Victoria Laurin: When to Take a Leap of Faith

Filed under Walk with God Your Heart on Jul 29 13 by

Making decisions is hard. At least it is for me. I’ve always struggled with knowing where God wants me to be and what He wants me to be doing. What if I make the wrong choice? What if I screw everything up?

Oh, I have no trouble with the little stuff. Choosing what to wear for the day, picking an entrée from a restaurant menu, and deciding what movie to watch on a Friday night are easy for me. If I do have trouble, I simply fall on my backup plan. “Enee meenee minee mo…” It never fails.

But when it comes to bigger decisions, decisions that have a much larger impact on my life, I’m often overwhelmed by a sense of fear and dread. I obsess over the options. I obsess over the consequences. Sometimes, I can’t make a decision at all.

When it comes to bigger decisions, decisions that have a much larger impact on my life, I’m often overwhelmed by a sense of fear and dread. I obsess over the options. I obsess over the consequences. Sometimes, I can’t make a decision at all.

Here’s where everyone reading says together, “You should ask God for guidance. He’ll tell you what to do.” Trust me when I say that I have. Many times. But unlike many other Christians, I have never heard the Lord’s voice or felt Him guiding me in the right direction. Sometimes I’ve wondered if He’s even there at all.

Now before everyone gets angry and starts wagging their fingers at me, hear me out. I am in no way saying that God doesn’t lead us in the ways that we should go. He is 100% involved in the lives of His children. But for some reason, God just does not speak to me in the same way that He sometimes does with other believers. Often, He is simply silent. Let me give you an example.

When I graduated from college, I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I was very overwhelmed and didn’t know the first thing about being an adult. I had asked God repeatedly for guidance, a hint as to what direction I should go in, but He seemed to be busy with someone else’s problems, far too busy to help me with mine.

For over a year, I agonized over what to do. I stayed with my grandparents for a time. That was good, and I enjoyed the experience, but I knew it was not a permanent solution. I went back home to live with my parents and got a job working retail. That was not so good, and I knew that I wanted more for my life than folding graphic tees and dealing with workplace drama. That’s when a friend suggested teaching English in South Korea.

My first reaction was, “Oh no. I don’t think I could do that,” but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to give it a try. I loved Korean pop culture, and I knew I could make a lot of money, which I could use to start paying back my student loans.

Now here is where I have to make a confession: I struggle with depression. I’ve been struggling with it for quite some time, and I was going through a particularly low point when this happened. I knew that taking a job halfway around the world when I had so much going on inside me emotionally was a risky thing to do. But I had become desperate. I had no other option. There were no jobs in my field, and I knew if I didn’t get myself out of my parents’ house, I was never going to leave. So I decided to do it. I decided to teach English in South Korea.

There was never a moment during those many months of filling out the application, interviewing, getting a new passport, and applying for a visa, where I felt sure about my decision. God never whispered in my ear and said, “I want you to go to Korea.” I simply sat down one night, looked Him in the heart and said, “If you don’t want me to go, don’t let me go. If you want me to go, let me go.” I didn’t ask for confirmation. I didn’t ask for reassurance. I just trusted that whatever happened was what was meant to be.

The moment of realization that “I really am doing this” didn’t fully hit me until I was almost finished with the application. I had one section left. I had to choose my top three provinces of where I would like to live. I took one look at all the choices, felt that wave of fear crash over me, and knew that I was never going to be able to make a decision. I just didn’t have it in me.

About this time, I read a devotional talking about the traditional Hebrew practice of casting lots. I was struck with awe at the Hebrews confidence and trust in God. When the lots were cast, no matter the result, the Hebrews believe it was from God. I thought to myself, “They had a lot of faith.”

I wanted to have faith like the Hebrews. I also didn’t know the first thing about all the different provinces of Korea, nor was I excited about the prospect of researching them. So I decided to exercise some Hebrew style faith and cast some lots of my own. I wrote down the names of all the provinces, put them in my Audrey Hepburn hat, and pulled out three. I even videotaped it and put it on YouTube as proof. Then I sent in my application and hoped that I had made the right decision. A few months later, I was in Gyeongnam, South Korea.

I won’t lie to you and pretend that all my struggles with making decisions and hearing from God went away. It was a hard year. It was a challenging year. It was a year with its fair share of struggles and mistakes. But it was a good year. I never, not once, regretted my decision. I never, not once, wished I could go home.

Now I know that I was meant to be there. I also know that I never would have known this if I hadn’t decided to just go.

Now that it’s over, I know that I was meant to be there. Too many things came together and aligned perfectly for it to be anything other than God’s will. I also know that I never would have known this if I hadn’t decided to just go.

But let’s be clear here. I didn’t do it because I had faith. I didn’t do it because I was brave. I did it because I needed to hear God’s voice. I needed a reminder that He was really there. I needed a reminder that I mattered. I needed a reminder that He really did care.

The truth is, I will probably never ‘hear’ from God, and I will probably never ‘feel’ His guiding hand. There may always be this feeling of uncertainty when I make decisions. But I’m learning that that’s alright. I don’t have to feel His presence for Him to be there.

Just because you ask God to show you what to do—doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes, you have to leap.

And sometimes you’re going to feel like God isn’t speaking to you either: like He isn’t guiding you, like He doesn’t care about what happens to you at all. Those are the moments when you’re just going to have to make a decision and believe that He is a part of it.

Just because you ask God to show you what to do—doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes, you have to leap.

About Victoriaheadshot

The best book I’ve read lately is Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. And a book trilogy of short stories titled Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration by David and Karen Mains.

I’m secretly terrified of death and being alone. And not so secretly terrified of spiders.

One day I’d really like to publish my own children’s books.

The gutsiest thing I’ve ever done is live in South Korea for a year teaching English. And dancing in front of strangers.

I feel most in love with God when I’m re-reading my devotional journals and I see how far I’ve come and what He’s brought me through.

The number one item on my bucket list is to compete in a singing competition like The X Factor. And move back to South Korea.

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