Sharing glimpses of my journey through life as I endeavor to Fully Rely On God for Peace

Journey On

One of the most challenging times in life can come when, either anticipated or not, you find yourself standing at the proverbial crossroad to the path on which you are walking. It can come unexpectedly when you experience the loss of a job, a death of a family member, or receive an unfavorable medical diagnosis. It can be completely anticipated and the end result of a lot of hard work and meeting your goals such as high school or college graduation, achieving a promotion at work, or entering into retirement. Sometimes you find yourself standing at a crossroad simply because of the progression of life as in entering adulthood, approaching “middle-age”, or living out the golden years. All of life’s crossroads bring with them a unique set of challenges, stressors and emotions and choosing amongst the paths set before you can seem like an overwhelming task.     

So, when standing at a crossroad, how do you keep yourself from getting stuck and giving in to the temptation to plop yourself down in the middle of the road and stop the journey altogether? Here are just a few things that have helped me in my life to move past or to choose a crossroad in order to journey on:

Journey To the Peak

Acknowledgment

Sometimes acknowledgment of where you are in life can be the first step toward getting unstuck. Call a friend, talk to your spouse, write in a journal, blog about it. Whatever it takes to get the reality of your situation “out there” in the open where you can look at it honestly. Are you excited for the change, afraid of failure, feeling a sense of loss? Share your thoughts and feelings and begin asking questions. Simple acknowledgment can go a long way in helping you sift through the facts about your situation and keeping you in the present where you can make accurate judgments and decisions about your circumstances.

Assessment

Ask yourself what your options truly are. Write them down or discuss them with a trusted friend. A lot of time and effort can be saved by taking an accurate assessment of your options in moving forward rather than daydreaming about the “if only’s” or lamenting the past. By the same token, a lot of time and effort can be wasted if you are spending all your time looking at options that aren’t a reality for your situation.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Take an honest look at each of your options and make a list, literally, of each of the pros and cons relating to those options. Again, you might find it helpful to talk to family, friends, or co-workers through this process, but remember that the pros and cons of any given choice can be extremely different for each individual. Ultimately, the path you take is yours so consider them in light of your personality, skill set, preferences, and support network. This process can go beyond the obvious of uncovering the benefits and disadvantages of each of your options. It also is a very enlightening process that helps you discover where your passions, values, strengths and weaknesses, and individual talents lie.

Seek Advice

Ask, ask, and ask again. This may sound simple, but if you’re anything like me, pride can often get in the way of admitting when you need help or seeking advice from others. However, hearing from those who can say, “Been there, done that”, is invaluable. This can be as simple as having a conversation with a co-worker or spiritual mentor or getting online and doing a bit of research. Of utmost significance in this process is, of course, the element of trust. Ask yourself, do I trust the words, experience and wisdom of the person or source? And, don’t be afraid to filter as you deem necessary. Even the best advice from those who have experienced what you are going through, may just not apply to you. That’s okay, take what works, and leave the rest.

Take the First Step

Ultimately, a choice will be made regarding the path you wish to pursue. However, if you stop at simply choosing a path, and never step foot on it, you might as well join the other undecideds and plop down in the road alongside them. All the acknowledgment, assessment, weighing pros and cons and seeking advice … even making a decision about where you want to go …is futile unless you take that first step on your chosen path and begin to journey on. Everything leading up to making a choice can seem like a cakewalk compared to actually taking action. Remember, however, that life’s sweetest moments, excitement, rewards, and joys are never found by sitting in the middle of the road, but rather in the journey itself.

Remember You’re Not Alone.

More than likely, you are surrounded by people who love and care about you and your well being. It can be tempting to isolate from your support and/or social networks, especially amidst the challenges of change. Don’t do it! Use those networks, no matter how big or small, for support, feedback, continued advice and/or accountability. Connection with your friends, family, spiritual mentors, co-workers, and even online communities as you face and make changes in your life will not only help you realize there are others who have gone through similar challenges, but might also serve as the encouragement and stress relief you need to keep on keeping on.

Let Go and Let God

The foundation underlying all of the above, is my fundamental belief that God is in control, He knows whatever it is you’re facing, and He “will never leave you nor forsake you”. Jeremiah 29:9 states,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

It is because of this, you can rest with peace in the knowledge that you don’t have to make the perfect decisions at the perfect time in the perfect way to move forward. Simply “do your best and leave God the rest.” Becoming consumed with doubt about the direction you’ve chosen can keep you from experiencing all of the blessings to be found along the way. So, once you’ve chosen a path and have started walking, look forward, not back and leave the outcomes in God’s hands … and journey on!

One Response | Add your Own

  • 1 Paul yazmış:

    Awesome blog…and so very appropriate for today's environment with so many facing crossroads that require decisions. Thank you my dear for writing this heartfelt message for so many to read and glean from :).

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