It’s hilarious that I’m even trying to write this post.
Why? Well, I’m one of the more indecisive people you’d meet.
We face decisions continually throughout the course of a day. From deciding whether or not to snooze our morning alarm three times (or five, six, seven times….no shame) to deciding what time to crawl into bed at night, we have a ridiculous amount of choices in front of us and decisions to be made.
It’s a strange phenomenon to know that a change is coming. Perhaps you’re preparing to graduate, change jobs, get married, move, have a baby—all of these are things that we can typically see coming.
So, how do we make decisions in light of that? How do we prepare while we’re seemingly in a waiting period?
If you have the answer, I’d love to hear it.
I certainly don’t have the answer, and am currently facing one of the changes above (not having a baby).
Personally, the hardest thing for me about making a decision is the lack of control. When we make a decision it feels like we have control, but we don’t. Even if we think through all of the possibilities, list outcomes, or even make a pro/con list, in reality, we really have NO idea what we’re getting ourselves into.
We like control because it feels safer and less unknown. It’s frightening to know that change is coming but that you don’t know what it will bring. No matter how many self-help books we read or advice from friends we receive, we still have no idea what’s actually coming.
We hate that, don’t we?
When I struggle with control and decision-making, I am reminded by my continual need for God. One of my favorite chapters in Proverbs, 16, is SO GOOD for speaking into this. Here are verses 3 and 9 from Proverbs 16:
“Commit to the Lord whatever
and he will establish your plans.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
WOW. These verses speak directly to my heart and my desire to do everything on my own. Yet if I commit what I’m doing to Him, the path I’m supposed to go on will be established!
Let’s be real: God is an infinitely better planner than I am.
I get overwhelmed by details and keeping people happy, but God is sovereign and sees ALL of the pieces clearly. I often see about 10% of what is going on, yet I think I’ve got to move forward and make a choice.
That’s not what it means to rely on God! You probably already knew that, but I need the reminder a lot.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Psalm 139 lately. This Psalm is often known for the beautiful picture that is painted in verses like 14:
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
We all need this reminder about how intentionally we were created! Psalm 139 is a great place to go when you’re struggling with who you are.
Verse 14 is great, but two different verses from Psalm 139 have been sticking out to me lately. I’ve come to really appreciate what they say about God knowing us:
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
These verses are striking to me for a few reasons. First of all, we can ask for God to know us!
He of course already does know us, but this is a beautiful picture of inviting God to see the depths of ourselves—including the hidden places we don’t want people to see.
I can also relate to the “anxious thoughts” in verse 23. When I’m making decisions (especially ones that I foresee having a lot of potential repercussions), anxiety creeps in. God can know our anxious thoughts and see them for what they truly are.
Think about it like this: A diamond has a lot of different sections and facets, right? I often get stuck on one section and can’t see beyond it. Yet God, because He is faithful, sovereign, powerful, and near, can see all of the sections as they are. He knows the full picture while we only see a portion!
Knowing that God knows our hearts and needs can help us as we think about making decisions and giving up control.
I’m not saying this is easy, because it’s not.
It’s really, really difficult to relinquish control and rely on God. Below are a few questions to help you process as you look to God in make decisions. I hope and pray that they help you take pressure off of yourself and recognize that God knows what He has for you.
-How has God given you unique strengths? How have you seen God use these strengths in the past?
-What decisions are you trying to make today and in the next few weeks? Think about how God has been preparing you for these decisions through hardships, conversations, encouragement, and circumstances lately.
-What have you been learning recently? How might these things be used to help others?
-Choose one attribute of God to focus on and find verses related to this (see the graphic below of some of my favorites to get you started). When we feel out of control and unsure how to make decisions, how does this attribute of God help?
So, let’s shift our perspective as we prepare for change and rely on who God is as we make decisions, knowing that He can handle it.