If you can, listen to this song first.
Growing up, I always thought that God would audibly speak or in some way give you an undeniable sign of what your life was supposed to be at every step. He would dictate, day by day, how each piece on the cosmic chess board would move.
I thought that was comforting, until I realized I couldn’t hear Him telling me what I was supposed to do. I spent so much time worrying that it was my lack of faith that left me deaf to hearing His voice directing me into the great unknown.
In high school, it was the source of a lot of anxiety for me. I tried so hard to earn the voice of God in my ear. I tried so hard to be “good”. And naturally, I screwed up my attempts of being good by not being consistently perfect. I came up with written devotional and prayer plans and tried to stick to calendars. Looking back, I can see I really didn’t enjoy my faith most of the time.
This further awoke my type-A-INFJ-Enneagram 9-abandonment-fearing, ardent love for all rules and structure and an absolute loathing for any type of conflict. Even into adulthood, I struggle making my own decisions because I thought what was right was to submit and defer and never question anything. I never thought any of the choices were up to me.
Maybe, just maybe, God would see how good I was doing and tell me where I was supposed to go next. Each piece of my life would be perfectly portioned and handed to me two steps ahead of when I needed it so I could wrestle with it a little and then decide God knew what He was doing. Then I would sacrifice everything, move to Africa, save an entire village, and write a book about the process.
Just going to come right out and say this… It’s really hard to be an adult this way.
I think that my need for control was partially born out of this mentality.
What I didn’t take into account is that maybe God doesn’t actually work like that.
Mind you, I’m not saying that I don’t think God speaks to people. He does. I’ve experienced it firsthand. And I’m not saying that there aren’t people on which God has placed a very specific calling. I’ve seen that happen too. But maybe He approaches it differently with each of His children.
I’m just wondering if maybe God knows exactly what it is that I need in order to grow and become the person He created me to be. I’m a person who is not naturally resistant or independent. I like to be told what to do and I like to know exactly what my role is. I like to make no waves. But when I’m in that space, I’m kind of a robot. I lose myself in the direction of others because I’m so worried about pleasing them and avoiding any possible slight sign of a whiff of a conflict.
Like a turtle, I sink back into my own brain–into the pinball machine of all the things I’d love to say, but don’t.
Maybe God knows me well enough to know that I don’t argue with orders. I accept them, move on, and don’t grow any closer to the person giving the orders. I let the boss admire me from afar for my tenacity and my never ending dogged quest to do whatever is asked of me, all the while, I hold my cards close to my chest.
I forget so often that God wants more from me than figuring how to assuage Him so that’ll He’ll like me or tell me where to go next. Just look at the prophets! He wants me to weigh things out, to mull them over in my heart and mind, to use my good sense, and even to argue the finer points with Him.
This is how we grow in intimacy with other humans, why would it not be the same with Him?
He made me “in His image”. He built me from the ground up and mixed in personality and talent and quirks. He gave me the capacity to love and a brain with which to choose and discern.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter to Him whether or not I’m enough. How would my life change if I didn’t have to prove my worth to earn a gift He’s already given me? What if He just wants me to show up–to see the beauty He’s creating around me and in me and through me? How would my life change if I let that be enough?