top of page
Untitled (Banner (Landscape))-2.png

What do you want?

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

The Notebook is a pretty infamous rom-com story in today’s generation. A classic tale of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl moves on, but can’t get boy out of her head and comes back to him in the end. Oh, and it’s bookmarked by being told in retrospect of them as an older couple and him reading her their story so she’d remember him, even as she’s losing her battle to dementia. Tear jerker for sure.

There’s this one scene that always gets me. When Allie goes to visit Noah unexpectedly, after years apart, they fall for each other all over again. The hard thing is she’s actually engaged and to a man that her parents much prefer over Noah. After she finds out her fiance has come to town looking for her, she’s awakened to her reality and goes to leave. Noah gives it one last shot. He isn’t afraid to be real with her. His impassioned love speech of wanting to work through life together ends with a simple question to her, “What do you want”. He tells her, “Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants, what I want, what he wants, what your parents want, What do you want?”. She doesn’t know how to respond, she’s a bit lost, confused, overwhelmed and answers, “It’s not that simple”.

I’m going to switch gears a bit because this post is not about love and relationships, it’s more about life and the decisions we do or do not make. Last fall I found myself in the same state as Allie, lost, confused and overwhelmed with what to do in life. It seemed wherever I turned life begged me the question, “What do you want?” and I had absolutely no idea what my answer was anymore.

I think this generation’s Christianity has tied purpose into salvation. It’s no longer that you’re saved in Jesus, it’s that you’re saved AND you have a purpose. I’m not saying both aren’t true, you for sure have a purpose, God wanted you here and that in and of itself should be the answer to that question. But I’m afraid we’ve turned it into a rat race of some sort that a purpose means we have to be doing the exact thing God wants of us at all times, to make an impact, to change the world and if you miss that purpose you miss God entirely.

Having worked in college admissions for five years, I’ve seen countless young adults have full melt downs of which college to go to, what major to study and what career to pursue because they feel so inextricably tied to and responsible for not missing God’s plan for their life. We spend so much time trying to calculate God that we miss the point entirely that He is with us, “always, to the end of the age”.

I know I felt that so much in my early twenties. I was determined to seek God solely for the reason of trying to figure Him out, what He wanted for my life and how to not miss one step. Now don’t get me wrong, seeking God and His will for our life is a good thing, but I think we’ve also missed the bigger picture.

Let’s dive into the concept of free will. It’s the theological argument that God loved us so much, He wanted us to have free will. He could have made a world and humans that had no choice but to worship Him, but being the all loving God that He is, He never wanted us to love Him out of duty, He wanted us to choose Him, as He had already chosen us. If you dig down deeper, free will is also a key demonstration of how sin entered our world. Free will is one of God’s greatest blessings to us, but has also disrupted His vision for us and our world. But again, He loves his creation so much that He gifted it to us anyways.

So back to my point, let’s fold free will into that. Some people spend their days asking God to show them exactly what He wants, it could even be down to, “God should I eat this or that for lunch”, “God, should I wear this shirt or that shirt?”. Again, I’m not trying to belittle seeking God’s will in your life, but at a certain point you’ve got to understand that He’s given us this free will to make the decisions we want to make. We don’t always have to have a clear yes or no from Him in every single thing in our life, part of the equation is trust and faith that if we are walking with God and aiming to please and honor him we are free to make the decisions we want to make.

The pastor at church this morning nailed it perfectly by saying, “Love Jesus and then do whatever you want.” Now, he followed that up with the qualification that if you love Jesus, then doing what you want should not be in rebellion to God, obedience and faithfulness are true and worthy things, but will come hand in hand if you love God and are walking with Him as you make decisions. That should give us a lot of comfort, if we’re walking with the Lord and seeking him, we have so much freedom to make the decisions we WANT to make. Not the decisions we SHOULD make, not the decisions we feel is the more holy choice in other’s eyes (i.e. pursuing ministry because that’s what a good Christian would do when you really have a passion for the arts, or science, etc).

This past fall I felt like that’s all God was doing, asking me, over and over, “What do YOU want?”. I started praying for a new vision in life and really getting honest with myself of what I wanted. Slowly, I started coming to the realization that maybe what I wanted wasn’t anything I had wanted before, or that the desire for the life that was being born in my soul was vastly different from any vision I had growing up.

It’s been about eight months of trying to answer that question and I will say I finally have an answer. What’s so surprising to me, is that the answer is an answer younger me would have mocked. Figuring out what I actually want has come at a cost, it’s come with some hard conversations and dismantling plans that had already been in place to pursue that past vision of what I wanted. It has come with a lot of trust that it can be as simple as, “This is what I want right now”, even when it means loosening the grip of expectation I have placed on my life for a long time now.

I love Jesus. I want to follow Him and seek Him no matter what, but I am so grateful too that He gives me the freedom to make decisions, to choose what I want, knowing that He’s got it all. So, my question to you today, “What do you want?”. I think you’ll be surprised to see that God is in those words and is sitting there patiently, expectantly to hear your true answer and full heart.

61 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page