How To Find Your Way When You Forget Where You Started
By Casey Wayne
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Casey's Story
I sat in my office chair feeling defeated. Nothing was working out the way I expected it to. The plan, and even the back-up plan, seemed to be failing. God did not seem to be anywhere and did not seem to care. Tears started to well up in my eyes as I asked, “God, where are you? What do you want from me?”
One of the first words I would use to describe myself is that I am a planner. At this moment, as I sat in my chair, my plans had failed. I had decided to take a detour from what I knew God had called me to. For years I had clung to the words found in scripture that say, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).
The world told me that if I got a degree, I would get my “dream job.” It told me that being an adult would allow me to be whatever I wanted to be. And it told me that getting what I wanted would make me happy.
Teaching was the plan—the calling—but it did not turn out like I expected. So I took a U-turn.
I ignored all the red flags of no longer following God’s plan and discovered that things went from bad to worse. While not having control of my life terrified me, taking this U-turn was also NOT working.
In this moment, God brought me to my knees with a grace-filled conviction: I had made it all about me.
I cried, as He reminded me of why I started teaching in the first place. I was teaching for Him, not for myself. He led me there for His purposes. In the beginning I had confidence in that. And somehow, that confidence had been lost.
“But how?” I thought.
“How could I go back to something that I did not seem to be good at?”
I’d been distracted by the struggles and hardships the job brought. In my naivete, I assumed that if it was difficult, then that must not be where God wants me. In my mind, God would give me what would make me happy. Teaching was NOT making me happy.
So I asked God, “But how can I go back? What is the plan? Can you give me a list?”
I was desperate for a specific answer. As clear as if He was in the room, I heard Him say, “Fruit of the Spirit.”
I rushed to my Bible and looked up the verse. A familiar one, but not committed to memory. As a visual person, I immediately wrote it on the dry erase board in the room. As I listed the fruit of the Spirit, I felt Him urge me to focus on these for my spiritual growth. An overwhelming peace calmed my soul. My focus had been drawn away from Him. Seeking God’s purpose and plan for my life was where I had missed the mark. But God, in His kindness, drew me back to Him.
I stared at what I’d written on the board, reviewing the list. I asked for a list, didn’t I? And here it was:
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT).
Reading over those words simultaneously gave me peace and conviction. A plan and purpose. Grace and hope for what God had for me in the future. I considered which might be my biggest weaknesses and where God might direct me for growth. Then He whispered, “You will write about this for me.” I was not sure at that moment what He meant. I could not see the whole picture. But God knew His plans, if I would allow Him to speak into my life.
I went back to teaching for three more years and completely forgot about Him telling me I would write. My perspective and heart changed, making teaching something I was doing for God’s purposes. The job turned into one I loved.
Then, without me realizing it, He opened doors and guided me one step at a time towards the purpose He told me He would fulfill years ago. He called me away from teaching to stay at home with my children, and to begin writing. As I allowed Him to speak into my future and guide my path, He grew my faith and called me to share these lessons with others. And in His timing, He reminded me about writing on the fruit of the Spirit.
God’s voice led me to finding and holding onto peace in His plan for my life. He is there ready to speak to us, if we are ready to listen. He is faithful to share His wisdom and truth for our lives.
As followers of Christ we are called to listen and trust God’s faithfulness: “Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut, and to the quarry from which you were hewn,” (Isaiah 51:1, ESV). God calls us to pursue His guidance for us to be able to grow. Our sanctification hinges on our ability to hear God’s truth and His plan for our lives. But we can only hear Him if we are seeking Him.
Friend, if you are willing to surrender your life and path for His purposes, He will guide you to the beautiful, blessed future He has for you.
Photo credit: Wix Media
The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.
Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE resource, A Listening Guide + Prayer Map, which walks you through four heart postures to help you learn to hear His voice in prayer. This guide is a tool to listen for Him differently, and capture your prayer time in a new way, helping you know Him deeper and hear Him louder.
Learn more about each posture:
1 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
2 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
3 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
4 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?
New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!
Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Casey Wayne is a wife and mother of two. She enjoys time with her family doing simple things like movie nights and cooking together. Her family lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
As a devotional writer, Casey strives to share her story with relatable honesty, showing how God is faithful throughout the big and small moments of life. She has a heart for encouraging the faith walk of other moms, praying they gain a deeper connection with our heavenly Father.