As Christians, we know we are supposed to do what God wants us to do. A lot of what God wants us to do He tells us in the Bible. But there are often times when we need to make a decision and there are no clear directions for that particular decision in the Bible. These are usually the times when I have to rely on what I feel God is telling me to do. Many times, I will seek God for an answer but come to the point that I realize God is not going to give me a clear answer. I just have to make a decision based on what I think is best for me and my family. There have been a few times, though, when I have clearly heard or felt the Lord telling me to do or not do something, and there were clear consequences for not listening to Him and clear blessings when I did listen. I'd like to share about two times when I felt the Lord leading me a certain way. In one case I listened and was blessed, and in another case I ignored God, and suffered the consequences.
I'll start with the time I ignored God. I love to read, and usually stick with Christian authors because I feel like I can be pretty certain that I won't be reading anything inappropriate. However, at the beginning of last year I started hearing a lot of people talk about a series and decided to give it a try. As soon as I started reading the first book, I had the feeling that I shouldn't read iy. But I ignored the feeling because so many other Christians were reading it and it didn't seem to affect them in a negative way. I read the first two books in the series, and without going into details, they were quite violent. I had started on the third book, when I had a horriffic dream involving one of my kids. The dream was clearly related to the events of the book. About a week after I had the dream, a friend of mine was murdered by her own husband. After several days of dealing with that in my mind, the images from my dream invaded my mind in such a way that I couldn't think of anything else. For several weeks I lived in complete fear. I became deeply depressed. I did everything I could to not be alone, especially with my kids. There were times during those weeks I really just wanted to die. I sought God and read scripture and meditated on it. I sought counseling and talked about my fears and my feelings. This helped tremendously, but it really took months for me to really let go of the fear and the images that at times I felt tortured by. Still, to this day, that fear crops up and I have to remember to give it to God so that I don't become consumed by it again. I really believe that if I had not ignored that prompting from God to not read that book, I would not have had to experience this immense fear and depression. At the same time, I believe the scripture in Romans that says God works everything to the good for those who love Him. Even though, I messed up and suffered the consequences, I can see how over the last year God has brought me to a new level of relationship with Him. He has given me a deeper desire to know Him. I can see where I became a complacent Christian, and became satisfied with just getting by. Now, I truly want to live the victorious life that he wants me to live.
Now, for the story in which I followed God's leading. For many years, Brian and I suffered from infertility. We sought fertility doctors, and began doing fertility treatments. For 2 or 3 years, off and on, we tried various fertility treatments with no success. Finally, our doctor wanted us to do in vitro. He felt like we were good candidates and was confident that it would be successful. Initially, we said we wanted to try it, but we would have to wait until we could save some money because it was quite expensive. I started to research the process and found that there were things that could possibly be involved that would cause me to face a moral dilemma. For example, sometimes patients have extra embryos left over. When this happens, there are several options: dispose of them(basically throw them out), donate them (there are embryo adoption programs), or over the years, have them transferred back to my womb until they are gone. Because I believe every embryo is a human life, disposing of them was definitely not an option. Donating them could have been an option, but one I knew I would struggle with if it came to that. Using them all up myself could have resulted in us having more kids than we could handle( it would't have been likely, but possible.) I prayed about it and talked with Brian about it, and I really just felt like the Lord was saying that in vitro wasn't the path to parenthood that He wanted us to take. Shortly after, we started getting serious about adoption. We started the process and two years later, Isabella was placed in our arms by a young mom who loved her, but didn't feel she could give her the life she wanted for her. Less than a year later, we were pleasantly surprised to find that after more than seven years of infertility I was pregnant. 9 months later, Isaiah entered our family. I believe because we chose to follow God's leading, He gave us the greatest blessings of our lives.