“Will you stay on the phone with me while I do this?”
I’d made a possibly life-altering decision and once I sent this email, there was no going back. To go through with it required more strength than I had at the time. So naturally — I reached out to a trusted friend and asked her to stay on the phone with me while I clicked Send.
The moment passed and I was grateful for the support through it. But what I found interesting was that I still didn’t have peace the rest of the day. Or the next day after that. Not long after I’d hung up the phone with my friend, I found myself pacing in my office. Wringing my hands. Chewing my thumbnail. And as I walked, unproductive thoughts plagued me — “Did I do the right thing?” “I can’t believe I just did that…!” “What now? What if I made a terrible mistake?”
There’s a reason why a rear view mirror is smaller than the windshield.
We can’t change the direction of where we’re going by looking back. When I reviewed the decision logically, I knew I’d made the right one. My husband and I had weighed the pros and cons for hours. We’d spent time in prayer. And I’d trusted my gut when that still small voice whispered what to do. I’d kicked the car in gear and made a choice to head down another road. Yet, I didn’t have any peace about it. Why?
I’d kept my eyes locked on the rear view.
“Am I aware of your presence, God?”
That’s something I continually ask myself — especially in moments of weakness and indecision. God’s presence is constant. I know that. It’s a truth embedded time and time again throughout scripture. (Joshua 1:9) But am I always aware of Him? Am I looking ahead of me to what HE has or am I constantly looking back at what I want for my life? How do I avoid the peace-lost moments?
I Get Real, Get Read, and Get it said.
Yep. You read that right. We have to get real with God. Some of the greatest “looking-through-the-windshield” moments have been when I allowed the barriers of my pride, perfection, control and trust to crumble, and just said: I’m broken! Please help me become whole again. Cry if you need to. Shout. Blow the roof off your limitations by getting real with Him. Tell Him what’s in your rear view and why you want to leave it behind. He’s not interested in perfection in our Christian walk; He wants authenticity with our hearts.
I’m no Bible scholar. I admit I don’t always understand everything I read in scripture. I can tend to get busy and fall behind in structured Bible study classes. I even sometimes forget to read or do devotions from day to day. (I know. Embarrassing to admit that reality.) But every single time I’ve been up against a decision, scripture has been the anchor for everything else. I’ve found rest. Peace when I needed it. Stores of strength I didn’t know existed. When facing a decision or battling through a barrier, the one and only constant to keep our eyes fixed on Him is The Word. Whether we think we have time, understand, or even care about reading — give it an honest try. Start with one verse a day if you have to. Write truth on note cards and carry them with you. Read your Bible App while waiting in the grocery line. Just get it read and it will get to your heart.
GET IT SAID.
If our car’s already in drive, it’s difficult to hear His voice over the engine’s roar. We’ve got to talk to Him. Before we kick the car down the road. Before we make a decision (big or small), and certainly before we click Send on any emails in our lives. I’m a normal gal with normal prayers. Sometimes they’re quiet and well-spoken. Other times, I’m crying like a baby and not even using full sentences. But at least I’m getting it said. I’m talking to Him. Hopefully keeping that conversation going throughout the day and certainly throughout the journey of my walk with Him. I don’t care if I just say “Jesus…” over and over again (which I sometimes do). Whatever’s on your heart – say it. Often. Out loud. Talk to him like you do your best friend — because that’s what He longs to be.
We’re only about a week into the new year, but I’m not talking New Year’s Resolutions today or any day. I’m more interested in changing the way I view the opportunity of every day before I can focus on how I’ll drive in it. If I’m not staring back at the rear view mirror — if I Get Real, Get Read, and Get it Said — I know the peace will follow. Regardless of the circumstances, we can focus on the view out the windshield. And we can have peace in the midst of challenges.
Remember: Happy comes from circumstances. Joy comes from the Lord.