Follow the path or follow the signs?

We’ve been thinking and praying a lot about the potential expectant mother situation. I know she met with two other couples and has not yet made up her mind about which one to select (of course, I know she can also select none of us and choose to parent). In trying to decide what we want to do, there are many factors at play. I won’t go into specifics, but this situation has some unique characteristics that are making us think hard about whether this would be the right addition to our family. Race is just one dimension. But part of us also believes that if these children need a home–and are meant for our home–who are we to say no?

One thing I’ve been pondering is what it means to follow God’s path for your life. We both want to do what we think God is calling us to do. The question is how do we know what that path is? Do we follow the “passive” path and take whatever comes our way? That often seems to be what people mean when they talk about letting God do His work. But yet that feels almost as an excuse to not make any decision at all. Let the expectant mom choose us to place with us. Or not. Either way, we would not really be making a choice–someone else would be making the choice for us.

What it, instead, following the path God has for us means paying attention to signs that are out there and actively choosing to do what we think those signs are pointing us to? For example, we were in the car the other day and a story about transracial adoption came on the radio. The point of the story was how big a deal this is for adoptees. Of course we talked about the implications for what we would do for Seven. And we wondered if this was a sign that we should ensure that any future children in our family share Seven’s racial background.

Usually I try to figure out what the “right” decision is by trying on both decisions and seeing where I feel more peace. Sometimes even the choices that appear more chaotic on their face actually bring more peace because there is something telling me that is the path God has meant for us. In this situation, though, there is not a strong pull for one path over the other. At least for me. My husband feels a little more pulled in one direction.

How do others think about this? Does following God’s path for you mean taking whatever comes your way? Or trying to actively discern what that path is?

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