One of my favorite illustrations on determining God's Will in our lives was described by Dr. TJ Betts. He says "God doesn't want His Will to be difficult to discern. Determining God's Will is not like an Easter Egg Hunt where you wander the yard while God is saying, 'Oh, you are getting warmer.' 'Oops, you are getting colder!' He wants to make His Will clear to His children." I lived this illustration recently and it's great to see how God works to make His Path for my life known.
We all have dreams and goals in life that we hope to accomplish, maybe it's your bucket list, maybe it's just a goal list...but we all have them. If you don't, you probably live a pretty mundane life. And sometimes we have goals or "bucket list" items that we don't put high on the list because at certain seasons of life, they just don't seem possible or even worth pursuing. Then it seems the path is cleared and you have no doubt which way to go.
For a long time in my life, I've dreamed of writing - writing a column, writing a book - just getting paid for doing what I love, even if just on the side. This blog fulfills that creative juices craving, and I had hoped it would lead to more opportunities. Along with that, I'd love to do more public speaking. I've been blessed to have many opportunities, but would love to do more. I've pursued some writing opportunities that hit dead ends, and just have felt like the door has been shut. The same has occurred with speaking opportunities. Some I've pursued, or some that approached me that never materialized. It was clear that was not the path...at least not at this time.
Also for a long time, I've toyed with the idea of getting my MBA. Every time I lose a job, I ponder returning to school. But I've always felt like it wasn't right or I didn't have a peace. After the first of this year, the idea returned, and I began to pray about it. I prayed very specifically that God would show me what to do. I even slated off a 3-day holiday weekend to "let" God provide His answer. I left that weekend without a clear yes ...but not a clear no either. So I decided to do what I had done with my other venture and take some steps forward and see what happened. In an unbelievable way, God continued to open doors and give me a peace about proceeding down this path. I truly don't understand it apart from God but I can tell you I have a complete confidence that this is the path I need to travel. Do I know how I'm going to make time for school, work and life? No, but I feel better knowing I'll be doing it completely online and the average hours per week it will take is manageable. Do I know how I'm going to pay for this without going into debt (or much debt?) No, not at all...short of a benefactor or Sugar Daddy. But, again, like the rest of this journey, I am trusting God to provide the money needed to fund this education. For the first time, I understand how people going on short-term mission trips have a peace even when they don't have the money. I know God will provide.
My visual for this (as I always seem to have a visual) is a field full of thickets. I enter the field carrying my sharpened machete ready to cut through the brush to get me where I'm going. One path is impossible to cut through. No matter how much I continue to whack away, the thickets remain. This is the path to my writing/public speaking dream. I move to another part of the field and begin to hack away at the brush. With each step, the thickets begin to clear, making the pathway obvious and safe. This is the path to my MBA. It doesn't mean that some day the path to my other dreams - writing, public speaking, even marriage - won't be made clear. But for now, I know this is the path where God is directing.
So the journey begins. I'm in the process of gathering all the needed documents for admissions and prepping for my GMAT on May 25. If all goes well and I'm accepted, I'll begin classes in July. I began the new year emphatically claiming "It's Yours, Lord" and I continue to proclaim it.