Not Sure What to do Next? 5 Lessons to Get Your Answer!

“I hate not knowing,” a friend complained as she tried to figure out some steps to take personally and professionally. “I’m used to having a game plan, but right now I feel stuck because I honestly don’t know what the right answer is. I want to plan the next stage of my life – and somehow, I feel like God’s hiding the roadmap from me!”

If you’re anything like me – or most people in the world – you like to know what’s coming next in your life. But how do you handle it when you want an answer and don’t get one? Maybe you’ve been praying for a specific answer about the next phase of your life – a move you need to make, an important decision, a romantic partner, or any type of change. Yet despite the fact that you’ve diligently sought an answer, it simply hasn’t come. It can be a frustrating place, but I invite you to make a shift and try a different approach.

This week, I want you to consider an area of your life for which your vision looks cloudy. You don’t know what you want or you just don’t know what steps will be essential to take you where you want to go. Over the years, I have discovered five lessons to be learned “in the meantime.” The meantime is that waiting period between here and where you are destined to end up.

I’ve often thought I was ready for something and set out to make it happen, then later discovered there was much growth and learning that needed to occur first. At other times, it wasn’t the growth and learning, but some other circumstances that needed to line up in order for the vision to be fully realized. When you listen to your life, heeding the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, you set yourself up for divine timing and greater rewards than you may previously have imagined. Ephesians 3:20, referring to God, says, “To Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ever think or imagine..”. Waiting for your right answer is an exercise in trusting God and letting go of your attempt to control things. The truth is, we aren’t in control anyway and we expend a lot of energy trying to prove to ourselves that we are.

Wherever you feel a lack of clarity, consider these five messages that may be presenting themselves to you:

1. “No” and “wait” are legitimate answers.

You regularly hear people say, “God answered my prayer” meaning, they got what they asked for. But God doesn’t just “answer” prayer with a “Yes.” Sometimes He says, “No.” Often, He says, “Wait.” All three are legitimate answers.

2. Let go of your need to know.

You can cause yourself a lot of stress by insisting that you always know what’s coming. Relax and enjoy the present. Trust that all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28).

3. Take a small step, then notice what happens.
If you are feeling torn about what direction to take, sometimes the best thing you can do is begin to move in one direction. Notice what happens when you do. Do you feel at peace? Are doors opening easily or is it a struggle without a purpose? Sometimes taking a small step gives you clarity about whether to continue on a particular path.

4. Delve into an area of life you’ve been neglecting.
Often, we can’t have what we think we are ready for because it’s time to address other matters. Until those are addressed, your answer will not come. What have you been avoiding? Consider your waiting period an opportunity to face the things you’ve been able to avoid for awhile – nurturing a relationship, taking care of yourself, going back to school, taking control of your finances or getting your career on track. You know what it is for you. Muster up the courage to address it.

5. Connect with God by talking – and then listening.
James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” As you contemplate a life change, make sure your decisions are rooted firmly in the divine guidance that is available to you when you get quiet to listen.

My challenge to you this week:
Stop focusing on needing to know the answers. Focus on the message that is being offered to you in the process of learning what to do next.

Journaling assignment:
What answer are you waiting on? What message is being offered to you right now? What area of your life do you need to focus on while you await your answer? Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Pin It

Comments

  1. This lesson hit me at home. I need to decide whether to renew my office lease next year for my business or sublease in another location to save money. So many pros and cons to each.

  2. Valorie, I enjoyed reading these points as they are so critical to making progress and avoiding unnecessary frustration. When coaching clients through this process, “Be still and know that I am God” (PS 46:10) comes to mind because only He knows what’s in store for each of us and He wants us to rely upon His voice.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Salandra Fleming

  3. The title of this post alone speaks volumes. “Why” is a small word but it has big impacts that keep us paralyzed. We must have a willing spirit to move forward, and not get so focused on the what, when and how in life. Thanks for constantly being a great reminder that our lives our in His hands and we must trust what he has for our lives.

  4. Vanessa Hanna says:

    I’m not sure what I’m waiting on. My baby was involved in a tragic accident. After about 7 months, I was able to write out some of my thoughts and feelings. Those thoughts and feelings became a article that was published in a local magazine. I have received many responses from people of various age ranges who shared that they were inspired. I was encouraged to continue writing. I’ve written down thoughts and feelings but I’ve done very little to begin pulling the pieces togther to begin the process of writing a book. I’ve started but it’s a very small step. I haven’t even written two paragraphs. Acutally, though, the story is sitll unfolding.

    An aquaintance is trying to get me to join Toastmaster’s as one avenure to enhance communication skills of telling my story verbally as well as in written form. Hmmm…maybe I’m waiting on answer that says, ‘you seriously need to move forward with that book as well as seek opportunties to verbally communicate your story to encourage others.’

  5. Such a timely and inspiring message for me just now. The answer I’m waiting for at present is: the specific “how-tos” as I contemplate offering “writer’s workshops, classes, etc. to aspiring writer’s in my area.” The message I’m hearing is: “take a small step, then notice what happens.” Wow, as soon as I read that statement, I recognized the small step I’m to take. (“Recruit a friend and get feedback on the practical aspects; don’t do the planning alone.”) Then your next question: “What area do you need to focus on while you await your answer?” was also followed by the Lord’s immediate answer (“Get away and get the next book written.”) Thanks so much, Valorie! God has spoken clearly to me through your words this morning.

  6. God is awesome! This is my 3rd blog read, this afternoon, after avoiding all blogs for many weeks. (Just didn’t wanna have to process anything, spiritually!) Each one spoke to the theme of shifting seasons. One focused on the chicken and eagle story; and the other, on responding to “God-sized dreams.” I responded amen to a quote, which said, “Believe, then do more.” To me, it resonates with this message, as well—the “do more” can be to take the step that fear attempts to block; or to simply have the faith to wait. Either way, it’s only by seeking the Lord that we get clear direction! I’m in a shifted place, praise, God, in that I stepped out, in the face of fear, toward a promotion opportunity. That was my assignment, and I did so knowing that I might, or might not, get the answer I thought I should receive. The Lord directed my path, and because I leaned not into my own understanding this time, I have such a peace that surpasses all understanding, as I wait. I consider these journal opportunities to be divine ones that have allowed me to reflect, and to refresh. Thank you for the message…and Blessings to you!

  7. Love the reminder from James 4:8. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of confusing worry with prayer. I know I’ve been there before

  8. This article was perfect for me right now, I can completely relate. I have been dating my boyfriend for 8 years and for the last 4 years, after college, we have been long distance. He has been unable to get a job near me despite all his efforts. We both would love to start a life together, but that cannot even begin until we can find jobs within at least an hour of each other. It is hard because none of my friends can relate or understand. They actually make the situation worse by constantly questioning us wedding after wedding about when we will get married and what we are waiting on. I am trying to be content with the situation and grateful that I have found such a wonderful man, but I just don’t understand why everything hasn’t worked out yet. Thanks for article it made me relax about the situation… other people make me worry and stress out.

  9. Thank you for these words of encouragement. I am going to be 56 years old in a couple of weeks and feel like I have failed miserably in every area of my life. I was married for 32 years and divorced due to my ex husband sleeping with my best fried. It has been seven years since he left. I remarried 3 1/2 years ago. I quite my job of 6 1/2 years and moved to Oklahoma City for another job to be closer to my kids and this place of employment and job is the worst job I have ever had in my life. There is nothing about this job I like except for what I do I love but they think I am doing a crappy job. I am going to look for another job once my year is up. I pray and read my scriptures 90% but pray every day without stoping within my heart. I feel stuck, alone, afraid to make another decision and it may go wrong. I keep telling myself that at least I am making a decion to do something but it is not helping. My stomach hurts all the time and I have headaches constantly. Why can I not stop this negative pattern. I have never been a negative person. I don’t have many friends at all and the ones I do have are sick of hearing my talk and be negative. I am in a cycle that I can’t seem to get out of. I am sorry to dump all of these things. But I have read your article over and over again. Thank you for writing it.

Speak Your Mind

*