Life is built on the experiences we call stories.
For most of my life, my story was written by others. Having a turbulent childhood, followed by a difficult marriage, much of my life was spent making decisions based on what I thought others wanted me to do. In fear, trying to fix a situation or keep the peace, I rarely listened to my gut instincts and instead became codependent in my responses.
Upon becoming a Christian, the Lord graciously began transforming my thinking and bringing the many complex issues that surrounded my earlier years into a context of grace and divine love. However, the habit of pleasing people and following what others thought I should do did not wane as easily.
This carried over into several aspects of my life, and I spent years conflicted. I diligently sought the Lord for help on making decisions and yet, oftentimes, listening to “counsel” would make a decision against my better judgement.
Advice & Discernment
Getting advice from friends, parents, and family is always a smart move, but that doesn’t mean you allow the advice to become an edict. Listening with an open mind, thinking it through, and praying about the issue should lend itself to a decision in which you become the primary author of your story.
I recently had a sensitive situation in my life in which the opinions from the peanut gallery seem to fly fast and furious. Having very little context of the details behind the situation, I lost several friends as I made decisions that flew in the face of logic. Instead, I decided to go with my gut. That is to say, follow what the Holy Spirit was pressing me to do.
My story is just that, my story. It is only God who knows my every thought and motive. He knows my future and my past. He knows what is good for me and what is not. He will direct my steps and help me write the story that will glorify him.
My prayer is that you will be encouraged and strengthened as you and your family write your own unique story.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Ps. 37:23