Do you ever wonder what the “perfect will of God” is for your life…and how the heck you’re supposed to stay in it without knowing exactly what it is? And what if you take a leap of faith and somehow get out of His will without realizing and completely miss where He was trying to take you?
I don’t know if the thought ever crosses your mind, but it was a worry for me. So to avoid any possibility of getting off my intended path, I decided to only do things when I got an absolute “yes” from God. No uncertainty or faith required. If I felt the go-ahead from Him, then I knew He would be with me in whatever I was doing. If I heard nothing, I would stay on the shore and just dream about all of those “what if’s” out there in the deep unknown. But I recently had a situation (more like a failure) with a close friend that taught me to trust His presence in my life without the absolute “yes” I’m always looking for.
It started when the babysitter she used for her baby boy quit without much warning, only giving her until the end of the week to find another option. My friend had a daycare in mind that she was able to send him to, but they wouldn’t have an opening for another month. I instantly felt that tug on my heart: I could help her out until she can get him into the daycare. After talking to my husband and realizing he felt the same tug, we told her I would gladly watch him for the month.
After a couple weeks in, I realized how much she loved him being in our home and how hesitant she was about taking him to a daycare. She knew that he was loved by not only me and my husband but our kids, too. Of course, she wasn’t asking for it to become a permanent deal, but still, I wondered if I should offer to keep him for her.
I mentioned it to my husband, and of course, he was all for it! They paid me well, which meant extra income for us, and if I could continue to help a friend…why not? So I brought it up to her. She was excited about our offer, but like me, thought we should wait on a “yes” from God.
Both of us prayed, but didn’t hear much. We waited for that sure feeling in our hearts but didn’t feel it. We didn’t hear a no either, though.
And we had our doubts. How would this affect our friendship? What strains would come from making this permanent? If she took him off the list for the daycare, there was a good chance he wouldn’t get back in until he was two years old. Could we handle watching him for the next year and a half? What if there were other factors that would make matters harder, but we just weren’t seeing them yet?
The Leap of Faith
The next Sunday morning, we asked for the input of some of our church family. They prayed with us, and afterward, it seemed that the general consensus was that we should go ahead. It would strengthen our friendship and be good for her baby boy.
Without either of us hearing that 100% “yes,” we leaped. She and her husband took him off the daycare’s list, and we made our home his permanent daycare.
It went great for almost two months.
The Plot Twist
We found out I’m pregnant with baby #4.
I’m a little ashamed to admit what a terrible mindset I allowed myself to have, but…
Panic set in.
It was one thing to have four kids at home, but FIVE (one of which would be a newborn) seemed like Mount Everest looming before me. An impossible feat.
How was I going to do this? I would be up all night with feedings and then have to get up by 6 am to get myself and the house ready before my friend’s son would arrive. I was going to die of exhaustion. Was I insane? Why did I ever offer this? Why did I think this would be a good idea? How would five car seats fit into our van if we needed to go somewhere? How would I pick up my son from school with so many babies in tow?
Now I was either going to completely fail with all the kids OR I was going to lose a friend by quitting on her when it was going to be nearly impossible for her to get her son back into daycare. And it can be hard to make good mom friends, am I right??
God saw this coming, and He said nothing!
Now I was mad…
I specifically asked Him. I BEGGED for an answer. And I heard NOTHING. Nothing! The closest we got was the support of our church family. I would have listened if He said no. But instead, He allowed me to make this mistake. (As if mistakes are the worst things in the entire world!)
When I brought up the pregnancy to my friend, of course she was excited for us. Then I could see the panic set into her eyes too.
“But what about…?” I’m someone who doesn’t deal well with disappointing people. “Uh, I should still be able to do it. I’ll be okay. I know we promised we’d stick with it until he was two.”
So that was it. I would push any worries aside and muster the strength for my friend. After all, I can do all things…through that Guy I’m mad at, right?
But I didn’t let go of the worries. I just suppressed them. They wore me down day after day for the following weeks. I already so often feel that I’m failing as a mom. How am I going to do this now? How do I divide my attention FIVE ways? I can’t let the care of my friend’s son start to slide…How am I going to keep our friendship in tact? It’s one thing to make mistakes with my own kids, but with hers too?
Obviously, I wasn’t being faith-filled woman of the year. Clearly, I wasn’t putting my trust where it needed to be. What a terrible attitude! But I’m just being honest with you. That’s how I felt, and I was having a hard time letting it go.
Then the text came. Something had come up, and my friend needed to come to our house during her lunch break to talk to us about it. Oh great, did I do something wrong? I had some major stinkin’ thinkin’ going on. I was so anxious until she got there that I could barely keep my mind straight.
Finally the knock came at the front door, and I saw my good friend already with tears in her eyes.
“I’m so sorry. I have to be the bad guy…” Oh no, I really did do something wrong.
“This will be his last week here. After we found out about the pregnancy and talked, we decided we should try to see if there was any way to get him back into that daycare. I just got a phone call from them. A spot opened up now. If we turn it down, another one might not open up.”
She was in so much agony thinking she had somehow wronged me, when in reality my body was flooded with warmth and peace. She had just helped God illustrate to me a principle that I really needed to understand:
I had felt abandoned and left to my own devices, but He had already orchestrated a plan. One that would teach me I won’t always get that absolute “yes.” Sometimes, I just have to follow what’s in my heart (after all, He’s the one who puts those desires there), and leap. He’s in it regardless because He’s in me. Even when I make the wrong decision, I never surprise Him. When pleasing Him is what’s in my heart, why would He let me fall into ruin? He won’t.
Even though I was angry with Him for a short time, what I actually got from the experience was MORE trust in Him than I had before. No matter what, I’m in the palm of His hand.
A vision came into my mind. I was a little girl, my hand cradled in a much bigger, stronger one. My Daddy was holding my hand as I was leaping across an expanse. That’s what I was usually looking for, that assurance of a strong hand holding onto mine. But then the hand slipped away. I didn’t want to feel like I was doing it alone. If I leaped without that assurance, I could fall. But now I understood that even if I fell without the assurance of that “yes,” He would always be the safety net down below me. Never in a million years would He let me down.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly not a bad thing to want God’s input on a situation before going forward. We should definitely stay aware of any warnings or “no’s” that we may hear. But we shouldn’t let the absence of an absolute “yes” stop us from ever trying.
In the time that we had my friend’s sweet boy, I got extra cuddles, and my youngest daughter got a new best friend (and some experience with a baby younger than her before our next little arrives). I don’t doubt for a minute that we were supposed to have him for the time we did. We would have missed out on that if we didn’t leap.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psalms 9:10 (NKJV)
Until next time,
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