They wanted to promote me. Give me more money. More “security.” More status. But my mind kept drifting back to Africa. To the beautiful, beaming faces I had just met. A pace I was craving. A purpose that spoke to me. After the two weeks I spent in Paarl, South Africa, my life began shifting course.
Was I really going to leave my job? I was a writer. An editor for a magazine. (This sounds like a romantic comedy — isn’t every girl a writer or editor…Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Garner? But, this was actually my life.) Was I really going to give up my life, my friends, the perks of the job, traveling to places like Chilé, Switzerland and Maui? To go live in South Africa, to work a job without a paycheck, to jump into the complete unknown?
This is the question that nagged at me. And for the weeks I spent begging God to give me the answer, hemming and hawing over whether or not this was for me, something deep down was nudging me. Pushing me. Telling me to go back to Africa.
Looking back, I’m pretty sure I knew what I was supposed to do for a solid amount of time before I told the magazine I’d be quitting. Turning down the promotion. Packing my bags and moving to South Africa for a year. Because, when clarity came storming in and flooded my heart with confidence and I spoke the first words that would lead me down this new path, relief washed over me. Whatever that nudge was, well, it was right and I was ready.
Seven years later, I had a similar experience. After three years of trying to get pregnant, it was time to make another big decision. This one was tougher. Although, I had even more nudging in the direction we’re currently headed, I had to let go of a lot before I was ready to pursue it. After beating myself up about the specifics of the decision, I finally realized that none of it mattered and I confessed to my husband that I was ready for this next adventure of our lives: adoption. His exact words? “I always knew we would.”
And I guess part of me always knew that, too.
Of course, looking back, it seems easy. Like I knew the answer to both of those decisions all along, and maybe I did. But sometimes, even when your intuition is leading you, you gotta give your brain and heart a chance to catch up to your gut. Sometimes you’re just not ready for that place your intuition is telling you to go. So, I say process it all. Do what you need to do to get to the other side and be ready for whatever the other side of the decision has for you.
But don’t ignore the nudge just because it’s scary. Don’t be so stubborn as to say you know better. I’ve been there. I’ve stalled. I’ve tried to control the situation to make it be what I thought it should be.
Turns out, surrendering to your calling is not only incredibly freeing, it’s more rewarding than anything I’ve ever experienced.
If I hadn’t quit my job at the magazine to move to South Africa, I wouldn’t have met my husband and we wouldn’t have the beautiful life and businesses we have now. If I wouldn’t have finally surrendered and listened to my intuition that YES, we will adopt, I wouldn’t have…well, I’ll let you know what happens (I have a feeling it’s going to be good), but for starters, I wouldn’t have the peace that I have now.
Intuition is a funny thing. It can be so strong. So comforting. Or, a quiet whisper. A nudge. Something you aren’t too fond of at first because you know it means drastic changes are ahead. I say, no matter how scary or uncertain, listen up.
Even if you don’t act right away, be aware of what your gut is telling you, listen, try it on for size. And eventually, when you can’t fight it anymore, surrender. Beauty and purpose and a life that you couldn’t possibly imagine are waiting on the other side.
What do you do to make sure you’re giving your intuition some skin in game? Have you ever heard that nudge and listened? How’d it turn out!?