When You Feel God Tugging Your Heart in a New Direction

A New Direction

God’s hand is at work. Always. And often behind the scenes.

So often I doubt God’s ability to work out His will in my life. I doubt my ability to hear Him.

I was doing that this morning. Telling God once again that the dreams on my heart are impossible and we might as well give up on them now.

Trust Me…” He whispered.

I admittedly rolled my eyes and rolled over, trying to find a comfortable position after lying in bed the last three days sick with the flu. Unable to sleep and tired of reading, but not quite up for grading the stack of papers I brought home from work, I put on a movie, one I’d seen a few times before, but for some reason stuck out to me at that moment.

I knew the story line. I knew how all the problems were resolved. But the tears still flowed during the last twenty minutes of the film, because God was using that story to remind me of a truth I seem to keep forgetting: God is always at work behind the scenes, working out the conflict, putting the pieces where they need to be right when He needs them.

We may look and see nothing but impossible mountains and think that there is no way that this is going to work out at all; but God knows.

I was overwhelmed by the fact that, despite my doubts, I felt God assuring me that everything would work. Just like He said.

It’s hard not to doubt Him, especially with my dreams. A few years ago I realized that I have three big life dreams: to teach, to get married, and to write. And I believe all of those dreams are connected somehow, though I don’t see it right now–at least not the marriage part.

But I can tell you about the writing and teaching dreams. Because things are about to take a new direction.

Since I was young I was convinced that I’d become a teacher. I was one of those rare high school graduates who knew exactly what major I was going for and didn’t change it once. For almost two years now I’ve taught Language Arts in a middle school classroom. God gave me this job my first year out of college and I struggled through the experiences and extreme growth every first year teacher has to endure; and this year I started falling into a rhythm.

Yet, something felt off. I’d decided last spring that I was committed to this school year, but after that…I was wondering if teaching in a classroom was really what I was made for. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.

My heart felt tugged in other directions.

Could it be possible I was wrong about what I was called to do?

I’ve pondered this question long and hard, this one about calling. And if I’m honest, I do believe I’m still called to teach. But perhaps I got the venue wrong. Or maybe this was just how I was meant to live out my calling in this season.

I tend to put myself in these tight little boxes that assume that if I’m called to ministry I must be a pastor or missionary, and if I’m called to teach it must be as a classroom teacher, or…well, you get the point. But God is far more creative than that.

Plus, I do believe that our vocational callings can change. God puts us where we are for a season, however long or short, and sometimes He’ll speak up and tell us it’s time to move on.

It’s that time for me.

New Direction

After two years of teaching, I won’t be returning next fall. I believe I’ve been where God wanted me. I believe I’ve grown in so many ways. But I have the opportunity to venture out in a new direction, and I want to see where this path leads.

I’ll still be teaching, but it won’t be Common Core. I’ll teach about what really lights up my heart: Jesus and His word.

Throughout this year-long process of praying and thinking about my next steps, I’ve wondered if I would go back and change my college and major choices. Would I go for a writing degree if given the opportunity? And I don’t think I would.

Don’t get me wrong; I want to keep growing in my craft, and I’m looking into local (and less expensive) avenues to pursue further learning. But I don’t regret my decisions to pursue a degree in education or to attend the university I graduated from. Those experience shaped me, more than the degree, and if I had been looking into a writing degree, I don’t think I would have ended up there.

I’m not sure how God’s going to use these experiences, but just like the realization as I watched that movie, I know He’s setting things in order.

I know He’s moving mountains and whispering faith and calming doubts.

I know He’s opening doors and parting seas and drawing me back to the times He proved Himself faithful so that I can believe Him in this too.

I don’t know what the road ahead looks like. Come August I’ll be looking for a new job, something that will give me more time to pursue my writing. But outside of that, I have no specifics. I’m along for the ride.

And isn’t that part of the fun of being a dream-chaser? Going where the wind and the Lord takes us?

Big changes lie ahead. But for now I’m enjoying the rest of this season…and getting over this flu.

Maybe your heart is feeling tugged in a new direction. Maybe dreams–ones that have long been buried or new ones that are just now springing up in your heart–are urging you to take a leap of faith and see where you land. Maybe you’re facing a new season you hadn’t planned for expected and you’re wondering where God is.

If that’s you, let me offer you a piece of wisdom that has often encouraged me on this crazy journey of new seasons and new things:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust the Lord, sweet friend.. If He says wait,  trust His timing. If He says jump, trust His leading. And if He says no, trust that He has something even better in store.

Live in His love!

Related: Yahweh, the Unnamed Hero

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