I was a strong-willed child. I won’t go so far as to say that I always got my way, but I won’t deny that I fought for it- sometimes vehemently. I’m sure this made me look like a brat, but if you really stop to consider it, I just always knew what I wanted. For example, I decided when I was in the third grade that I was going to be an architect. I designed and had a house built while I was still in high school, took first place in a few design competitions and more than half of my education was paid for by firms that claimed that they’d like to employ me after I’d earned my degree. My desire to design buildings didn’t change until I was twenty, when God told me He had other plans for my life. If I’m honest, that too was a battle, the height of which took place during a teary drive to the middle of nowhere late one night, while I berated the Almighty for screwing everything up.
Something happened that night that I’m still recoiling from. I learned to second-guess myself. Never before had I really been forced to question my desires or intentions. But until then, no other person’s opinion mattered to me as much as my own. Yes, I have a strong propensity toward egocentrism. I’m convinced that it’s genetic and refuse to take full blame for the situation. My realization of this doubt, implanted by God Himself was actually one of the more terrifying experiences in my life.
Fast-forward several years and we find me trying to figure out whether or not I should leave the church I’d been at since I was twenty. Most good Christians would (maybe justifiably) roll their eyes at a situation like that and would likely suggest that I pray about it. Which I did. I asked, and I begged God to let me know what to do. It took me nearly two years to feel as though He’d finally slapped my rear and told me to move along. That’s a long time to wrestle with an important question.
So, when I started looking for other churches, it was easy to rule some out, based on doctrine or practices that I strongly opposed. But when I started to find a few congregations that I thought I might be able to plant myself in and grow, making the decision became difficult. You see, my own opinion still isn’t the most important. There were three places that I’d spent a considerable amount of time at, and all had their merits. Interestingly enough, each was very different from each other, too. But there I was again, feeling as though I’d lost my decision-making power which had left me feeling a little more than commitment-phobic. What if the one I chose turned out to have massive problems and I hadn’t noticed any of them yet? What if the other had more cute, single girls? An endless list of potentials plagued my mind, so what was there left to do but pray? Of course, the last time I had asked about something so important, it took a couple of years to get a solid answer. Fortunately, this time wasn’t so bad.