How has Step 3 helped me find a Great Divine I can trust?
I have held a grudge against the first God I knew. There are too many false starts, bad memories, and horrible tastes associated with the Holy Trinity. That God failed me as a child, and i'm reluctant to give Him another chance.
Trusting something, anything, beyond myself was anathema. God obviously didn't care or hear my pleas, so why bother? Slowly, I realized that there must be something out there keeping an eye on me. I'm not dead and I'm not in a hospital. Something is watching out for me. I could accept a loving being that wanted to help me, but not necessarily a divine hand. I still have too much distaste for authority for that. Over and over, I told this deity what needed to happen. Over and over, I was told "no." Over and over, I prayed (I detest that word, but it's the truth of what it was) for answers and said "no, not that answer."
Eventually, something in me kicked. Maybe the way forward was not the way I thought I wanted. From there, all the dominoes toppled. If the way forward I wanted wasn't right, what was the right way? Maybe the 'Verse had greater plans than what I aimed for. Maybe the 'Verse had a better idea. Maybe, just maybe, I could listen for the next step in the plan as opposed to telling the Great Divine my next step and finding a wall.
Ok, I believed in the Great Divine, and trusted that the 'Verse had better ideas than I did, but I still didn't wholly trust this God. Deities had failed me. There came a point where I realized that listening for those next steps and trusting them didn't mean worship. BAM! The door flew open. "Thou art God. I am God." Robert Heinlein and Michael Valentine Smith had it right. God wasn't something to worship from afar via lip service. God is in all of us. Trusting God meant trusting myself, trusting that little voice that says "Maybe, just maybe...", and trusting that things would turn out in the end. I could handle that. Thou art God. I can handle that.
How do I distinguish God's will from my own?
It's hard hearing that little voice, when my head is clamoring over with brilliant (and not so brilliant) ideas. I wish I could say "you just know because of the peace." That's not true. Sometimes the truth come like a thunderclap, and sometimes it "comes like a butterfly and quietly lands on your shoulder."
You know it's God's will when the brick wall vanishes. You know it's God's will when things quietly start falling in your favor. You know it's God's will when, even though it's not the easy way out, it's the RIGHT way. You know it's God's will when, even as your heart beats out of your chest in anxiety, that small center of you that is God is a quiet candle burning steadily in the darkness. You know it's God's will when you're not afraid of what comes next, not out of depression, but out of the comfort that you ARE on the right path, wherever the hell it leads. Even if you fear the next step like it could kill you, you do it anyways, because there's a hurricane lantern beckoning you forward.