I have a confession to make. I am absolutely horrible with directions. My lack of directional abilities is sort of a family joke.
With my job at the newspaper, I regularly find myself going to places I've never been before, and often, they are in the middle of nowhere. The last words out my husband's mouth when I leave the house aren't usually "I love you." Instead, he stands at the door, a worried look on his face, asking me as I pull out of the driveway, "Are you sure you know where you're going?"
With my directions on the seat beside me, I confidently wave my hand out the window and assure him that I will have no problem finding wherever it is I'm going.
The directions always seem so easy when I look at the map. Turn left here. Continue on that road. Destination is on the left.
Sometimes though, I find myself turned around. Roads aren't clearly marked or they go by a different name than the one listed in my directions. A weird jog in the road leaves me with two options, and I invariably pick the wrong one.
Other times, the directions are just plain wrong, and for whatever reason, the address I typed in isn't anywhere near where the map shows my destination. I remember one time, the map clearly said my destination sat between two roads. I drove to the farthest road, turned around and stopped the car - stumped. I was between the two roads and there wasn't a house to be seen for miles. It was just me and the cows.
Fortunately, after several very frustrating past trips I've learned to make sure I have my interviewees phone number and my phone (and have it charged up), rather than just driving aimlessly around without a clue as to where I am or where I'm going. So, I called the person and she was able to direct me to her house. Turns out, I was on the right road - I just hadn't driven far enough (and yes, the directions were wrong but hey, at least I was pointed in the right direction).
The thing is, as I travel down the road toward my God-given dreams and calling, I can think I've downloaded the map correctly. However, I often find that the directions aren't quite as easy as I had at first thought they'd be, or sometimes, I find myself somewhere completely different than the destination I had in mind because somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn or the map was just plain wrong. Sometimes, I just keep driving - hoping if I go a little bit further, the address I'm searching for will miraculously appear.
That happened to me recently. I had interviewed for a job at the library and didn't get it. I assumed this meant that it wasn't God's plan. I was tooling along quite happily when I got a phone call.
Suddenly, I had a choice to make. Did I take the job, even though it was only five hours, to get my foot in the door, or did I turn it down? I wavered. I looked at the pros and cons. I talked to my husband (who said it was up to me - that isn't helpful, btw). Finally, I decided that I would regret not taking it and seeing where it led. My thought was I could always quit, but I couldn't just magically conjure up another job.
I like the job. It's easy and non-stressful. It's in a library and I'm surrounded by books - what's not to like!
Then I got another call - would I like more hours at the main library branch. I decided to try it and see what happened.
What happened was that suddenly, my plate became precariously full. Last year, my plate was too full. I can admit that now - you know, that I'm not actually superwoman. I was stressed and really didn't enjoy the experience. I had gotten it cleared off to manageable, but now, once again, I found it too full with stuff dripping off the edges.
Then I started to agonize again - should I quit my hours at the main branch? Should I quit all together? What if by quitting, I threw away an opportunity? What if something happened to my job at the newspaper and then I wouldn't have any job at all?
The words "what if" swam in my brain and I found myself posting my dilemma on several boards I belong to. I wanted someone to give me "permission" to quit. I prayed about it too - throwing my worries and questions at God, never pausing to actually listen to what He was trying to tell me
It finally dawned on me (hey, I never said I was a fast learner), that the person I NEEDED to seek counsel from weren't friends (no matter how well-meaning). It wasn't even throwing out prayers like confetti. Nope, I needed to go to my map maker Himself and just stop long enough to listen.
God showed me I was not only on the wrong road, but I was driving further from the destination He had in mind for me. I needed to pull over right now and turn around.
Suddenly, the angst and indecision I felt fell away. The answer was obvious and crystal clear.
I called today and let the folks at the main branch know I wouldn't be working extra hours after a specific date (I wanted to be fair and give them time to find someone else).
Part of me feels frustrated with myself. Once again, I got distracted on a detour, delaying my dream, feeling further away from my destination.
But every trip teaches you something.
For me that was learning that instead of fearing the "what ifs," I need to go to the I AM.
~ Blessings, Bronte