Life has many transitions. Some of life’s major transitions include our birth, our decision regarding whether to go to college and where to go, our recognition of our sexual preference, our decision as to whether to commit to a life-long relationship with someone, our decision whether to have children, our adjustment to death of loved ones and our relationship of faith with our Creator. In the process of making those decisions, we can consult our friends, our family, and our faith leaders. We then weigh the facts and make a decision, and the results of the decisions we make at each of these times affects the rest of our lives.
The question becomes: how do I decide, even after I have gathered the facts, which is the right decision for me? We certainly don’t want to make the wrong decision at these critical transition times in our lives.
We can use our instincts and gut feelings to make these choices, along with input from the sources mentioned above. Sometimes decisions made in that manner work out well, but most times they don’t. As humans, our instincts aren’t always “on target.” Our instincts, many times, are clouded by our human desires to be liked or to do what would benefit us financially. So, we should seek some help in making those tough life-transition decisions.
According to the Hebrew Scriptures, one of King David’s psalms, Psalm 51, says in verse 5 these words, “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity [immoral behavior], and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The Apostle Paul in the Christian New Testament says in his letter to the Roman Church, Chapter 3, verse 23, “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It would appear then that we, in a natural state, even at the time of birth, do what displeases God. So, instinct is not a good choice in making decisions at the important times of life’s transitions. If we rely on instinct, we are probably going to do what pleases us and not our Creator and, as people of faith, that is not what we should do.
So, what should we do? I believe, that as people of faith, we should do two things: (1) we should seek spiritual help, in prayer, before making those important decisions, and (2) we need to believe in our value and worth as individuals.
Society is centered in self-satisfaction and not in individual worth as portrayed in spiritual writings. Every major world faith acknowledges a Creator and that individuals have value and worth. By focusing on that fact in a positive sense (not in a conceited way), we will be open to spiritual leading during our decision times. Belief in self (coupled with spiritual guidance) allows us to move forward in our decisions with confidence knowing our decisions are pleasing to our Creator and in our best interest.
In the Hebrew Scripture of Jeremiah Chapter 1, verse 5, we read God telling Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;” We are God’s people and God’s creation. Before we were formed in our mother’s womb, I believe God knew who we would be. God knew we were going to be LGBTQAI and that we were set apart, consecrated if you will, to reach out to the rest of the world and teach them that God’s love is for everyone.
As God’s messengers to the world regarding God’s all-inclusive love, we must stand and proclaim it with confidence and assurance. We must seek spiritual guidance during life’s transitions and believe that, as we move forward in life, we have the protection and love of our Creator, and be proud of who we are.
info: Rev. Dawn Flynn is the pastor at New Life MCC in Gastonia, N.C.