How to Not Miss God’s Will For Your Life
Everyone who has ever pursued God seriously and made an effort to grow in faith has come up against a very specific question at some point on the journey: What is God’s will for my life? How can I be *sure* I am doing it?
Monday was the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who gave us the beauty that is Ignatian Spirituality. St. Ignatius teaches us that we can answer these questions by paying attention to the movements of the Holy Spirit in prayer. If you’re between two good decisions (because if we’re between a good option and a bad option, we know the right answer), he encourages us to prayerfully “follow the peace,” trusting that God works through the desires of our heart when we reach a fork in the road. (A great book on this topic is Fr. Thibodeaux’s God’s Voice Within).
But because we’re all a little impatient these days (or maybe it’s just me!), we want answers now. We tell ourselves that we don’t have the time to sit in prayer and wait for God’s peace. Not only do we want answers now, but we often want our answers, and balk when something happens to us that we didn’t want or ask for. So we pray novena after novena, begging the saints to intercede in ways that work for our plans on our schedule.
Instead of trusting that God loves us and wants the very best for us, we cling to half-baked ideas and hopes and dreams, when He wants so much more for us! C.S. Lewis, my hero, captures this sentiment beautifully in his nine-page essay, The Weight of Glory:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
We are far too easily pleased. Wow. That line gets me every time.
So as we wrestle with these questions – What is God’s will for my life? How can I be *sure* I am doing it? – we should start from the place of trusting that God has a unique, unrepeatable, and important plan for our lives. If we trust Him, we can trust His plans. And instead of spinning our wheels every time a new decision comes our way, let’s walk forward in peace, making the best choice we can and trusting that God can work with everything we give Him.
A wise spiritual director told me recently that God desires for us to know His will for our lives far more than even we want to know it! That brought me a lot of consolation, and I hope it does the same for you. Fr. Mike Schmitz also discussed his process of discerning the priesthood in his homily this week, and I thought it was so well explained!
Please know that I am praying for you and for any decisions you have looming ahead! God has a good, good plan for you. I can’t wait to see how He continues to move in our lives!
What we’re loving lately:
Podcast Episode 80: Faithfulness with Claire Dwyer | Fruit of the Spirit Series
- Welcome to another episode in our Fruit of the Spirit series! Today we’re talking faithfulness with my beloved friend, Claire Dwyer. Claire shares such practical wisdom and advice for being faithful in things both big and small. We talk about the challenge of finding time for prayer and growing in virtue in the busyness of our world, and choosing faithfulness even when we don’t always perceive God at work in our lives – because He is always there! Tune in here on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!
The Next Right Thing Podcast Summer Psalms Series
- I love this podcast so much! The host, Emily Freeman, shares so many useful tips on discernment, decision-making, and trust in God’s providence. Right now, she’s doing a “Psalm Summer,” so instead of her usual episodes, she’s reading three translations of one psalm each week – and I’m obsessed. Last week, she did Psalm 40, and after listening to her read through it, I paused my phone and prayed on it for almost an hour. It’s so meditative and wonderful! I highly recommend tuning in.
Gen Z tips for all!
- Shout-out to Anna Halsey who taught me this super cool way to be hands-free with everyone’s favorite Lululemon fanny pack! Just loop your extra strap length through the buckle and you have a handy-dandy cup holder! 😂 My cousin (also Gen Z) told me I looked cool, so we know that this is the hip and trendy way to tote our iced coffee around this summer!
This week is a First Friday! ❤️🔥
- This summer I have felt so drawn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and have begun doing the first Friday devotion! The promises of this devotion are insane. It involves attending mass and completing a holy hour, ideally in front of the blessed sacrament, on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months. I’ve been reading the meditations in Behold This Heart during those holy hours, which has been so good. You can learn more about this devotion here!
- For all those preparing to return to school
- For a special intention
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.