Question:

Hello, I was seeking His voice, and what I have learned about building a relationship with the Lord is that one must communicate and seek Him in order to gain confirmation that one is doing His will.

I grew up in one state, but less than ten years ago I encountered a very life altering moment. To make a very long story short, I made some poor choices that led me to many un-peaceful moments. I made a choice, I packed up my stuff and drove to be with my sister in another state. Initially, my goal was to find a job and enroll in school. My plan was to be here for no more than a few years. Little did I know that God knew exactly what He was doing. For about a year prior to my departure, I was sad, un-whole, completely broken and my faith was hanging by a thread. While I knew in my heart that I needed to go, I resisted because I was afraid. I was leaving my high school sweetheart behind, my friends, the lifestyle I was accustomed too all my life. While I ignored his voice, I knew that leaving was what He wanted me to do. I finally surrendered and off I went.

Here I am years later and I have accomplished many things. I found a great job which promoted me twice. I went back to school obtained my associates degree. I then transfered to a university in which I have been working on my undergraduate degree. During this time I have maintained a "long distance" relationship with my high school sweetheart -- it has been extremely hard -- we have broken up and made up a bunch of times. Neither of us could actually let go, so here we are years later, and we have decided to live together. Like everything in life, something always has to give -- or does it? I decided, since he was not going to do it, to move back. My high school sweetheart just bought a house, and we are looking forward to living together; however, there are a couple of things that have occurred ever since I decided to make the final decision of moving.

  1. My sweetheart continuously makes remarks about "pressure" and how our relationship needs a lot of work. Granted, we have been through it all and having a childhood relationship and then years of long distance has certainly caused a strain on our relationship, but I sometimes feel as if he is going in this already with the mentality that it is not going to work.
  2. We learned that my sister has tumors in her liver. For the past week, I could not eat, sleep, my head raced at the idea that she is sick -- her daughter -- how she needs her mother -- well, let's just say there was a tremendous amount of worry. Finally it was confirmed, after several tests, that the tumors are not bad and that many people live their lives with them and not even know it. Thank God!
  3. But then the following day my dad slices his fingers with a table saw. He has been a carpenter for decades. He has had two other injuries but never lost a finger. There is a high probability that he will end up with that finger amputated. While there are so many worse things going on in this world, we are okay with that because we know it could always be worse. Yes, it is heartbreaking because he works with his hands, that is his craft, his hobby, his life. It is, if anything, what defines him. We pray for the best results.
  4. Then I get an e-mail from my advisor from school. I just completed my undergraduate degree from the university. I was so happy to be done, I did not care about anything. It was a long haul and even more so this last semester because I had two deaths in my family. I come to learn that because one class I obtained a D-. I know, that is a poor grade, but it was a rough time. I honestly thought I would end with a C-. They are telling me I must take that one class all over again to obtain my degree! I am currently dealing with the school about that, hopefully I can work something out for the eight points I need for the C-.

My brain is a mess. I feel like these things are happening to communicate to me that I should not move back. I am mostly packed. I have given notice at work, and I am scheduled to move in the next couple of weeks.

What am I asking? I guess I am wondering if these things are happening to keep me here because that is what God's will is. I know that our flesh sometimes interferes with our lives. We think we know what we want until we listen and comply with the Lord above. That's when we realize that we truly have no clue. That was my battle prior to moving here. However, when I moved pieces to the puzzle of my life just began falling into place so naturally, so smoothly, and with no effort. I now look at the recent events of my life and feel like the pieces are falling out of place, or rather, my puzzle is being shaken and pieces are beginning to unlock. Is this my own fears about the changes, the journey I am about to embark upon, leaving my immediate family behind, my wonderful job that has blessed me in ways I can not describe, my degree that is looking like is not final because of this recent discovery or finding? I trust the Lord in all shapes and forms. I know He speaks to me, but I am experiencing some confusion, some fear, and some internal resistance.

I seek confirmation from other godly people. I do not want to make a mistake. There is much at risk, but at the same time, I want to be with the man I love. Please help me to clear my head.

I thank you for taking the time to read my story, or a synapse of my story. If you have any questions, please let me know if you need clarification at all. Thank you again!


Answer:

If you are seeking to know God's will, then you need to start listening to the book that God gave us. So far you have been doing too many things your own way. I would like you to listen to:

That being done, let's look at your specific problems.

First off the Bible is clear that while God is active in our lives, He stated that He is no longer directly talking to people. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2). I know a lot of people don't want to accept that. They want to imagine that their own feelings are leadings from God, but tell me where in the Bible did God every lead people by vague feelings? God at times told people what needed to be done, but most of the time they were expected to know His laws and let the laws guide them.

People read the Old Law and think that God talked to people constantly. They forget that the Old Testament is 4,000 years of history condensed into a relatively short book. You see the highlights, the major events, not the every day life.

People also deny what the Lord said, "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away" (I Corinthians 13:8). God said the special gifts would come to an end, and they have ended. We just have some people pretending to have something they cannot prove exists.

Let me illustrate it from your own life. You realize that you can't really know how God acts in your life until after the fact -- and there I completely agree with you. Yet, you are trying to figure out if there are "signs" in the normal events of life -- difficult as things like tumors and sliced fingers are, they are still things that can and do happen in life. But you are ignoring the Bible, God's teachings. God said, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). How do you justify moving in with a guy you are not married to and having sex with him? God says it is wrong, and that has never changed since the days of Creation. But you are letting your feelings lead you to break the laws of God. So who are you making more important in your life, God or you?

Your boyfriend is already telling you that he doesn't want to get married anytime soon. It's too much "pressure." (i.e. He's found a great lame excuse.) But he can't wait to have you in his bed in the meantime, and that means he doesn't have to get around to committing to marriage.

What I suggest is telling your boyfriend that you can't wait to move down, so when he is willing to propose and marry you, you'll move in. His answer will tell you all you need to know about whether you really should marry him or not. Don't be surprised if it takes him a while to realize what the right answer should be.

Meanwhile, you have a class to finish up. Yes, you had distractions. Life is full of them. You didn't do well, so if you have to take the course again, sigh, oh well, that is the penalty for not doing your best when you had the chance. Tell your company that you decided to stay and ask if you might retain your position. And that will allow you to help your sister for a while longer while you finish up and your boyfriend recovers from realizing he isn't getting your body for free.

I'm sorry about your dad. I have a good friend whom the same thing happened to him. You wouldn't notice except when he shakes hands. He still works with his hands just as much as he ever did -- just more carefully.