Exploring God’s Path for Your Life, Part 1

Welcome to my new four-week series for this month, Exploring God’s Path for Your Life.

Have you ever wondered where you are on the path God has for your life? I’ve wondered about this in the past, and I’m still navigating the way with God’s help. The psalms have helped me learn what path God wants me to choose. For the next four weeks, we’ll look at what God tells us about life paths in the Psalms.

In the summer of 2016, I prayed fervently for God to show me the path He wanted me to take. My job had become terribly stressful. The school where I worked had grown, and I could no longer bear the heavy workload alone. The school board needed to vote on whether another secretary would be hired. Weeks passed, and they still hadn’t made a decision.

The path forward seemed so unclear. Should I look for another job while I wait, just in case? Should I wait without taking any action? I turned to the psalms daily in search of direction and peace.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me.

Tell me clearly what to do, and show me which way to turn.

Psalm 5:8 NLT

I felt like God had led me to that job. I also felt like he had called me to be a writer, but I didn’t know if it was time to make the leap. Morning and night, I pleaded with God to lead me and show me which way to turn.

 

In late summer, I finally got my answer. The board voted to hire another secretary, and I saw that as a sign to stay. God blessed me with a wonderful new friendship as I got to know the new secretary. After school began, however, I still had a nagging sense of not knowing whether I was on the path God wanted for me.

Even though my workload had been cut in half, I still felt drained and grouchy every day after work. I still felt like an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Pouring myself into my blog helped me cope. From a young age I had dreamed of being a writer, and I kept wondering, “Does God want me to pursue my dream now, or keep waiting?”

Seeking Direction in the Psalms

Again I searched the book Psalms for direction. One of my favorite psalms brought affirmation and comfort:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

One day last fall, the entire school was in the gym for an assembly. I was the only one left in the office to answer the phones. A sense of peace flooded me, which never happened otherwise at work. Everyone else in the school was in the gym, having loud and happy fun. Yet I was content in the pin-drop quiet office. That’s when I realized I was in the wrong place; schools are not quiet places to work!

I realized God had created me to be quiet, thoughtful, and reflective. He designed me that way, and I was fighting my own God-given design by staying in a busy, noisy, constantly stimulating environment.

These tools have helped me discover who God created me to be:

16 Personalities Test: This free test unlocked so many hidden truths about myself. I highly recommend it. I’m an INFJ, the rarest type. How I wish I had known that in high school, when I always felt unusual. Yet God created me that way, and calls me fearfully and wonderfully made.

Quiet: This book helped me value my introversion for the first time in my life.

The Purpose Driven Life: Rick Warren’s SHAPE model helped me understand that even my hurts are useful in service for God’s kingdom.

Spiritual Gifts Test: Another free test that helps me understand how God shapes me for service. My top gifts are knowledge, wisdom, and faith–what are yours?

When I used these tools to gain understanding of God’s masterful design, I wasn’t afraid to take the leap anymore. In May 2017 I quit my job and began a new career. Now I work full time from home as a writer and artist. I knew God created me to live the creative life, and I’m now happier than I’ve ever been.

I love the picture this psalm paints:

The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.

He delights in every detail of their lives.

Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 NLT

God was leading me along a path last year, like I led my children by the hand when they were learning to walk. He continues to direct my steps and delight in every turn of my path.

Questions for your reflection:
  • How has a personality test, or a spiritual gifts test, helped you appreciate the way God designed you?
  • When you look at God’s design for your life, does the path you’re currently walking match that design? Why or why not?
  • If you’re looking for a new path, what do these psalms teach you?

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If you liked this post, I would appreciate your shares on social media!

You can find this post linked at #tellhisstory, #coffeeforyourheart, #coffeeandconversation, #wisewomanlinkup, #sittingamongfriends, #writerwednesday, #encouragingwordwednesday, #rechargewednesday, #messymarriage, #porchstories, #livefreethursday, #heartencouragement, #chasingcommunity, #encouragingheartsandhome, #tuneinthursday, #gracemoments, #saltandlight, #graceathome, #quietlythroughthursday, #dancewithjesus, #faithnfriends, #freshmarketfriday, #graceandtruth, and #faithonfire. Visit my linkups page to find more wonderful places where I link up every week.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links.

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  • Alyson

    Hi Sarah, I can’t wait to read parts 2, 3, & 4! We have so much in common! I, too, quit a job at a school for stressful reasons. And when I took the spiritual gifts survey again (after many years) I found my #1 gift had changed to knowledge – a surprise that I wasn’t sure what to do with at the time! But God has been showing me. Thank you for reminding me about Psalm 5:8.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Alyson! My spiritual gift test last year was very similar to the one I took in high school, over 20 years ago. I’m glad they have a child test version, and I plan to have my children take it soon. Psalm 5:8 is such a blessing to me today!

  • I love taking personality and passion inventories, Sarah, and have learned so much about myself from the ones you’ve mentioned and more. They really do help provide direction for our course in life. I’m so glad you found your calling in finding about your wiring. It’s so important to feeling encouraged in what we do each day. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it encourages others to learn more about their wiring and find a better fit in their work and passions. Hugs to you, my friend!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hugs to you too, Beth!

  • This here, these words, so resonate with me, Sarah –>’I’m still navigating the way with God’s help.’ Yes, through every season, every bend in the road, all kinds of hopes and options and dreams.

    Don’t you just take great joy in knowing He’s got this all? Thy will be done …

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Linda, I do take joy in knowing that God has the path mapped out and there are no surprises for him–just for me!

  • Bettie G

    Thanks for the reminder of Psalm 37 here today, Sarah! This is so timely for me now, knowing that the path before me is still held by God, even I feel that I might stumble through it. He is so good to keep us going His way! Blessings to you!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Bettie, I love Psalm 37 and visit it often. It will probably pop up again in this series!

  • I have certainly learned a great deal over the years from personality and spiritual gifts tests. I would say that I have been blessed to use my gifting in many ways, but I believe God has new things for me to do over the next decade or so.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Donna, I know that God wants to use me in different ways now than He did before. I need to stay close to him to know how the path may change. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Liz

    Love this! Can’t wait for the rest of the series! I enjoy learning more about the way God designed me and discerning how to apply that to the life I live! #masterpiece! I’ve enjoyed seeing how my answers have changed over time on these kinds of tests, too! Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Liz, Blessings to you also! Thanks for visiting.

  • What a great idea for a series, Sarah! I’m taking time this September to let God lead me. Was just this morning reading the NLT version of Proverbs 3:5,6, which I love: Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

    I appreciate your encouragement today!

    • Sarah Geringer

      That proverb is one of my all-time favorites, Betsy. It fits right into the wisdom of the Psalms too! Thank you for stopping by–I always love seeing how God is leading you on your blog!

  • Our God is so awesome to plug us into working in His kingdom how we are specifically designed! Sounds like a great series, Sarah. Many blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Kelly–thanks for your visit today! Your recent story was so powerful, and it’s still mulling in my mind. So glad for your honesty!

  • Thanks for sharing all the tools. I’ve taken the personality test a few times. It changes (though not too much) every time. I’m clicking over to take the spiritual gifts test now.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Kelli. I hope the spiritual gifts test helped you discover something new about the path God has chosen for you!

  • Beautiful, Sarah. You’re right. Schools are NOT quiet! My daughter is an INFP artist … also rare. Understanding her personality has helped me immensely in appreciating our differences. I love your suggestions for knowing how we are wired and finding God’s plan!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Dianne! As soon as my children are old enough, I want them to take the test so I know which Myers-Briggs configuration fits them. I’m happy to know it helps you understand your daughter better…I’m an artist too, and we often get misunderstood!

  • Great thoughts to get the ball rolling, Sarah! I love how you incorporated prayer as well as personality inventories.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, Michele! I’m planning to tie in a storm theme for next week’s path post. Praying for all those in the path of the storm this weekend.

  • Hi Sarah, I’m next door to you in the FMF linkup today. I always enjoy reading your posts; this one is so good. I love the example you give of praying through your questions and uncertainties until the answer came. I know God makes us the way we are for a reason, and it can be amazing how He reveals a little more about us, TO us, bit by bit as the path unfolds. Thanks for this. And your series sounds really good, too.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Jeannie! I’m so glad you visited. Thanks for your kind words. I am getting some work done today, then I’ll hop over and visit your site! Blessings to you, friend.

  • Amy Jung

    I like your new series! Doing the hard work of questionnaires and tests has helped me greatly! In fact, it’s something I want to help others do too. Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello friend! I’m excited about the series you’re working on as well. Hopping over to read it this afternoon. Blessings to you as well!

  • I like this serioes concept, Sarah! This made me smile! I was working in a school in early 2016 too, while blogging and writing freelance still. Much as I loved the people there, God was directing me to trust Him that writing could be a real job. When I left the school, He gave me such peace and clarity- and provided a bunch of freelance work continuing still : ) So thankful that He does leads us, cares about the details, knows how He made us and why, and is faithful to us!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Wow, what similar paths we are taking, Bethany! I’m glad you’re finding steady freelance work, and I’m thankful God is giving me plenty to do now too. I have much more peace as well. Blessings to you!

  • As an introvert, I understand the challenges of working at a school. It was hard for me to come home and interact with family after dealing with students and their demands all day! I look forward to this series.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Debbie! So many of us writers are introverts, and I believe God gifts us to see things deeply and share them with the world through our words. If you haven’t read the Quiet book, I highly recommend it. Blessings on your weekend!

  • Susan

    Always encouraged when I visit here!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Susan! I love visiting your site every time too!

  • I think another great tool for discovering who God created you to be is to ask people who know you well what they see in you–what gifts, talents, passions, abilities, etc. This can provide a lot of insight!

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