Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lessons Learned in Illinois

So something happened last week while we were driving back from Florida. Something not that surprising really--we got a little lost. You see, we weren't able to travel the same route going home because of the tornadoes that were everywhere. So, instead of driving through Missouri, we took a detour through Illinois. And, while one of us, who we'll call George (What? Who do you think I am, Sgt. Joe Friday? No one here cares about the protection of the innocent ;), was driving, W. and I were sleeping. Before I went to sleep we were traveling westbound on Interstate 74, headed for Peoria. When I woke up, however, we were traveling eastbound (well, northeast) on Interstate 55, headed for Chicago. So, we were pretty much headed in the wrong direction. After I realized we were going the wrong way, I grabbed the atlas, and we were able to navigate ourselves so we were at least headed in the right direction.

As I was looking at the atlas, it occurred to me that we had gotten off the correct road somewhere very close to a town called Normal, Illinois. (Yes, I'm serious. Look it up for yourself; it is near Bloomington. And, yes, if you know him, it shouldn't surprise you that George took a wrong turn at Normal ;) Oh, I kid. Really. I do.) And as a side note, I should tell you that I wasn't necessarily very happy to discover that we were traveling in the wrong direction, and I may not have handled the situation with as much grace as I should have. Just think attack of the flesh woman. So, for all of you who have read Having a Mary Spirit, you will agree with me that it was appropriate that we were in Towanda, Illinois, when I had my meltdown. Again, I'm serious. Towanda, Illinois really does exist. Who knew?
Anyway, I've been thinking about our wrong turn in Normal, Illinois quite a bit over the last few days. And, it occurred to me how easy it is to take a wrong turn at Normal in our lives. OK, so I can't speak for you, but I can speak for myself. I can think of more than one instance where I have taken a wrong turn at Normal. And, by that I mean that I can think of more than one time where I have gotten off the right road because it was more "normal" to go the wrong direction in life. For example, many of you know how miserable I am in my current job. But, sadly, it's my own fault I'm miserable. I didn't take the job because I was led to take the job. I took the job because I would make more money. And, I think you'll agree with me that by the world's standards, that was the "normal" decision to make.
Now, I will say that I didn't truly become a Christian until after I took my current job. And, I think that God used my desperation to draw me close to Him. But, still, I increasingly feel that I am on the wrong road, traveling in the wrong direction. I feel pretty confident that I'm not where God wants me to be. So, here are my questions, ladies. How do you know if you are where God wants you to be? And, if you aren't, how do you figure out where you are supposed to be? I realize that there is no "answer" to these questions, but I would appreciate your insights!


Kristen said...

I recently felt the same way you do. I don't know your exact work situation, but I can tell you what I learned from mine. I learned from my recent "struggle" that I needed a serious attitude check because I had lost my joy. I too was miserable, and thought it was because I took a job that was "easy" to take when I needed one (I can be an impatient person). I learned through this time in my life that God has us somewhere for a reason...maybe as a time of waiting as he's preparing the next location for us, maybe for a co-worker, or maybe it's our time to be taught something or build a little character.
A true miracle happened at my job and it is now better than ever...and I have my joy back! Praise God!
My advice is to turn it completely over to him knowing that if he wants you elsewhere he'll open the door. If your true desire is to be where he wants you, he'll put you in that very place...or keep you where you are :)
I'll be praying that he gives you a specific answer and, if he wants you somewhere else, you will know it by his direction!

Kelly said...

I don't know if anyone ever completely knows how to answer this question.
What I have always found is if I am completely at peace about my decisions with no regrets or after thoughts - and I came to my decision after praying a lot - then I normally feel like I'm in God's will.
I think when you are in His will - you will have this incredible joy that circumstances really can't change!

Julia said...

I say that I am always where God wants me to be...meaning that God is sovereign over all things, even difficult circumstances.

Romans 8:28-31 gives me this assurance:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Like Job proved, who are we to question God's decisions for us?

These are just my thoughts on the question :)

Anonymous said...

"Where did you get this brain, Igor?"
"I think it was Abby something. Abby Normal."