Sometimes a crazy idea is not just a crazy idea. Sometimes it’s God asking you to take a leap of faith.
How do you know the difference? That’s the difficult part. But sometimes the desires of your heart can help you out.
In June of 2014, I took the biggest leap of faith I had ever taken in my life. There is no way I could have known where it would lead me. I still have a hard time believing that I did what I did.
I won’t say that I’m an expert on hearing God’s call, but maybe these tidbits I learned can help you in your own journey.
The Desires of Your Heart
You may have heard the passage that states, Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4.
I’ve heard more than one pastor talking about what that doesn’t mean. That is if the desire of your heart is a Ferrari you probably won’t be seeing that fulfilled anytime soon.
But what I didn’t understand is what it does mean. I tend to be pretty black and white about faith-related issues. So, in my mind, anything kinda crazy that I wanted was probably my own sinful desire and nothing more.
But what if one of the ways that God speaks to us is through our wants and desires? Of course, I absolutely believe He can speak any way He wants to.
But does He?
Does He drop a desire on our hearts as a way to speak to us? Is that sometimes how He encourages us to take the next step in His plan for our life?
I think He does. But I also don’t think that gives us free rein to start expecting everything we want. I think a desire of the heart is something deeper and more genuine than simply wanting something.
Let me explain.
A Crazy Decision
Starting in 2010 I went through a pretty rough patch in life. I needed time to heal, which God provided along with several wonderful people who supported me.
Then in 2013, out of the blue, I decided to go on a trip. My first solo trip to a different country. I visited Costa Rica and took Spanish classes at a local school. I absolutely loved my adventure.
I met a girl from Arizona there who was taking a year to live in Costa Rica and teach English. It got me thinking. Could I do something crazy like that?
My rational side said that it made no sense. It was silly for me to even think about it. I wanted to go back to Costa Rica, but it was probably just ‘vacation high’.
Months went by and I wrestled with the thought. I thought it was crazy and selfish, imprudent and I only wanted to do it because I was so restless and unhappy where I was at.
But the desire wouldn’t go away.
I had a lot of deep discussions with trusted friends about how I was feeling. Finally, one mentioned to me that maybe this was a desire of my heart that God Himself was giving me. Maybe this was God’s way of speaking to me.
I thought, well, there’s nothing stopping me from coming back if it doesn’t work out. I’m not happy with my life anyway, what do I have to lose?
Jumping Off a Cliff
I sold my car, which was really my only major possession and packed two big bags full to overflowing. And I went to Costa Rica.
I felt like I was jumping off a cliff, but I couldn’t have been more excited.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined where I would be now, 4 years from then. After a rocky start, I found a job and started making my own way.
I met and married my husband, a Costa Rican. Neither of us was looking for a relationship or even wanted to get married (that’s a story of how God works for another post!). We now have a baby girl (never really wanted to have kids either, lol).
But I couldn’t be more amazed at how much God has blessed us. All because I made the scary, crazy decision to listen to a desire of my heart and do something totally outside my comfort zone.
Turns out, God was talking to me.
Desires Aren’t Always Sinful
At least for me, I got the idea from growing up in the church that our desires are always sinful. While that is true much of the time, it isn’t always the case.
I believe now that sometimes God gives us desires as a way to speak to us. I couldn’t have known and didn’t need to know, the direction that God had for my life 4 years ago. But God wanted me in the right spot geographically to continue working out His plan in my life and that’s how He got me there. I’m excited to see what else He has in store!
What about you? Do you have any desires that you can’t seem to shake? What if God is talking to you? Take some time to prayerfully consider the desires of your heart. Talk to trusted friends and spiritual mentors. You might be surprised at what you find.
Related: Trusting God’s Plan
Cara is a freelance writer originally from the United States but now living in Costa Rica with her husband and daughter. She enjoys writing on a variety of topics including travel and adventure! She combined her passion for photography with writing by launching her own blog La Vaida in Life about Costa Rican culture. It is complete with loads of beautiful photos that she takes herself as she and her little family adventures around Costa Rica!