Let’s be honest– discerning is hard! How do we know of all the choices in front of us which will lead us closer to God? Which is the invitation God wants us to choose? Several years ago, I was at a crossroads in discerning my calls. The work and invitations from my past, such as youth ministry, adult faith formation, young adult ministry, no longer felt like they fit. New invitations were emerging — our growing family, writing, retreat work, and spiritual direction. In my new post at dotMagis, I share of an image that came to me one day while in prayer of the rivers of my life. Here is a piece of what this image taught me:
I turned and saw Jesus standing by me. He, too, was noticing the surroundings, appreciating the river of my life. Then he began pointing to the streams that fed into my river—the things that, at that moment of life, were my greater yeses: motherhood and family, retreats, spiritual direction, and writing. These things brought an increase of faith, hope, love, energy, and passion.
The four streams feeding the river of my life are not equal by any means. Motherhood and family hold their rightful place together as the stream that matters the most to me. I evaluate invitations to new opportunities against this primary stream. Does this invitation honor my call to marriage and motherhood in a way that supports it? Or will saying yes to it take away too much from this primary call?
Prayer that morning helped me across a threshold in understanding my greater yeses and set me on a new path of ministry work. The four streams still are checkpoints for me, ways of discerning new invitations. Does this invitation flow into the four main streams or does it not fit at all? The streams help me refine and clarify my understanding of what God is inviting me to today.
What about you? What are the streams of your life that might help you discern?