When I first learned about Ignatian Discernment, I saw it as kind of a list of things to check off. Pray (check). Listen to the Spirit moving in my heart (check). Get good information (check). Make my pros and cons list (check). Bring it to God (check). Make a decision (check).
Once I completed the checklist and made the decision – I was done. At least that’s what I used to think.
The truth is the process sometimes has to be repeated even on the same decision. We make the best decisions we can in the moment, but then… we learn more or circumstances change or new opportunities arise and we have to discern all over again. (Note well – this doesn’t mean the discernment failed the first time or that God wasn’t right there with us in the first decision we made).
There’s an additional step, however, for the next time we use the process.
In order for discernment to work again on a decision we already made, we have to be willing to let go of the hold we have on the original choice.
This part was really hard for me in a decision my husband and I had to make this past Spring. I might’ve had a death grip on the old choice. It’s easy to do. I worked hard to discern that choice.
The following is an excerpt from the article where I talk about that choice. It’s an article I hope you read because I shared vulnerably about my discernment so that it might help you whenever you face something similar. Share it with someone who may need to hear they aren’t alone.
“I think it is easy for us as human beings to get attached to the way things are. We settle into routines, we have expectations. We have dreams about how life is supposed to go. The truth is, however, that life never seems to go exactly the way we expected. But the truth also is that when the road forks, when the cannonball hits, that is when the most incredible things happen. I know, I’ve gotten to witness the incredible before. I will get to do so again.”
You can check out the rest of the article here.