Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist: "The world will tell you how to live, if you let it. Don't let it. Take up your space. Raise your voice. Sing your song. This is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you" (104).
Why is it that sometimes we need "permission" to live our lives as WE see fit rather than as everyone else sees fit?! My counselor has been telling me for years that I have to make my own life; I have to do what I need to do for Polly and quit worrying about whether or not what I do pleases anyone other than Polly--and God. (I feel that God's approval goes without saying, but sometimes I need to be sure I clarify that because without Him, I am nothing.)
Part of what added to Shauna's anxiety, as she describes in her book, was her attempt at living to please everyone but herself--what SHE wanted in life. She told herself, or as I see it--she allowed herself to believe lies from the enemy, that if it was something that came available, God must have opened the door, so it was her responsibility to walk through it--every time.
I can relate!!!
I've been offered a job that I know I'd love, but yet I'm very happy and fulfilled where I am. Well, it must be from God, so I'd better quit where I am and accept the new job....right?!
Isn't that how we tend to think??? It's one way we have always felt the Lord telling us what He wants us to do, isn't it? I know it has been for me--many times in the past. Thankfully, most of the time the doors that have opened that I've walked through have been the "right" doors for me at those times of my life, but there have been a few times when I felt that just because such-and-such opportunity arose that it must be from God. Maybe it was, but that didn't necessarily mean I HAD to accept.
For example, when my husband and I first moved to Missouri, I applied for jobs EVERYWHERE. The only type of job I could get, though--even though I already had my BS in English Education and was almost finished with my MA--was as an administrative assistant. I took what I was able to get and learned a lot from the jobs I had, especially about computers. But my heart was in teaching, so I continued to try to get a job as a teacher throughout the time we lived in Missouri. Then, within a week after making the decision to move back to North Carolina, I received a call from the college my husband was attending, asking me if I still wanted a position with them. As honored as I was that they finally called me, I knew in my heart-of-hearts, deep down in my soul that moving back to North Carolina was the best choice for my husband and me.
It was difficult, but I turned down the job offer.
I believe that God allows opportunities to open up for us, but He leaves it up to us as to whether or not we accept/receive it. I don't believe it's disobedience to Him and what He has for us if we go in a different direction. My God is a God of free will. He wants us to CHOOSE Him above ALL. When we choose one door over another, He honors us for our decision because we took the time to seek Him and because we work as unto Him and not for ourselves.
Yes, sometimes we realize that we made a mistake, but most of the time, I believe that God simply wants us to do the thing that He has placed in our hearts to do. He wants us to SING OUR SONG. He wants ME to sing MY OWN song. My song is probably different from your song. That doesn't mean we can't both sing our songs. It simply means that both CHOOSING to SING!!!
I LOVE to sing even though I may not have a voice others want to
listen to. I read a book once that talked about how we don't want to come to the end of our lives with our song still in our hearts. So even if your song is different from my song, let's join our voices in song and God Himself will take care of the harmony!!!!
I DARE you to DO the THING that God has called you to do!!!