By: Alicia Crowe
I often find myself asking the question, “Am I doing this right? Am I being the wife, mother, friend, neighbor that God is wanting me to be?” Those questions come from a deep desire to honor God with who I am, what I value, and where I put my time. However, I think the question shows that I have a misguided expectation of what is “right.” We are not able to trust our right, right? That can lead to a dangerous place of defining right with pride and perfectionism, trying to measure up, and a legalistic comparison. This is the world system of striving to keep well thought out plans instead of surrendering to His way. Surrendering is a state of being whereas the obedience driven me is usually about doing to prove that I am right.
God led our family to Japan and then back to the states again after 10 years with FWB Missions. It was a journey in faith and surrender especially the last 6 years stateside. He brought us right up to “Little Japan” in Columbus, Ohio through the vehicle of Chick-Fil-A and with it a revival in my familiar role as missionary and teacher. After jumping into our new life in our 11th home and our 8th school, God got my attention. Before Covid and online/hybrid public school, God was stirring in Josh and me to re-evaluate how we were loving and leading our children. I was entering a scary place of pouring all my time into doing what I thought was right and realizing God wanted me to rest in Him and serve my family. This had been my constant struggle of humbling myself under the mighty hand of God during our time in Japan when serving others took priority over my own family. God wanted me to rest in His plan and homeschool all four kids! Rest and homeschool together; is that even possible? We had done public and private schools in both countries, and I thought that teaching my own children would not allow me the freedom to continue to teach ESL and Bible classes which had been meeting in my home during the last few years. I gave those “ministries” over to Him and focused on our first year of homeschool instead. God tenderly showed me (again) that He would lead me in the paths of what is right for His name.
We are on our second year of homeschooling and God is teaching ME so much as I serve my family first during this season of life. Amazingly, God has reopened opportunities for our whole family to serve with the Japanese community here and this year we are ALL involved in leading and teaching in the ESL group. Josh is the new director, and I am teaching while my children jump in and serve for special events. We are serving together! God doesn’t ask us to get our plans right and do it on our own. We loosely hold our plans and can cling to Him. Then, we get to do it with Him. He leads each of us and our families along His steps! This verse brings such peace, “A man’s heart deviseth his way but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
- You can trust God! He is perfect therefore His ways are perfect. Psalm 18:30
- When you seek God and humble yourself under His loving hand, He will show you where to step. 1 Peter 5:6
- He is so loving and gently leads us with young. Isaiah 40:11
- He is with you each moment and in that frightening next move. Isaiah 41:10
Whatever you are facing right now with big or little daily decisions concerning what is right for you/your family, during a transition, a lost dream, a ministry shift, a family crisis, education/job decisions, remember not to ask God, “Am I doing this right?” Consider asking, “Am I trusting You in this? Am I surrendering my good-intentioned but greatly lacking plans to Your perfect will?”
Oh, what freedom there comes when we realize we can be confident God is leading us to His abundant and joy filled paths of righteousness through Christ by His Spirit in our many roles. Christ died for our sins so that in Him we might be made right with God! We have nothing to prove. Surrender to His love and let Him lead you!
Spend some time praying and listening to what God is telling you. Listen to the gentle Shepherd’s voice and expect a big adventure with Him as you take the first step of faith today!
- Call out His characteristics (good, holy, perfect, loving, faithful, powerful, all knowing) and adore Him!
- Recognize, apologize for, and release control of your plans made in your own strength.
- Look back and remember how He led you before and thank Him!
- Ask Him to help you listen to His voice in this next step.