When I stop to think about God’s calling on my life & discernment, I don’t necessarily have explicit moments where I know God was telling me what to do when I had a number of decisions placed in front of me. I think I can pretty much sum up God’s leading my path with one question: “why not?”
Let me unpack that. Honestly, like most college students, I spent quite a bit of my college experience trying to answer the question for myself, “what am I supposed to do with my life?” I’ve never been one to really stress about such questions, I have always kind of figured things would work themselves out, and they do seem to in one way or another. But, as graduation approaches there is the question that you begin to face from other people about what the next steps are going to be.
I am of the belief that God doesn’t only have one specific path for each of us to follow, but that God has a number of possibilities set out ahead of us. If we are pursuing a relationship with God, any of the options placed before us are journeys with God, living within God’s will. A mentor once advised me with a simple rule of thumb for making decisions and figuring out the answer to “what am I supposed to do?”…He said, when God gives you options, take the bigger risk. For me, the approach has been, which options is scarier? Okay, why not?
This has come into decision making at quite a few different points in my journey. Move to Tennessee (where I’d never been and knew no one) for an internship? Why Not? Pack everything up for graduate school in New Jersey? Why Not? Spend half a year in Kenya working in a slum? Why Not? Live in an Intentional Christian community in California? Why Not?
Obviously, there was quite a bit of prayer, conversation, and weighing multiple factors before making these decisions, so I don’t want to make it sound simple and easy. But, ultimately, my decision came down to knowing God was with me no matter where I ended up, and when that’s the case, asking why not is a pretty simple approach to decision making. I wouldn’t take back one of those decisions for anything.
There were certainly struggles, loneliness, difficulties, and burdens in all the parts of my journey, but I think that would have been true no matter what I did or where I was. God has promised to be faithful, and I have experienced that faithfulness every step along the way. The promise of Hebrews (and Deuteronomy) “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you,” has provided me with confidence to take risks and try out scary experiences because I KNOW God will be with me, guiding every step on the journey of, “what in the world am I supposed to do?”
Written by Janie