Guidance: Figure It Out

People keep telling me the same thing. “You’ve got it all figured out – and you’re so young!”

Disclaimer: I don’t.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s wildly comforting, assuring, and flattering to have this consistently thrown at me. I am proud of myself, and I am extremely and eternally grateful for the opportunities and support system that have allowed me to be in this position at, yes, an admittedly young age.

But, again. I don’t have “it all figured out.” I couldn’t possibly, because I’m only human. Even the oldest and wisest of us will never, truly have “it all figured out.”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of guidance. I definitely have some aspects of my life that could use “figuring out” – as does everyone. And some of these things are minor, and have pretty obvious solutions: my knee will be healed by listening to the doctors’ instructions, taking the medicine they give me, and doing the physical therapy they recommend. The doctors are guiding me in that respect. I’ve got direction.

But some things, particularly those inward-focused parts of life, don’t have such clear instructions. They’re a bit more muddled, and extremely emotional.

How do we find guidance through that?

This is where many of my friends and a few of my family members might expect me to get, as I call it, preachy. And, yes, that is my obvious – and chosen – answer. I’ve been repeating Jeremiah 29:11 over and over and over again in my brain, and telling myself that God has a plan, and when He is ready for me to take control of it, He will let me know.

But that’s just me.

And, to be honest, sometimes I struggle with relinquishing that control.

I keep feeling like there has to be something else that I could do, like this waiting game isn’t necessarily because there’s a sign I’m supposed to be on the lookout for, but because there already were a few that I may have missed.

I keep wondering what it would be like if I didn’t have the assurance and faith that I have. Well, actually, that’s not true. I know what it would be like. I spent a large chunk of my life realizing what that lack of faith brings me: it also brings me lack of control.

You see, when I don’t give in to my faith and trust God to be in control of the things I can’t control myself, I get a little crazy. I try to keep everything in my grasp and inevitably, things slip. And when they do, I freak out. I didn’t have the best coping mechanisms in high school, and while that’s hardly something I’m going to delve into here and now, it’s something I have come to accept as a life lesson.

As a result of the high school struggles, I’ve given up trying to control everything, because it never works and is, ultimately, not my job. And even if you aren’t a Christian like me, I think this same message is always resounding. I think the entire world has been built to show us that we, as humans, simply cannot control everything. It’s not in our nature, and we need to stop trying so hard to force it to be.

All we can really do, then, is find guidance. Whether that is in the church, or in your best friend, or in a book you’re reading, or in the melodies of your favorite song, or in the wholeness of meditation – whatever it is, find guidance. We’re always looking for it, I’ve realized. It’s inherently part of being the social beings that we are.

Sometimes, whatever the guidance is, may not be the best or happiest advice. Sometimes, the direction that you find you are led is dark and unclear and potentially a bit stormy. But that is, ultimately, okay. And in some cases, that’s even the point. It goes back to that whole idea of “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Sometimes, the guiding light in our lives is just trying to strengthen us, and sometimes, though scary, we have to let them.

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