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Kimberly Novak invites us to settle into a comfortable pause and enjoy the graced moments hesitation can bring. 

I hesitate to ask, but…Echos is a phrase I have heard a million times, and nearly always, there is no hesitation, disregarding the intention. I have recently learned that the use of the word is often misguided. The word most times carries a negative tone, almost as it if is something you should not do. However, it might be possible that there are hidden blessings and encouragement within the pause.

I am in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life, so it is not often when I face the desire to hesitate on anything. When it does happen, though, I immediately dial up my spiritual director for fresh ears, insight, and her calming nature. I voiced concern about my instant hesitation to something presented to me. I was uneasy and uncertain if God had placed this on my path. The last thing I wanted to do was let go of something God had intended for me to experience.  

A spiritual director can be beneficial in situations of this type, and my experience on this topic was no different. “Trust in the hesitation; never be afraid to pause,” her words echo. She shared how important it is to use this precious time of stillness for discernment and prayer. If the situation is God’s will, He will bring it back to you again.

I could not wait to put this to the test, and I was presented with an opportunity that very afternoon. My husband and I love antique shopping, and I saw an ad for the cutest tea cart in a local shop. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, though I knew it would be a great addition to our dining room.  Upon arriving, we took our time going through the rooms and eventually stumbled upon the precious cart. Then, I voiced my want to my husband, and we looked it over and agreed it would be a great piece to own.

My hubby asked, “Should we pay for it now or look the rest of the place over first?” I was excited to pause and see how God would respond.  I knew if God wanted us to have it, it would be there when we finished shopping. I felt comfortable in the pause with no worry or concern that we would miss out on the purchase.  It may seem silly, but if I could take the chance and pause now, I would be more convinced in my ability to do it with more pressing opportunities.




I had butterflies in my tummy as we headed back to make our purchase when a surprise came over my face as I saw it sitting alongside the cash register. The defeat in my expression quickly changed to joy when I saw the happiness in the gal making the purchase. We hung around a little more to avoid looking rude and making a hasty exit. As it turns out, the lovely couple who purchased the tea cart had been hesitating for five days before coming in.


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Use precious times of stillness for discernment and prayer. If the situation is God’s will, He will bring it back to you again. #CatholicMom

I chatted with her briefly as they wrapped up the purchase, and we walked out together. As we approached the door, it was quickly apparent that they would need assistance carrying it and loading it into their car. I knew in that instant that the tea cart was not meant for us; it was our destiny to help get it safely in the couple’s car for whom God intended. I also knew that if I had not hesitated, making the purchase immediately, the lovely couple God placed on our path would have been heartbroken.

Reflecting on the words of my spiritual director and this experience, I have learned how valuable it can be to settle into the pause and enjoy the fruits of what hesitating might bring you. It might be a priceless antique, or it might be the sheer joy of another. In either respect, you can take pleasure in knowing it is by the will of the One who sent you. 



Copyright 2023 Kimberly Novak
Images: Canva