Finding your path for the next season of life

My oldest daughter just started college. She lives in the dorm but the college is local. I’m so grateful for that. We see her on Sundays when she has laundry to do. The best is when she pops home unexpectedly. I love hearing her come in the door because I miss her. This is a new stage of life for me. I’m not an empty nester yet, but I can feel it starting. My other two kids are in high school. My son drives them to school every day and for the first time in a lot of years, I have free time on my hands.

I knew this time was coming and so I’ve been praying for several months about what my next steps should look like. I love to write. Maybe I should pursue writing as more than a hobby. Maybe I should go back to work. Maybe I should take it easy and enjoy my free time. Maybe I should pursue body building. (Just kidding, that option was never on the table!)

How do I make this decision? How can I be sure the Lord is leading me and I am following? I have been asking lots of people this question as I struggle with it and have gotten some great advice. Here are a few things I’ve learned from this search of mine:

1.       Ask a lot of people! Seek counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Recently I asked several experts in the publishing field for their advice. I wrote it all down and sorted through it. Some of the suggestions were contradictory, some of them were consistent. I am paying close attention to the consistent advice and praying over the contradictory advice.

2.       Take a step. An email came through my inbox a couple of months ago about a job opening that was intriguing to me. I put together a resume (the first I had done in 17 years) and sent it off. The response I got had more details about the job and in talking with my husband and praying about it, we agreed this wasn’t a great fit for our family. Had I not taken the next step, I would have been closing the door rather than letting God close it for me.

3.       Pray and pray some more. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James is specifically talking about wisdom for difficult circumstances. Not knowing what to do next in life feels like a difficult circumstance to me.



So here I am writing a blog post. I’m taking a step in this direction, but staying open to God’s leading as I listen for his guidance. His plan for me is best, I don’t want to miss out on it.