This title might raise some eyebrows because hey, we Christians are all about trusting God, aren’t we? Trusting your gut somehow translates to ‘trust your flesh’ or ‘trust your heart’, which are not the most reliable of sources. I agree with that, but probably all we’re seeing is just one side of the box.
How often have we heard the words ‘Christ in me’ or ‘Christ and I are one’? Or remember the famous affirmations of Jesus in His prayer in John 17 ‘I in them [the believers] and You [the Father] in Me [Jesus]’. There is no separation. One of my favourite quotes from a monk from the Desert Father tradition is ‘God does not know how to be absent’. So what’s lacking? Shouldn’t our lives be the perfect image of what Jesus died for to create? Shouldn’t we be making more right than wrong in this world? Shouldn’t we be living with complete faith in who He says we are and where He tells us to go?
What’s lacking? My guess is our awareness of this union; our awareness of His ever-present Being, His unending love. Awareness of how a perfect Creator can only create a perfect creation. A whole debate on perfection can rise from this statement, but I’m not here to debate. I’m here to instill some wonder. How can a beautiful Creator produce something less than beautiful? Good tree bears good fruit right?
His work is not complete; I see how He works diligently to restore not only our bodies, our minds, our hearts, but also our awareness. As much as He is chasing us, He wants us to know that He is chasing us. There’s no fun otherwise is there? There’s no romance if the beauty is unaware that the prince is wooing her.
Anyway, back to topic…
What I’m trying to share is the simple (simple made complicated) lesson of trusting the God in us, or we could also say ‘the God in our guts’. I think you know what I mean when I say that most times, we do know what He wants, or what He’s saying. We know where to go, what the first step, or the next step is in whatever situation we’re in. It’s that deep-down feeling.
However somehow, we still choose otherwise, or start to doubt, or settle for less because we’re afraid. Afraid we heard wrong, afraid we get it wrong, afraid we’ll mess up. We question our identity, His identity, His presence, His existence.
And then we really mess up, only to realise we were right all along.
And then tell ourselves we’ll never make the same mistake again, only to make it the next time we need to make a decision.
I’ve lived through this my whole life. Sometimes things work out well, other times I just need to learn to live with my mistakes.
I did a lot of this trusting my gut thing whilst journeying through Hokkaido. I didn’t have time to sit and await confirmation from the Lord to move, I had to move now or I’ll be homeless. I had to go with where I believed He was leading me, I had to trust that deep-down feeling.
It worked! Looking back now, I see His hand guiding me through the various towns, the mountains, into different homes, to various beautiful people. Not one decision I regretted, not one step I’d wish I took back. I will say that it was all God-led.
It certainly didn’t look like what trusting God is when it was happening. At least… not as I’ve always understood it to be. I was used to lots of time dedicated to personal prayer, some fasting, a lot of seeking and waiting, listening, hoping for a prophetic word or clear confirmation. All of these are great! I still go to these things. Waiting on God is essential, but only if you’re in the season of waiting. Every tool and vessel is great only if used in the right place and time.
I am still learning this lesson.
So Okinawa opened up (hoorah)! If you haven’t noticed my unintentional revealing of plans in the previous post for the sake of sharing, basically, I’ve got a job opening in Okinawa. Scratch that, I’ve got two; whic made it a little more complicated. (That post is actually very closely linked with this one so I suggest you read that entry as well ^^)
I received two offers to teach in two amazing schools in the Okinawa prefecture. I applied for dozens of jobs nationwide during the last few months in London. He didn’t say I can’t, unlike the trip to Hokkaido where He told me not to make any plans or get connected in any way, I had to trust that He would open the doors. Actually, I already knew before I left Hokkaido that He wanted me to go to Okinawa next (I have to share this in another post, can’t fit, sorry). It was a deep-down feeling, but I applied to places all over Japan anyway. Call it keeping my options open, call it doubt, I don’t know.
So two schools, I’ll call it School F and School N. School F interviewed me almost three months ago, School N about three weeks ago. School N told me I got the offer on the interview itself! I never heard from School F for almost three months (like literally only a week ago did I receive the offer).
I wanted School F from the beginning. I loved their vision and believed in what they are working towards. I was so excited during the interview I was almost wanting to reach through the screen and scream ‘HIRE ME PLEASE!!!” I liked School N and would be sooo happy working with the team and family, but it was different to how I felt towards School F.
I said I didn’t know what I wanted, but I actually did. It was a deep-down feeling.
I can say that I knew from the beginning that I would get an offer from School F. It was a gut feeling.
However, after over two months of waiting… my faith dwindled. I had School N all ready to receive me with open arms should I choose to go for it; they were waiting for me. I heard no update on School F. I was getting desperate. What if I miss the chance and blow the whole Japan calling?
So I said yes to School N.
A few days later, School F replied with a congratulatory message for my acceptance to the team. *facepalm* *faceslap* *facehitthefloor*
I could have waited, there was still time. A week’s time in fact before I needed to give School N an answer. I just rushed.
Now what do I do? I already said yes. I told my mum about the situation and when I said I already told School N yes she was like “oh shit”.
What do I do? In fear, I believed the door to School F was closed and settled for the other option. In fear I doubted what I believed in from the beginning. In fear, I believed I wasn’t good enough for first choice (even though God was already asking me to choose based on what I want). In fear I worried I was going to mess it up and run out of time, and in doing so made a rash decision. In fear, I could no longer see what I wanted.
I was convinced after three months that School N was what I needed, what I wanted.
The turmoil in my stomach and the fog in my mind cleared up after spending five hours in my room with God; part crying for help, part repenting for my mistake, part acknowledging my fears, part acknowledging and being aware of my desires.
Despite now knowing all of this, I was still afraid. I was afraid to turn back. It was a risk. If taking a step forward takes faith, I believe taking a step back takes even more. By then, I was determined not to make decisions out of fear. If I had trusted that God was leading me from within in the first place, none of this would have happened. Now I had to trust Him enough to turn back and pursue what I had from the beginning.
I’m thankful that this was one of the moments where thing worked out well. I received a lot of grace from School N on the change of my decision. And they were sincerely happy for me that I was going for what I love. School F has happily received me into their team and is already preparing for me to move over. If all goes well, I should be there by October this year!
I am thankful for such an opportunity and grace to learn an essential lesson.
Trust your gut, that deep-down feeling. Trust the God within you.