What Are You Looking For?

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is a question I get asked a lot.

I hear it from friends, acquaintances, and strangers.

Folks who want to help me find the missing pieces to my life puzzle.

You know… the missing pieces.

The job.

And the man.

If I could just let them in on what the perfect piece looks like they will help me sort through the riff-raff and uncover the one hidden piece with the just right fit.

I am grateful for the help.

There is one problem.

I haven’t let myself define what those pieces look like.

Yeah, I can answer  their questions in broad strokes.

I would like a man who is strong, kind, and funny.

But surely there are other things I would like in my dream man.

I would like a job putting my strengths to work for a cause that I believe in.

But there is more I should be able to pin down – what am I good at, what does my dream role look like, and what do I want to avoid.

I find myself terrified of pinning down the specifics.

Ambiguity is safe. Ambiguity leaves room for me to settle. Ambiguity attempts to save me from my setting my expectations to high.

But unfortunately ambiguity also keeps me from understanding my God-given desires. And ambiguity denies me the thankful “aha” when God brings them to fruition.

This summer I am forcing myself to answer both these questions with specifics. And so when the right job, and the right man, come a knocking I will recognize them as the missing pieces to the puzzle that is my life.

Have you clearly defined what you are looking for? 

 

 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • No, I haven’t.  In fact, I’m part of the 2011 Class of Dream Year, and I still feel like I lack details…swimming in ambiguity.  I don’t really even know how to figure out the specifics other than to keep trying things and realizing, “Nope, that’s not it.”  Which kinda feels like a waste of time, but I’ve learned a lot in the process…when I can stop myself from feeling like a failure.  

    Good luck finding your details.  I’m searching for mine, too.

    • Yeah, that has been my method for sorting out the weeds too…

  • went through life pretty oblivious and in the looking back can see so much.

  • As someone who left security almost two and a half years ago to pursue an adventure…I can say that God changed it right away…but he couldn’t have even done that had I not taken a step outward. I believe there is a fine line between courage and craziness…both involve taking risks, but one is based in trust that God is with you, no mater what. I’m inspired by your willingness to embrace the journey…HAVE FUN! (@simplydawnb)

  • Anonymous

    No. I hate when people  ask this question! And I feel like I get it a lot. “What kind of job do you WANT, anyway?” Okay, so maybe it’s not asked with that kind of attitude, but that’s definitely how I hear it. Because I don’t know. I know what hasn’t worked. I know all the brilliant ideas and dreams I’ve had. But what is it that God has created me to do? I DON’T KNOW! Ugh. Sorry about that mini rant. I think it’s amazing – and brave – that you are intentionally taking time to answer your own questions. I can’t wait to hear what you discover!

  • Joelle @goldenchances

    Ironically, for me at least, God has only brought things like this to me when I have let go of all my “specific” definitions of what I was looking for.  Defining the specific comes very easily to me.   I hate ambiguity.  But,  I think when we surrender all the specifics, God brings us to things that far exceed anything we could have envisioned.   God has all the specifics ironed out and I guess our job is to ask what to do in the next 5 minutes.  You seem like you are already living that way…..don’t change.  🙂

  • wow, you are right. it is almost like the more we define about ourselves the more we are putting ourselves out there. It is safe to keep your options open, to have an exit strategy before you ever even start. 

    Time to start answering those questions myself

  • Mary

    Once again, you are writing the things I usually choose to not say out loud or much less even admit to myself. Great post and thanks for your transparency.  It causes me to stop an examine my life. I appreciate your blog so much.  Ambiguity is a safe place for me too often. 

  • Jennifer :)

    It’s funny because this is exactly where I am at in life. I’m trying to figure out what my perfect job would be and what the right man looks like. The other day I started list of character traits & just things I want in my future husband. It was really scary to have written down but fun as well. It was the first time I had done that & I really thought I must be the only 30-something girl that hasn’t done this. I’m glad others are going through this now as well. I’m still notsure about the job, but I would love to work in the adoption field somehow. We’ll see :). Thanks for being so open!

    • You are not alone. I had to have a friend tell me what kind of specific things she listed because I didn’t even know where I would start. 

  • I think I have given up trying to define what I am looking for.  Too often when I do define it, God has something better planned for me.  I wonder if we do not sell God short when we have our hearts set on particulars.  Am I wrong?

    • I guess it depend on why you are defining it and the posture in which you define it. And could you be deluding yourself into thinking you aren’t set on particulars by not defining it? 

  • Ian

    Lindsey – I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the fact that I so often go to God seeking direction and some revelation about where He wants me to go when first and foremost He desires us to come to Him for Him. “Be still and know that I am God”.

    So I’m trying to spend more time being still and listening and relating rather than seeking answers. I reckon the answers will come the better I know Him. 

    Waiting is hard. Really hard. I hear you.

    • That’s good. I could stand to Be Still more than I am 🙂

  • Do we focus too much on lists?  I think so.  I’m a single 28 year old Christian guy who has met plenty of girls who meet my “list”.  They’re Christian, smart, funny, physically beautiful but lack that special spark that I find is the real root of attraction.  I am beginning to wonder if I am called to singleness.

    I really don’t want to be called to singleness but I seem to be able to handle it better than most.  I actually wrote a blog piece on my thoughts about sex, love and relationships earlier which talks a little about this.  Check it out http://thatjesusbloke.com/2011/05/30/sex-love-and-marriage/

    I do really feel for those women who want kids but can’t find a bloke in time.  The societal attitudes that have formed since premarital sex became popular and societally accepted (such as a prolonged adolescence and late marriage) seem to have permeated Christian culture too.

    I am at the point where I am no longer looking at a list to define the woman I want.  I have a few prerequisites (loves Jesus) but pretty much everything else is fluid, provided that spark exists.

    • Stephen, I get that. I really do. I have been this way too. But if I dig deep it is fear that keeping me from defining what my heart desires. And so I think that it is something I need to reconsider. 

      This weekend a married friend was telling me that she randomly created a list and found it years later. She loved seeing all the things she had naively wanted that God gave her in her husband. Listening to her story, I realized that He must delight in showing us these little ways that He answers our prayers. 

      • Don’t get me wrong Lindsey, I’ve written lists before.  It’s just that no amount of writing lists is ever going to help me meet a woman who is Christian, smart, funny, physically beautiful and single.  Only going out and meeting new Christian women will ever do that.
        I think you’re right about fear though.  I do fear relationships.  Probably more than is healthy.  I talk about that a bit more in the blog post I linked earlier, but basically the thought of being with someone full time for the rest of my life terrifies me.  It’s actually something I should give up to God.

        • And I agree with you completely. Writing a list never made anything happen…

        • Mikey

          And yet, a women who is: smart, funny, beautiful, single and Christian is a list.

          A lot of times when I write a list, it’s a declaration of my intent to fight resistance in my life. It’s saying what I desire and what I dream to accomplish. I also can use it as a guideline to help keep me from getting disoriented. Granted, without self-discipline, courage and a myriad of other strengths that list won’t do much, it’s not the beginning and the end, but it is a beginning.

          • Ha, true that Mikey, I kind of realised that as I wrote it.  Still, when I think of a list for a partner I really think of a long list of assorted trivialities like “good cook” rather than a general guideline “if she’s single, Christian, funny and smart she meets the prerequisites and it’s up to me to decide whether or not the rest is right”.

  • After living for years in a depression where I didn’t care one bit about anything that I wanted, these last few years have been an incredible new season of kind of a treasure hunt.  Oh, wow, I didn’t know that I loved that!  I didn’t know that I was good at that.  I had no idea how much I hated that, etc.

    It can be a fun trip.  It’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done and will ever do.  I think it’s a never-ending thing, discovering who we are and exactly what we want, because as soon as we get exactly where we want to be, then God will give us new dreams.  As hard as this journey of life is, I’m so glad I didn’t give up.  I’m so glad that God gave me the desire to fight to be who I am.  

    I say get specific.  Have fun with your treasure hunt.  I have a feeling you’re going to love it as much as I’m loving mine 🙂

  • Some days I am just searching for a missing sock. Other days I seem to be looking for me. Great point about ambiguity. Without clarity you won’t know when you have found what you are looking for. Today it is another navy blue sock instead of a black one.

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  • OK, so I will take it that it is not a coincidence that I stumbled upon this post tonight. Shucks! I am currently in the process of looking for “that” job and in the process I’ve had to take a look back and evaluate some past decision for jobs. The bottom line is that in some cases I settled and at the heart of why I am struggling to nail down the specifics of what I’m looking for is a lack of faith that God can actually provide “that” for me. The story is too long to tell for a comment on your blog, but thanks so much for writing.

    I just picked up the 2011 copy of “what color is your parachute” and will be going through some of the exercises in there to aid me in processing through discovering what I am really looking for in a job…. Pray for me. 🙂