POD #14: Shedding path
List out the options before you, the various career, life and relationship paths you’ve been contemplating, envisioning, mulling over or tussling with.
Are you ready to shed any of these paths, so that you can focus on another?
If not, why? Is it just not the right time yet? Are you waiting for more information or more of a gut feel? Are you doing what it will take to get you that information, even gut-level information?
What action steps might you take next to give yourself the green light to shed even one part of one path?
Does shedding paths feel scary? Does it feel unwise, or sad or permanent? Does it feel like relief? Or like a teaspoon of clarity? Does it feel exciting? Does it feel necessary?
Could shedding paths possibly even be fun?
Alternatively, if you’re not in the process of deciding what your next season of life might look like, remember back to a time when you shed one (or more) path(s) to focus on another. How’d that play out?
Shedding paths is letting go of control, while still in control. It is a step of faith into the unknown. I have shed paths many times in the past with success and growth. Sometimes in personal relationships, other times in my career, and other times it has felt like a giant leap of faith onto a completely new path in life – like the time I got married, moved to a new town and started college all within a few weeks time. Or when we relocated back to my hometown and I took a major pay cut to give to a cause that I felt passionately connected to. Each time I have taken that leap of faith onto a new path, I have seen God draw me closer to Him, and grow the fruit in my life that I needed to effectively serve Him on the next path.
Lately I have found at an impasse. To quote Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
~The Road Less Traveled
I find myself standing, wanting to know the end destination of each path before I take another step. I feel a deeper calling inside of me, and I find myself fearful to shed the paths that I am on or even move farther along the path. I am not running, but I am not pressing in either. I feel frozen, captured by the insecurity of a decision that seems so final. Yet I know, that even if I take a step it is not permanent. I know if I move onto a new path and it is the wrong step, God can bring me back to the right path.
Even as I resist moving, God’s grace covers me. I want His will, but I am so afraid to move. I know He will go with me wherever I go. Yet, I am afraid of rejection, afraid of failure, afraid of missing the mark. I know that the fear is rooted in pride. God does not reject me, He gave me the vision for my dreams. With God, all things are possible – I can not fail. My footsteps have been ordered by the Lord, so I will not miss the mark.
God has blessed me with many gifts, and He has uniquely placed me in the experiences that have shaped my life for a reason. He has given me a bold personality, yet I have allowed myself to be silenced by hurts and wrongs. Man cannot take the gifts that God has placed inside of me. The only one who can stop me from using those gifts, is me.
I have allowed the path I am walking to be stalled by insecurities. I have allowed the false opinions of others to override the truth of who I am in Christ. Those insecurities keep me from healing, and keep me tied to the path that I am currently walking. I have failed to take into account that my identity wasn’t given by those who hurt me and wronged me. My identity was given by God, I have to let go of the pride and cling to my God-given identity and the conviction that nothing anyone else says can take it away.
There is a dream that lives inside of me that wraps up all my passions, gifts, talents abilities, and knowledge and places them at the feet of Christ. It was birthed almost two decades ago, and has grown more specific over the years. While I walk on a small path of the dream, I feel a tugging that it is about time to expand the options in that path and walk more purposefully on it. I don’t feel like the path that I am on that is wrong, but that I am headed into a broadening of the path.
Briefly I had a vision of a path that would open up more time to focus on the path to my dreams. I don’t feel the release to change paths, but I saw a time when I might shed the path I am on to make room for the bigger dream path. Three very specific events open the doors for me to move onto the broader path, two are time sensitive, the other is God’s timing. I know the He will open the doors when the time is right, He always does.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.