Do you ever feel like you are way too young to be making some of the decisions that are in front of you? I do. I am almost 40 (yikes!), and I still feel like my parents should be the only ones handling the “adult stuff.” How is it possible that I am now responsible for a mortgage, insurance, budgets…not to mention another little human!
SO MANY DECISIONS!
Recently, I have been pondering the role of the Holy Spirit in our decision-making process. As Christians, we know that the Holy Spirit resides inside us. In His teachings, Jesus tells His disciples that the Holy Spirit will guide them in truth. (John 16: 13) When faced with enormous decisions, I think we tend to forget that we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, guiding us every step of the way.
Last year, we were faced with a potentially life-changing decision. A birthmother had chosen us to be the adoptive parents of her baby. After spending a couple hours with this young lady, it was clear that there was a very good chance that this adoption may not go through. She was torn about whether or not to make an adoption plan for her child.
As we were leaving the meeting, I had a very strong sense that this may be the last time we would ever see this young woman.
At this point in the process, we had the choice to move forward with this young lady or not. We struggled with this decision. A huge part of me wanted to walk away from the situation. I was scared and anxious. There was a good possibility that I was setting myself up for a huge heartbreak. I didn’t want to be vulnerable.
Through tears, I talked the situation out with our social worker. In the middle of the fear and the confusion, the Holy Spirit guided my heart. He showed me that we were in this young lady’s life at this particular time in order to show her Christ’s love. It was clear to me and to my husband that we were to move forward, to walk with her through this tough time…even if, in the end, this was not our baby.
A month before the baby was due, we received news that the birth mother had decided to parent her baby.
Of course, it was disappointing, but there was also a peace in knowing that we had done what God led us to do.
Months later, this young lady contacted our adoption agency. She wanted us to know what a profound impact we had on her life. It meant a lot to her that we were willing to stick it out with her:
Such beautiful confirmation from the Lord that we had done the right thing.
3 Steps for Discerning the Voice of God
So how do we make sure that we are able to hear the Spirit of God when He is speaking?
1. PREPARE your heart:
“God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
2. ASK others to intercede for you: We are in a spiritual battle.
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood… but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Ephesians 6:12
Enlist your brothers and sisters in Christ to fight for you! We are not meant to do this on our own!
3. TRAIN your brain: Now, don’t let this be daunting. I am not suggesting that you have to read 100 verses a day. Just try for one or two verses. Start there. My guess is that once you start, you will want more. The stuff of the world is loud, so we have to be intentional about filling our minds and hearts with Jesus.
“How sweet Your word is to my taste– sweeter than honey in my mouth.”-Psalms 119:103
Alyssa lives in South Carolina with her husband and son. She was raised in NY but has lived as a Yankee transplant for 20 years. She and her husband have navigated the waters of infertility and adoption for 11 years. Her loves are the piano, the outdoors, fashion, and reading. She has recently started a blog: Living Beyond the Dust.