So…I quit school. yeahhh….this just happened about a week ago. I don’t know if I will go back and this is just a break or maybe God is leading me in a different direction altogether. I do know that this year was tough. 16 unit semesters and working two jobs and being involved in ministry can be…a growing experience. By that I mean it was freakin hard and most of the time I was unhappy, stressed and torn.
Here’s what you need to know about me: Once I chose something I commit to it FULLY. I will push through no matter how hard it is. I will probably whine and complain at times (many times) but if I said I would do it you can be dang sure it will get done. I think this is both a positive and a negative attribute. I think I have a pretty solid work ethic and my dedication to my commitments plays a large role in that. But it can be dangerous when I am trying to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Remember when I told you that I wanted to keep listening to the Holy Spirit and stay on His path for me regardless of what it looked like? Well you should because I’m sure you have memorized every post I have written you stalker. Well the thing is that is an easy statement to make “oh I’m just gonna keep listening to the Spirit and see where He leads me” but it can be a difficult follow through. Because essentially what you are saying is “I am surrendering my life, every decision, every fear, every hope to you Lord. Help me to make the decisions you would make for me.” Yeah that all SOUNDS nice but what happens when what He wants you to do looks different than what you want to do? What if what you want is good? What if He tells you to stop doing something that you thought He told you to do? What if it looks like you will be messing your whole life up if you listen to Jesus? Well welcome to the past couple weeks of my life.
About a year ago I felt like it was time for me to go back to school. No I didn’t hear the audible voice of God telling me to do it, but I felt that it was something I needed to do. I felt a peace about it so I jumped in. I made a plan and I got to work. Hard work but I committed to this so I need to finish it and do it as fast as I can, right? It’s just school and it’s hard for everyone and I just need to push through because God called me to this right? I prayed about this and I felt peace which is a green light right? Fast forward to two weeks ago. Nothing in my classes was making sense, I mean nothing. Things I was understanding before where not adding up in my brain, I was literally falling asleep in class when I wasn’t day dreaming. Maybe you’re reading this thinking ” it was just Holidays approaching and every student feels this way and you should have just toughed it out”. Or ” that is so like your generation to just up and quit when it gets hard, you all have such an entitled mentality”. Maybe your right, maybe I should have just pushed through. But I know how God works in me, and this has happened before.
I think that God knows I will just bulldoze through things, I will push and push and push. So sometimes he has to make it so I pay attention to Him. He will zap my motivation to do things. things that I have been doing and can do because he want me to move in a different direction. So many times as Christians we pray for “closed doors” and I believe that looks different for every person. Sometimes they are obvious, like not getting that job or house or boyfriend. But sometimes they are gut feelings and those are a little harder for me because my gut and my brain and my heart are rarely on the same page. If I’m lucky I’ll get two in on a decision. But I am learning to go with my gut. I am learning to trust myself and to trust God. I seek wisdom and so many times I think that that has to be from someones else’s mouth or straight from God. Which both of those are great and there is obvious wisdom in them. I will not neglect the word of God and the counsel of wise people. But I believe that if I am earnestly seeking the Lord asking for wisdom He will equip me to make wise decisions. I still go to people to get advice and input for both big and small things but I am learning that I have wisdom to make the decisions that need to be made, even when they are hard (which they usually are).
So about a week ago I decided it was time to surrender some things to God. And re-surrender things that I had once laid down but decided that I could do a better job getting them done than Jesus. This was not easy task ladies and gents. It was filled with LOTS of tears and surprising enough to me lots of anger. I was mad at God for a lot of things and I told him about it. After I complained to him and aired my grievances, I decided that I needed him. I needed him even when He was working to slow for me, even when I was pretty sure I could get some of these things taken care of if it was up to me. I decided I needed him when I didn’t want him in that moment. I needed him even though I felt like He had wronged me or hurt me. I needed Him because I didn’t want to do this whole life thing on my own. So I gave him all my fears and anxieties about the future and them came the hard part. I had to also give him my hopes and desires, all the good stuff. Then I was reminded, through tears, that I needed to trust him with my identity.
I didn’t even realize that I had started defining myself, I was choosing my identity. That is not my job. I decided that I was a student and that would rule every aspect of my life, it overtook my relationship with Jesus most of the time. I became someone so desperate for my future that I stopped living in the now. I stopped spending time with people because I had to study. I stopped investing into our youth group because I had homework due. Soon prayer, worship, reading my bible and church all became something that I had to do in order to get to my real priority. School. That was something that I was instantly convicted of and in that moment I knew I needed to pull back. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to stop. Stop going to school. And this was my internal monologue with the Holy Spirit:
Um..excuse me? No. That is ridiculous. I have only one month left and if I quit that will mess up EVERYTHING. I’m not doing that. I need to tough this out, Lord ONE MONTH left. I’m not quitting. You wanted me to do this remember?
Did I trust Him? No. I thought ( and still sometimes think) I could do a better job of making things happen that God could. At least they would happen when I want and “need” them too. So I had to decide for the 10, 486,789 time if I was going to TRUST God with my future. Would I trust that He is looking out for me? That He is the only one who can give me true purpose? Will I listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit even though it doesn’t make any sense (and rarely does)? Do I believe that He is good and will give me what I truly need?When I asked myself if I trusted God with this the answer was no. A resounding no. I thought “why can’t I have ONE thing Lord, one thing that I am in control of? I’ve trusted you with my future husband (wherever he is) and my future family. I trust you with my anxiety and depression and fear. I trust you with my dream to open a home for pregnant teenagers. But why can’t I have just this one thing?! I can do this. Just leave me alone so I can do this” Ridiculous huh?
I sat there like a stubborn little kid and I let Him work on me. I began to remember that I don’t want to do things without Him. I don’t want to make my own path. I want what He wants for me. I do wish it was a little easier or that maybe sometimes it could match up with what I’m wanting. But the truth is I need Him. Even when I don’t understand what He is doing I need Him. Because I can’t do this alone and if I am truly honest with myself I know that I have no reason not to trust Him. He has never failed me. nothing He has given or led me to has been less than anything I wanted for myself. His plans truly are better than mine.
So I quit school. This may be temporary or it may be permanent. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like let alone 5 or 10 years down the road. In fact every day since I decided to trust Him with this decision I have not only had peace but He has been so faithful to reveal things that were unhealthy and provide healing. He has been gracious to me. Even when I am stubborn and sassy and annoying He still pursues me. I am thankful that this is the God I serve. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to go about things the way that I did. I would recommend that you stay close to the Holy Spirit and not to let His voice be quieted by your plans. I did what I felt I was asked to do in the beginning (one year ago) and in the “end” (last week). I may have gotten a little off track in the middle but I am thankful that even when I wander He is still there. Sometimes good things aren’t always God things and that is where I need to pay extra close attention to my gut. Because in my life that is one of the biggest ways He speaks to me about decisions. I don’t know my plan, and maybe that seems irresponsible to you but I believe I am right where I need to be. I am learning and trying to go where I am led. Its hard but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And maybe I am wrong or maybe I heard wrong and if that is the case I hope He would be quick to show me and I would be courageous enough to do what his is leading. This whole adventuring has been humbling to say the least. To quit on something I said I was going to do ( even if it is only for a time) has been hard. Right now it feels like I have had more than a slice of humble pie… maybe a costco size whole pie. And thats ok, you live and you learn. And you trust.