reading and personal experiences. When I did that, I was often told that I should share my writing with a wider audience. My husband consistently encouraged me in that direction.

As I became more aware of my vulnerability to pride, I decided against sharing because I didn’t trust my motives. It took several years for the Lord to show me that He’s quite capable of keeping me humble if I stick close to Him. I still have a healthy fear of pride, but I now trust God to be able to deal with it if I’m doing His will.

Circumstances also prevented me from pursuing that goal. I was raising three children, one with special needs, getting acquainted with the Lord and trying to learn how to be a godly wife. That kept me plenty busy!

As the children got older, I would sometimes write, and lead, a Bible study for women, again getting confirmation that I should consider sharing my writings more publicly. But I felt impressed to wait until the children were grown and out of the house.

Once the children were grown, my husband again encouraged me to consider publishing my writings. I appreciated his encouragement, but I felt overwhelmed and confused about how to go about it.

In 2011, I wrote a poem about our son. My husband felt I should turn it into a song. I wrote out the lyrics and prayed for God to provide a musician, since I knew nothing about music. About two weeks later, we were hosting a retreat and I met a young man named David Shay. He and I then created “The Blessing (On Eagles Wings)”: see www.SingerShonStewart.com . We later teamed up to write a few more songs.

But song writing was never my goal, nor something I’m passionate about. My heart’s desire is to help people improve their relationships.

I had an opportunity to meet with a publisher of a magazine, and I later sent him a few articles. I followed up with a couple of emails and then dropped it. I suspected the Lord was closing that door.

I lost interest in pursuing a publisher. I felt unsure of my direction: like a person trying to write a term paper when they only have a very vague idea of what the topic should be.

I sought the Lord for direction and then thought of beginning a journey of re-reading my old journals. That is an overwhelming task, but at least I felt I finally had a specific assignment that I could do. So, I began that journey.

Along the way, my husband suggested the idea of a blog. Since I had limited computer knowledge, that idea was not at all appealing to me. I sort of prayed about it. Awhile later, my son-in-law suggested a blog. I again said I didn’t feel ready for that, but I’d pray about it. Finally, my daughter suggested a blog. At that point, I said, “OK, Lord, I get the feeling You want me to attempt a blog.”

Thus, in January of 2013, with the help of my computer savvy son-in-law and the encouragement of my family, I entered into the blog world. (See www.jorjastewart.com) I was also a contributing author to the devotional Wisdom for Everyday Living (Steve M. Woods). In 2018, I began to sense that God might be calling me to write a book but the thought of going through a publisher felt overwhelming to me. When my son-in-law mentioned self-publishing a book (and said he’d help), I was ready to get started. When I prayed for an editor, the Lord provided a friend who is gifted in that area. Thus, I began working on this book.

So, let’s apply my steps to this situation:

 

  • I spent 35 years reading the Bible and growing in my relationship with the Lord. He taught me how to improve my relationships with people.

 

  • I asked Him to reveal any sinful motives.

As a new Christian, that was pride. Later, the pride was replaced with fear: a lack of faith. At first, I failed to believe God could keep my pride under control, and later I failed to believe He could help me with computers.

 

  • I waited–35 years!

This allowed me time to mature and go through the necessary surrendering process: in this case, I had to surrender both my pride and my fear and learn to trust Him.

 

  • Once surrendered, I took baby steps of faith.

I began by sharing with close friends and small groups, reading my journals, following (sometimes hesitantly) my husband’s suggestions, meeting with a publisher (closed door), launching my blog, and finally, writing and self-publishing this book.

 

  • I received plenty of human confirmation that I should pursue this.

 

– I allowed the Lord to use circumstances (opened and closed doors) to direct me.

 

I still find that, when the waiting period is long, it’s easy to wonder if the Lord wants me to persevere or give up. I have found that when He wants me to give up, He will remove the desire from my heart (if I’1ve surrendered to His will), and when He wants me to persevere, He will re-kindle the flickering desire. When I seek the Lord and wait patiently on Him, He always proves Himself faithful!