“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? When you feel confused, overwhelmed, or unsure? It seems that these emotions have characterized my last few weeks.
A two week break from my current grad program meant that my family and I were able to head to Northern Wisconsin to spend time with extended family. On Friday night we went to a birthday party for two of our nephews and on Saturday I was able to attend my niece’s dance recital. Meanwhile my husband and boys spent time with my wonderful in-laws. At the recital, as a mom to three boys I was dazzled by sparkles and tutus…thrilled that I was able to see my niece be a part of something that she enjoys so much.
As our time with family drew to a close and we were preparing to load up in the minivan for our usual two and a half hour drive home, the old familiar feelings of sadness started to come back. I began to daydream about how great it would be if we lived up there year round. Not having to cram our time together into a few weekends scattered throughout the year (in moments like this I seem to put visions of bears, wolves, and swarms of mosquitos aside!).
BUT, then I return home. Home to our beautiful neighborhood, dear friends, the parks, trails, restaurants and shopping, my brother-in-law his amazing family minutes away, our incredible church, and the fantastic schools. Why would I ever want to leave this I wonder?
It seems that somehow I am caught between two worlds. On the one hand I want to be here in the city where opportunities and conveniences abound. I want to push through my current grad program, pursue a career, and provide my boys with every conceivable opportunity. On the other hand, I want to be in the country near the majority of our family. Spending my days involved in my childhood church, taking my kiddos to the beach with my sisters, sipping coffee with my cousin while our kiddos explore the woods nearby (again putting the wildlife out of my mind!), and of course I would simply have to share my love of horses with my boys…my vision wouldn’t be complete without a horse somewhere in it!
So, what do you do when you simply don’t know what to do? When you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what action you should take, or the direction you should go?
When reading a recent blog by Michael Hyatt (www.michaelhyatt.com) he told of how a colleague’s advice on this subject greatly helped him. His friend simply said that when you don’t know what to do, “just do the next right thing.” I love that! As someone who tends to over analyze and over plan everything, this is a refreshingly simple concept.
In the big picture, like everything else in life, where I live has little to do with me and everything to do with where God wants me and what He has planned. Life is ultimately about Him and His glory, not about me and my desires. So, whether God’s plan for me includes one of my scenarios above, a combination of both, or something entirely different, rather than feeling overwhelmed and confused, all I can do is seek Him and do the next right thing. I can prayerfully ask what the Lord wants me to do, what step I need to take, and then be obedient to follow. I will simply do the next right thing.
As my husband always like to remind me, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
What about you? What has you feeling confused, overwhelmed, or unsure these days? How might just focusing on simply doing the next right thing, one step of faith at a time help you keep a clear perspective and persevere? What does the next right thing look like for you?
Love this blog, I think so many of us live here. We live in a world that constantly want us to focus on the next thing instead of enjoying the moment or season that we are in. I think that longing is really more knowing that this place is not our home than anything else. I think of something Francis Chan said one time, “The more I read the Bible the less I think I m supposed to know what happens next”. My past five years have been characterized by next steps, and God has lead me into some great places! Let us keep spurring one another along. Love you and your family!
Lynne, I love this. It’s difficult sometimes to simple do the next thing. I find myself looking farther down the road wanting a big picture or clear goal. But it’s true, if we just do the next right thing, that’s the right thing. Thanks for the reminder!
This topic was timed perfectly for me today. Feeling overwhelmed, unsure and insecure. What a great reminder to take it to God and listen for what He wants for us-not necessarily what we want. Thank you for putting in the effort and energy to write this, I know it encourages me and reminds me of the rightful place of God in my life. God Bless.