I have always been pretty independent. A leader by nature. However, I picked up patterns of people pleasing along the way. Particularly for approval of those that I cared for and respected. The most dramatic crossroad happened for me in ministry.
I was sensing that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I ignored the occasional nudges that I was getting to make a change because being needed by others was filling an unhealthy place inside my heart. Finally, God intervened. He got my ear, audibly and loudly. Three different times over the course of a day, the internal dialog persisted. The crescendo came down to making a choice. It was clear that in order to be obedient I needed to shift away from the ministry and anchor more deeply and personally with God. I had gone through several rounds of negotiations with God even prior to this particular day. Direction became clear and there was no more bartering.
I have never looked back. It has taught me to hold onto things much more loosely and rely on God to direct my steps. I am very thankful and much more tuned into the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The need to please others has been overshadowed by my desire to please my loving heavenly Father.
Father, thank you for Your persistent, still small voice. Thank you for Your love and guidance. I pray that I will always have an ear to hear.