It was early for a Saturday. But after a couple months of intentionally dragging myself out of bed at 4:55 am - even on weekends - early mornings had become a natural rhythm. Wrapped in a warm blanket with steaming cup of tea in hand, I sat in the screened-in porch to greet the dawn.
It was quiet, there at the house my sisters and I had rented for a few days. And quiet is just what my churning heart needed. Cows mooed to each other in the distance, a few birds chatted, and there was a lone duck floating in the pond that was the focal point of my view. I watched the sun rise. The night before had gifted us with a beautiful fall sunset. No wonder there were so many windows in this house that face west.
I took a sip, then I heard him before I saw him. From a snag nearby, the rush of wings, then the graceful flight of an eagle swooping down to the pond. Splash. He circled back up to the snag. A few minutes later, he dove again. And then a third time. I watched in wonder, thankful for witnessing this moment. I’ve never been this close to an eagle and this was a front row seat! Isn't it amazing how an eagle can see his prey so clearly from such a distance?
For the last few days, I had been wrestling with a decision that would change life as I know it, at least for a while. Seems like life has been a crazy rollercoaster ride for the last three years, and finally had relaxed into a much welcomed calmness this summer. I’ve settled into a new house, planted new gardens, and still love running a small business. Health issues have finally become manageable, and stress has greatly dissipated. But there still is a need, and now could God be gifting an opportunity to fill it?
Sorry to be vague, but I’m not quite ready to share details. Just know that it’s all good. What I really needed when I drove to the rental, was clarity. Wrestling with this decision was all-consuming, but in that place, that morning, that eagle, I felt I could finally relax and breathe. I felt something else, too, the clarity I was seeking. Just distancing myself from the daily hum of life brought a different perspective - one much more clear.
Making decisions is not always easy, especially the big ones. Author Greg McKeown says in his book, Essentialism, “If it isn’t a clear yes, it's a clear no.” After lots of conversations with God, this one was a pretty clear yes, although when I confided in my sisters that weekend, I did ask if they thought I was crazy for even considering this! It’s the praying and leaving it in God’s hands where I find the biggest source of peace. He gives what we need even when we don’t even know we need it. So I’m leaning into His wisdom, and counting on Him to renew my strength daily in this adventure as He says in Isaiah 40:31:
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
As you may know, I’m a faithful follower of Emily P Freeman. You could say she’s one of my gurus. I’ve mentioned her several times in the past because her Next Right Thing podcast and book really make me think. On a recent podcast, she said this:
“Sometimes it (your yes) feels like clarity, like sharp, fresh air on a deep autumn night like a full moon, like the straight line of blue on blue while standing on the edge of the sea and you just know a thing deep down, like you've always known it.
Sometimes it feels like prayer, like having an actual face-to-face, conversation with divine God, the one who is wild about you, not the one who shakes a finger in your general direction.
Sometimes a clear yes sounds like you being as honest as you're able stating what you really want again or for the first time, there's a lot to learn in discovering for you what is the difference between your, yes, I could do this and your hell yes, I must do this. For some of us it will be instant, but that's not always how it happens and it's okay if your hell yes comes from a slow burn as you continue to do your next right thing in love.” Episode #299
And I will add sometimes we make the best decision we can with the information we have at that time and leave it in those holy hands that are bigger than ours. If you struggle with making decisions, I encourage you to give Emily’s book and or podcast a try. One of my favorite things I’ve learned from her is to not make a pro-con list. Instead ask yourself: is this life-giving or is this life-draining?
I’m actually looking ahead with some excitement to what lies ahead. With it will come more demands on my time, and will test my endurance. I will long to escape to a retreat out in the country when I have another difficult decision to make, but I hope that morning, that eagle, that sense of clarity will stay with me for awhile.
Blessings on decisions that you are struggling with. I’m praying God gives you the clarity you need, the strength you need, and that he will give you an eagle moment of your own.
Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!