Like every woman I've ever known, I have ongoing battles with my hair. I don't know what it is about having two X chromosomes that makes us immediately hate our hair, but mark it well: the woman with curly hair wishes it were straight; one with straight hair longs for curls; brown-haired girls wish to be blondes; and no one wants to be gray!!
Recently my hair and I have had a serious falling out. I don't get my hair cut a lot but when I do I have the perennial struggle of the ages, that classic question of life: bangs or no bangs? I grow my hair out and wish I had bangs; I get it cut and wish I didn't have to have my forehead covered. So when I went in for my haircut, I was thoroughly undecided even in the chair. I ended up going with modified bangs, sort of a compromise where I could brush them to the side. Within a week I wished I had wispy bangs, so I went back for a slight adjustment. My stylist didn't make them wispy enough so later at home, I trimmed them shorter myself. Uh oh. I was hit immediately with haircut regret. Too late to change my mind, I spent a week settling into a style I can live with - for now.
All this to-do over my hair choices has proven one thing to me: I need help with my choices. If I can't even manage to choose a hairstyle, why would I think that I should attempt larger decisions with my fickle mind?
This question looms large in my life right now because I've been pursuing God's guidance during this season of rest. I've been asking Him what opportunities He might have for me and where He wants me to focus the gifts and skills He's given me for maximum benefit to His Kingdom. In the process, I've learned that I can have an idea a minute. I have so many interests and passions and find myself thinking of great opportunities within each one. Sometimes I'll even go partway down a road and then realize that I really am not ready to commit to that choice after all. I'm learning that sometimes my ideas are for later, sometimes they are for prayer, and sometimes they are for others to pursue while I support. (I can't tell you how many articles or books I've conceived in my mind, then found online or in a bookstore! So I read them and recommend them to others.)
Years ago, when God first called me to lay down a ministry I loved and embrace a different ministry, He led me through a study of Abraham's life. I had always thought that Lot chose his land, then Abraham chose his land. But when I studied the passage above more closely, I realized a profound truth: Abraham didn't choose his land -- God did. Abraham initially had one thought in mind -- take whatever Lot doesn't want -- but God had a different choice. In the end, Abraham had more than he imagined, and he moved from Canaan to Hebron after God made His choice clear.
Five months into this "season of rest" I've already discarded something that were on "my" list to pursue. There are others that are still pending, but life seems to keep me from pursuing most of these projects. Still others are on my heart and I know God's answer is "wait". During this same season, though, God has opened up doors I couldn't have imagined at the beginning -- opportunities to teach, to go deep in prayer, to serve where I'm planted and take relationships to new levels. Things are looking different than I imagined, but I'm okay with that -- because my sovereign God knows what is best, for me and for His Kingdom.
If you are struggling today with a decision, try laying it down and asking Him to make His choice obvious. At the heart of God's Word to the Psalmist to "Cease striving and know that I am God" is the idea of trust. We can trust Him to open doors and make His will plain to us. His will is not the needle in the haystack for which we much search aimlessly. His will is discovered in relationship to Him. Through the process of getting to know Him, we will learn His voice. We'll know His heart and our own weaknesses. We'll be okay with relinquishing our own lesser choices because we will learn that His choices for us will always be best. No one on earth longs to see His kingdom come and His will be done more than He does!
If you are struggling with your ability to hear, STOP! Trust in His ability to lead. He is greater than your heart, and knows all things (1 John 3:20). Your job is to stay yielded. Yield your choices to Him, and He will keep you in His will.