There are moments in time when you have to make really difficult decisions based not a lot on factual things, based more on the gnawing of the Holy Spirit, that feeling or a hunch rather than on what makes sense.
I really just can’t stand these moments.
I especially can’t stand them when the people involved in your decisions can point out how nonsensical and irrational your decisions are…you know it’s irrational, you know it’s impractical, you know it’s nonsensical, but you can’t shake the gnawing feeling of something being not right….
I recently had to make one of the most heartbreaking, difficult, agonizing decisions based on this feeling. Something just wasn’t right in the situation, and though I could’ve just shaken it off, I know that when the Holy Spirit is tugging at my heart, I need to listen to it…I just wish I would’ve listened sooner.
But now that I’ve made the decision, now that I’ve shaken everything up and probably looked like a total idiot in front of a lot of people, now that I’ve tripped over myself once again, now that I’m back to wondering how God is going to use any of this, there’s nothing I can do about it….
I can honestly say this isn’t how I pictured my freshman year of college ending.
Regardless, last night was the very last night of Bible Study at Sam and Maria’s. Sam grilled hamburgers and hot dogs while everybody brought sides and desserts. I came over early and baked a blue raspberry cake with vanilla frosting. It was a good time, and though I was still hurting from the aftermath of my decision, I was happy to be around people I was comfortable with.
At one point, while we were in the kitchen, Adham and I were going at it. Our bickering had begun the moment I walked in the door and had continued without respite. I said something to make fun of him and he kept trying to put leftover frosting on my face, though without success. While I was eating my own piece of cake, however, I dropped the bit on my fork and it landed frosting-down on my clothes.
“Vengeance is mine!” Adham yelled through laughter.
Because I’m incapable of not retaliating, I took a napkin, wiped the cake from my clothing, and proceeded to smear it on Adham’s hand. He then, of course, because he’s also incapable of not retaliating, took the cake in his hand and spread it through my hair and on my forehead.
The food fight, however, stopped there, because I was so speechless and so messy that I had absolutely no response (either I gave in to having no response or I gave in to having the response of chasing Adham through the apartment throwing cake at him). Adham very slowly walked out of the kitchen and I very calmly walked into the bathroom, washed my clothes and my hair, and then walked out into the living room to where Maria could adorn me with a French braid.
To end our study, we not only reflected on what we’d learned and what discussions we felt had most affected us, but we opened up new discussions as well. One of the discussions was about spiritual discernment. Grace described a situation where you had two paths you could take, though both of them were equally good (sound familiar?)…so how do you choose which one is more in line with God’s plan for you?
Interestingly enough, Rochelle brought up a great point. She thought we, as Christians, too often fall into the pit of putting so much emphasis on knowing what’s going to happen, making the perfect decisions, and seeking God’s will in an obsessive rather than a devotional way. That sounds kind of familiar too.
After study was over, and Sam had driven me back to campus, and I had skyped with my Mom and told her about how insane I was and frustrated about this whole decision-making process, and after I eventually fell asleep and woke up this morning, I realized one, huge, glaring thing: I am part of a generation of Christians who are searching for more than the canned, bottled up, God-in-a-box Christianity that we’ve been offered throughout the ages.
I also realized that there’s no way I can avoid getting caught up in it. There’s no way for me to avoid the popping of my comfortable Christian bubble. There are no discomforts, no questions, no answers, no truth that I can silence or push aside. Things are going to change…the way I see things, because God loves me, is going to change and it’s going to change drastically, and people, Christians specifically, might think I’m absolutely insane….
But that’s okay 🙂
I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how things are going to work out or even what all of this means. I don’t know why God led me to make the decision I made, all I know is that it was the right one, even if it doesn’t make sense to me now. In fact, none of it makes sense….absolutely zero. I’ve never encountered half of this nonsense before and my brain is still trying to process it all.
But I did pray for an adventure, I did pray for no safety, I did pray for absolute craziness, and I did ask for God to do whatever it took to bring me closer to Him…and here He is, answering.
“The end of something is better than its beginning, and a patient spirit is better than a prideful spirit.” —Ecclesiastes 7:8, ESV