Have you ever noticed it’s easier to see someone else’s solution than your own? Giving advice is often easier than living by our own.
Recently I received a call from a young woman I know asking for prayer and sound advice. Her first words where, “I just feel stuck.” It didn’t take long for her to spill out her frustration about the season of life she was in. As a single woman in a career that requires extensive travel she was feeling increasingly alone and hopeless. Add to that her frustration of trying to start a new ministry for under privileged girls despite her demanding schedule. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation she said, “I feel like I’ve made wrong choices that are taking me away from what God wants me to do in life and it makes me wonder if my dream for ministry will ever happen.” In a nutshell she felt trapped in a job that was isolating her and keeping her from her dream. Finally she summed up her predicament with these sobering words, “I guess I just have to keep doing what I hate, so that one day I’ll get to do what I want.”
When she finished talking I said, “You’re not stuck, you have a perspective problem.” What seemed obvious to me, she couldn’t see. Before I prayed for her I gave her the following 3 observations:
- Don’t underestimate God’s ability to put you on the right path if you’re headed in the wrong direction. I asked my friend to consider Jonah. He wrongly chose the opposite route of where God wanted him to go. Yet God enlisted a whale to swallow him – then spit him out three days later on the beach he was supposed to be. Don’t you think he could redirect you if you weren’t where He wanted you to be?
If God hasn’t created a set of circumstances to move you in another direction, you are likely in the place He wants for now.
- God’s not keeping you from your dream… He’s preparing you for your dream. What my young friend didn’t realize was that I had been taking notes while she talked; something I often do so I could pray for specific needs. I jotted down both her dreams for ministry as well as her key frustrations points. In doing so I soon recognized a pattern that she had not seen. Her frustration points mirrored those of the girls she felt called to minister to.
We have to learn the lessons ourself before we can help others navigate them
- Stop hating your season and start embracing it. My friend felt trapped by her need of a paycheck and couldn’t see any advantage in the position God had her. I encouraged her to change the way she looked at what she hated most… time alone in hotel rooms. Instead of seeing it as isolation, look at it as an opportunity to be alone with God.
It’s often our greatest point of frustration that holds the most blessing for us if we can change the way we see it and look at it from God’s perspective.
As the words of advice came out of my mouth I was convicted about the areas in my own life where I feel stuck and haven’t seen my situation from God’s perspective. I too have underestimated God’s ability to move me and have often wondered if the dreams He has given me will ever come true.
In the days following the conversation with my friend I have taken a closer look at my key frustration points and I have concluded I too have a perspective problem. My friend had called for prayer and sound advice, in the midst of helping her see, my own eyes were opened. Sometimes we need a friend to help us see.
Have you experienced a time of helping someone else see clearly and in the process had your own eyes opened? If so tell me about it in the comments below.