…so you may as well do what seems best for you.
And, ideally, what you consider best for you aligns with God’s plan for you. Only… it’s often rather difficult to know with utter certainty what that plan entails. I believe that, to an extent, God will guide you and use your gifts no matter which path you choose in life, no matter which choice you make. But, in some instances, because of your choice, your plan may pan out differently, though the result is the same. In that respect, a choice may not seem like it really matters in the long run, but it does. It so does. Even if only a little. Because with so many alternatives, there is likely one (or two) that proves greater than the rest. Even if only a little.
This is what I have been telling myself for the past couple weeks as I come to face one of those infamous (somewhat) life-changing decisions. Er, make that two (somewhat) life-changing decisions.
The first, you may already have an idea of, if you frequent my blog regularly. In my path to solidifying my faith, becoming more comfortable with and certain of my beliefs, I have joined several bible study groups. And each has been great and challenging in different ways. But one of them has proved especially challenging in a way that I don’t think it should be–I’m not really solidifying my faith with this group, not becoming more certain with my beliefs. In fact, attending sessions usually reminds me just how new I am to my faith. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and while, ultimately pursuing a relationship with God isn’t solely about me, I believe one of my goals in a small group should be to better understand Him, to grow closer to Him. And I’m not sure I’m achieving this with this group.
But on the other hand, the people are so, so kind and welcoming. I really see a potential group of fellow believers, of people to “do life with” with whom I could connect through our prioritization of faith in this group. And I learn a lot. So, so much. About other religions. About differing perspectives. About the diverse backgrounds from which everyone in the group originates. It’s groundbreaking and enlightening! But right now… I don’t know if these are enough of reasons to stay.
Ideally, I’d love to return to this group (should I choose to leave), but I think, at the very least I may need to take a break for awhile. Figure out what I need to figure out. And return later. But… I just don’t know. How do you really know? What God has in His plans for you? What’s right? What’s a mistake? Am I being too selfish if I choose to leave? Not accepting enough of others? That’s what makes this decision so difficult; not knowing what’s in store, and knowing with some certainty what I’m leaving behind. Plus, one of my really good friends, who referred me to this group, is in the group, and my anxious self would fear I’d indirectly hurt them by leaving. And I don’t want to do that. I hate the idea of hurting others–especially when unconsciously done (though here it would be consciously done…). Which leads me to my other “life-changing” decision…
To leave or not to leave? One of my jobs (technically internships, but I use the terms interchangeably at this age) has given me the freedom to decide if I’d like to continue serving at their organization for another few months (until I graduate this coming May) or if I’d like to spend that time fitting another, different internship experience under my belt.
Before the choice was left up to me, I would have, without a doubt, preferred to stay on. The job is diverse (I’ve really learned so, so much in the time I’ve been a part of the organization), flexible (especially in regards to a student’s crazy schedule), and, in all honesty, convenient (hey, I still need the internship credit…). Plus, I love love LOVE the work environment; everyone is so comfortable and familial with one another, the group truly is like one, big family. That’s a strong value in the workplace for me, especially if I am to be genuinely happy in my work (you know, aside from enjoying the work I do).
But now that I’ve been reminded of the potential opportunity to open myself up to new experiences, I… I’m not so sure anymore. As much as I have undoubtedly cherished my time in this position, I recognize I have grown comfortable. Perhaps, too comfortable. You know that’s pretty comfortable if even I acknowledge it (and you know I adore being comfortable–yes, I realize I’ve said the word a good four times now…). I wonder if I need to really challenge myself in the workplace, to open myself to new experiences while I have the time and the opportunity. While I can still (kind of) make mistakes on the job and not get completely reprimanded for them. While I continue to figure out what I want to do specifically in my job or what I may be open to in the future. I need to push myself, I know that.
But, again, there are people involved. People I really care about and love. I’ve made great connections in this job (something that doesn’t always come easy for an introvert with SAD), and a small part of me fears I’d damage those upon leaving. Unconsciously hurt others, lose my friendships. In an ideal world, that wouldn’t happen. But I’ve suffered through two decades worth of lost friendships with people I guess God thought only necessary to keep in my life for a little while. Usually lost due to changing interests or distance or just plain lack of communication. That shouldn’t be difficult for a student of communication studies, but… friendships (all relationships, really) are a two-way street in that regard. One person can’t be giving everything all the time. But that’s usually what happens, and I’m afraid the pattern would continue with my friends from this job should I decide to leave. There goes that unconscious hurt again…
Sigh… it all comes down to people doesn’t it? The decisions really shouldn’t be so much about others in this case, but I can’t stop thinking about the influence my choices could have on the people in my life. Gah, you can’t please everyone, I know. But, what if pleasing yourself is partially dependent on pleasing others? How does that work?
Alright, I’ve got some decisions to make–with God’s guidance.
Here we go.