Do you believe in guardian angels? Do you get a "feeling" every so often that you think is leading you towards or away from something?
We've all heard the stories.* A woman who gets the urge to change her shoes at the last minute, then is struck by a car. The shoes allow her to slide backward instead of being crushed under the car. A man who is about to leave his house with his wife for the storm shelter and suddenly just KNOWS that he does not have time to put on his shoes. They make it to the car and see one tornado in front of them, one behind them. They make it to the basement of the safe house and he is "led" to a particular corner - the one corner of the basement that is left standing after the tornado passes.
Throughout my short and rather tumultuous life, there have been several times when I have been led or, as I like to call it, "nudged."
The first was when I chose my college. My grandparents (who raised me) and I had looked at several liberal arts schools out of state, and the major university in-state. I was having a terrible time deciding which one I wanted to attend. I remember the night clearly. I was in my room, puttering around, and all of a sudden I just knew. I walked into the sunroom where my grandmother sat at her computer and told her I wanted to go to the state college. She didn't bat an eye and we agreed it would be a wonderful school for me.
Two months later, I was diagnosed with cancer. I would never have been able to attend an out-of-state college - I needed to stay close to my doctors. I would have been left scrambling for a spot at the state college and probably wouldn't have gotten one.
You know who else went to that state college? Mr. M. Although we liked each other, we were just casual friends who sometimes dated since he was already away at school and I was still a high school senior. He was the one person who stuck by me, encouraged me and refused to be afraid of me during the entire cancer treatment phase, and he is now my best friend and the love of my life. I feel like I was led to him and I am forever grateful.
The second big "nudge" of my life came just before spring break of my freshman year in college. I had signed up to go on a mission trip to Mexico with my friend L's campus church. I went with her to an evening worship and handed over my check. During the service, I had the sudden an overwhelming feeling that this was wrong and that I couldn't go to Mexico. I almost had a panic attack waiting for service to be over so I could go ask for my check back. Needless to say, the pastor wasn't happy and L was angry and confused.
I went home to my grandparents' house that spring break, and while I was there, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. The only father I had ever known was critically ill and needed myself and my grandmother more than anything. And because I listened to my "nudge," I was there with him.
I think one thing that has been bothering me about this whole decision whether to stay at home or not has been the lack of a "nudge" in any direction. While I knew what my decision was and that it was best for our family, I didn't feel myself being led in any direction, and that bothered me. I finally had decided that I was just going to have to do what I knew was right regardless and try to be content with the decision.
Sometime at the end of last week, it arrived. Not a "nudge," but something even better - peace. I don't know when or how it snuck in, but all of a sudden I was completely and utterly at peace with my decision. I am no longer even nervous about speaking to my bosses. I am content. And very grateful for the feeling.
Peace comes in many disguises. To me, it has come in the form of acceptance.
Tell me about your "nudges," if you've had any. Did following your gut feelings work out for you?
*These stories were told to me by my MIL and they are people she actually knows. I know, right??!