I think sometimes we desperately want others to understand our life-decisions and we want to explain our side of the story and make sure others understand why we are set on these dreams: and we feel that even if they really believed in us, they are still looking down on us somehow and that maybe fate or God or the universe will catch up to our subpar choices and pay us back.
I wish others could see we are conflicted, that certain decisions are not easy, that nothing is as ideal as we hope, that we don’t always know if this is right or wrong, that we often decide what we feel is best at the time and that we really are trying our hardest while trying to make everyone happy. But there is no pleasing everyone, and probably not even fully ourselves, and some decisions are bound to make others angry.
We are bound to accrue enemies over a lifetime for the decisions we make — and we can’t control that. We can only control how we respond.
It does not help our case to be rude to our “enemies.” But it also does not help to constantly apologize for our life-choices and act sorry about the path we chose when it’s already so hard to figure out our one life on this earth.
I’m trying to find the balance between recognizing the truth of others’ criticisms and the conviction of my own judgment.
I want to know that I’m not picking the opposite of something to prove to someone else that I’m doing the right thing.
I’m tired of anxiously twitching every time I invest my heart into something you don’t approve.
I know everyone else has a vision for my life, and if I’m making a mistake, maybe I want the chance to find out on my own.
I would hope you could cheer on my dream, no matter how silly it sounds or how you’ve made up your mind or how you think you’d do it differently. You might despise writing or dancing or music or ministry or charity or the arts — but that could be resentment for something you didn’t even try to understand.
I want a fair chance to pursue my passions without extra discouragement and distraction and division: because you are making a hard thing even harder.
Maybe you can encourage my already difficult decision.
Maybe you can extend a hand instead of shaking a fist.
Maybe you could explain exactly why you think this is a bad idea, or tell me a better one.
Maybe you could ask me all the facts instead of presuming your version of the narrative of my life.
Probably you’re just jealous or insecure or being petty or you have an agenda for holding me back.
Maybe you just don’t know how much I’ve really thought about this. I have certainly thought about it more than you ever, ever, ever will.
Maybe you think my dream is stupid or wrong or misguided: but maybe I feel just as stupid, wrong, and misguided — and following dreams is always more complicated than our easy labels.
Probably you think you know what’s better for me, when even I don’t know what’s better for me, when I’m doing this because I believe God Himself has called me to it.
It’s okay if I fail. I would rather fail at what I love than succeed at what I don’t.
You can either be the voice that fuels my self-doubt and fear, and I’ll have to overcome you, or you can be the voice that grows a deeper thoughtfulness about my own direction and creates forward momentum, and I’ll thank you later.
I need you to be life for me.
It’s okay if you don’t agree. It’s okay if you’re mad at me. But time is short and there are a million voices pulling me every which way — so amidst the confusion: inspire me, challenge me, breathe in me. Whatever I choose, please be life.
20 thoughts on “Choices, Decisions, Passion, Life”
I for one speak life to you and FREEDOM! I so get this post. Sometimes we just have to pursue God the way we feel led and we will realize we are on an adventure with Him that not many will seek. It may be lonely out there on the limb, but if you look down, you will see His hands as a safety net, but cheering you on to hold on. Some of us, I am learning, are called up to a higher place than others, and that is ok. It is what we need to do to accomplish the plans and purposes He has for us personally. You are free to be totally you! I am definitely in your corner!
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Hey you said some great things. Write a post on that! 🙂
The judgement that I live under most often is the judgement of others or of myself. It is a judgement which leads to shame, guilt, and oppression. This is why I cling to the Lord I think…for a judgement which leads to freedom and peace.
Same here. I tend to be hard on myself. I have to remember to extend a little grace towards me too, and it’s not selfish to do that.
It’s lonely at the top. I’ve learned to consider everyone’s input, but then to imagine an invisible column of spirit linking me straight up to God’s presence. Usually his quiet clear voice of direction comes to me through my conscience and I know what I should do. Then I ask for help in implementing this tactfully, explaining to others only that it is what I think God wants me to do. We are all given the right of choice in life. They may not like it but how can they argue then? Thanks for being so open. I enjoy your blog a lot!
That’s a great word-picture. I get easily confused by the multitude of voices, and I see so many others confused the same way. Discernment is so tough, but as you said, it’s our choice to discern.
Hey , I know exactly what you are going through. I have decided to withdraw from my ‘old ‘ life in my pursuit in finding what I want out of life. Some people don’t understand and take it personally. I find it difficult to deal with as I don’t feel i should have to explain and I don’t think I should be made to feel guilty for it. I am not hurting anyone am I? I think if you want something you got to go for it, like most successful people they become successful by doing stuff other’s wont do…. Keep going 🙂
Yes. I do think we should listen to others’ wisdom and it’s always good to have an explanation for why we do things; I didn’t mean at all to come off as triumphalist like we should never listen to anyone. But giving equal weight to all opinions can kill us just as quickly. Life is short; dreams are even shorter.
I love this!. “I would rather fail at what I love than succeed at what I don’t.” This is very similar to the post I wrote last week! http://jesse-walters.com/fear-just-slows-us-down/#more-176
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Thanks Jesse! I heard a similar quote from Jim Carrey in his recent commencement speech, who I’m sure heard it from somewhere else too!
“…when I’m doing this because I believe God Himself has called me to it.”
Then you will not fail!
And you don’t need anyone’s “approval” but His.
FWIW…God has ministered to me directly through you and the words He has given you to pen in your blog…and not just me but others I have shared this with.
Sometimes when it’s an online relationship and we don’t have the benefit of “seeing” what takes place we don’t get the feedback of encouragement. God knows your heart and as long as you “believe God Himself has called” you, you’ll have more cheerleaders than you can imagine…of which I am but one.
Keep up the good fight, Bro!
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What is your dream?
I want to pray for you!
Such powerful words that so many need to hear and still others need to say. Thanks J.S. for all you do.
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Christ in you, as you, with your dreams and passions. That’s what He intended, and we thrive the most when we follow Him, no matter what the circumstances are around us. Keep following Him!!
I feel like you came into my mind, body and soul and formed all the words i had trouble forming myself. I truly love this! It’s 100% relatable, and that’s quite rare for me. You are truly talented.
Impressive and inspirational 🙂