By S. Janet Gildea
For many discerners the fear of making a “wrong decision” is intense. This fear often is rooted in the belief that God has a definite plan for my life and if I don’t figure it out then I will disappoint God. Sometimes there is a corresponding belief that whatever plan God has for me is necessarily at odds with what I want. Choosing the less appealing choice, the more difficult path, is surely the sacrifice God asks of me.
Is this really how God works in our lives? Is this how a loving God relates to those who seek to know and choose God’s will? Is there just one path for my life and am I always at risk of making a wrong turn? The anguish caused by these questions can cause a paralysis of the discernment process. Back and forth, back and forth between the two good choices that are present in a genuine discernment, we can become exhausted and want to chuck the whole mess! Staying in the tension is not easy and sometimes deadlines for decisions compel us to move one way or the other. In these moments it is helpful to remember who God is for you and who God is not. God is a lover who waits patiently and plants seeds of desire in your heart so that you can recognize and respond. God is not a trickster who is trying to test you and defeat you. There is no “wrong choice” that will disappoint God.
The prophet Isaiah offers these consoling words: Truly, the LORD is waiting to be gracious to you. Truly, God shall rise to show you mercy. God will be most gracious to you when you cry out; as soon as God hears God will answer you. No longer will your Teacher hide, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher and your ears shall hear a word behind you: “This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or the left (Isaiah 30:18-20). God will be with you if you walk to the right or to the left! A willing heart is all that is needed. Trust that God is guiding your choice with love and make your decision with confidence.
As St. Elizabeth Seton said, “There can be no disappointment where the soul’s only desire and expectation is to meet God’s adored will and fulfill it.”
Source: Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati E-Voc Newsletter (click below for June issue)