The importance of identifying clear desires that we seek in life.
"What do you do?" I often get asked this question, even more so since I started writing. This question always makes me feel uncomfortable and for years I let it hover around me like an unwelcome cloud on a beautiful sunny day. When my kids were little and I chose not to go back to work full-time, this question, when directed to me always made me cringe. Even though I desired to stay home and raise my children and I loved doing it, I felt uneasy saying, "I'm a stay-at-home mom!"
Why??? I guess I thought it sounded less important coming out of my mouth than hearing other women say what they did. What it all boiled down to was feeling unable to name what my true desire was; being a mom. If I did nothing else, that would still have been enough for me. It's funny how we can mask something important to us for the sake of expectations we put on ourselves.
I often wonder why women, like myself, struggle with this so much. I didn't and still don't mind hearing other women proudly proclaim what they desired to be or do in life, but my insecurities interfered with letting false perceptions rule over honesty and truth. In doing so, I made unfair assumptions of what other women might be thinking or saying about me. Things like, why would I settle with staying home when I had a college degree, in 2 fields, or maybe they would view my desire to stay home and raise children as some sort of an underachievement. It's crazy how we let our minds carry on in such a ridiculous manner, like a child without guidance from what is real and what is not. Being unwilling or too scared to say what we think and feel can get in the way of naming what our true desires are.
It is not uncommon to have many desires. But sometimes it is necessary to profess what's most important at a particular time in our life and just walk away with confidence and no regrets. The desire that is still left when we take everything else away and still rests on our hearts tend to be the one that counts. Looking to God for guidance regarding our desires requires us to be still and listen. Our, God or "gut voice" as I like to call it, is like a background song we can't seem to get out of our mind. It lingers because we know it needs addressing, with truth and honesty about why it won't leave us. When we give it the attention it deserves, it provides the answers needed to name our desire and embrace it.
I was so worried about pleasing others that I never allowed myself to name what I loved and feel confident in it. The good news is that has changed, but the reality is it is still something that I have to regularly practice with new desires popping up. I've found that it isn't always a one and done application. Last year when I decided to share my most vulnerable experiences through my writing, doubts started fueling those old feelings of uncertainty and lack of conviction, even though I knew in my gut I didn't just want to write, I needed to write. For me, for Him, and for the one person that might need to hear something I might say that could comfort or help in any small way.
Yet, I found myself concerned about others opinions and what they might say about my new adventure and passion. I had to pause and pray, re-listen and learn and remind myself that my God or "gut voice" is the most important one in my life and if something doesn't feel right, I probably should listen to it and if something does feel right, I probably should listen to it!
Whether it's your next career move or personal desire, name it. Acknowledge without judgment and decide if you're being led by love or pushed by fear. Two principles to consider when naming your biggest desire today:
Led by Love is Trusting Him Over Anything Else.
Pushed By Fear is an Unspoken Uncertainty of All God Is Capable Of
Take time to figure out what it is you want for yourself and from God. You can’t expect Him to deliver if you're not even sure what your deepest desire is.