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Discerning God’s will for my life has confused me since I was a teenager. I committed my life to Christ during those years, but whenever someone would talk about God’s will I was always baffled. There were so many choices out there – how would I ever know what God wanted for me?

I was pretty sure God didn’t do a lot of skywriting and no one I knew had found a wet fleece on their threshing floor (Judges 6). I wanted an email with the details of God’s plans for me. I was willing, but I didn’t know which way to go.

Twenty Years Later

Twenty years later, I’m hardly an expert on God’s will, but I have learned a few things I can share:

1. I had to change and grow to be ready for some parts of God’s will. If God had told me at 18 that I would marry one of the guys I knew but wasn’t at all interested in and move overseas with him and live on a dairy farm I would have freaked out! But as I have lived life and continued to seek God’s will for me, I changed day by day. And when the time came, the things God willed for me no longer seemed so crazy – in fact, they seemed fantastic.

2. God’s will for us is that we be good, but not necessarily always happy. Some of the decisions I’ve made have been the right decisions, decisions within God’s will for me – but they haven’t always been the ones that made me happy. I spent a year doing a job I hated because I’d made a commitment. I truly believe that was God’s will and I learned a lot from the experience, but it wasn’t fun.

3. There is no end to God’s plans for you. I remember being told that God has a perfect “Plan A” for each of us. Well, what happens when we make a wrong choice? Can we get back to Plan A? Personally, I believe that God always has a plan for us. If we make the wrong turn, he instantly creates a new and perfect “Plan B.” (And I think there must be more letters in God’s alphabet – because I’m sure I’ve messed up more than 26 times!)

4. Lastly, I’ve learned that in simple terms, God’s will is that we be ready and willing for whatever might come our way. Isaiah 6:8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”” I think we would be much closer to understanding God’s will for us if we would begin each morning with these words:

“Lord, I am here. Send me whatever people or problems or difficulties or joys or opportunities that you want to today. I will put my whole heart into following your will in everything.”

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the New International Version ®.

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