Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like now if I hadn’t made that one big decision. Or that other big decision. Or even that little decision. Or the little one after that one. What if I had taken that job? What if I hadn’t ended that relationship? What if I had gone out with that guy a second time? What if I had told that person I adored from a distance how I felt? What if I had stayed in Cleveland in 1997? What if I had moved to Vancouver in 2003? What if I hadn’t rushed into my second marriage and sold my house and quit my good job in 2012?
What if? What if? What if?
My what if list seems endless. We are truly always just one decision away from a totally different life. The most important things I have learned about making decisions are:
1 – IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PEACE WITH YOUR DECISION YOU SHOULD NOT BE MAKING A DECISION YET.
Oh my goodness I should know this by now. When I am faced with a decision that is bringing turmoil, stress, uncertainty into my life…I should just wait until things become clearer. Making a decision for the sake of making a decision is not a good idea. When you don’t have peace with it, it is not part of God’s plan. When you make a decision under those circumstances, he always has a way of putting it to a halt. The best thing to do in this situation is to stop, breathe, and wait until things become clearer.
2 – GOD DOES NOT BRING TURMOIL AND CONFUSION!
This is basically a repeat of number 1 but I cannot stress this enough. I just went through something last month that stressed me out BIG TIME. I wrote about it (scroll back to Jump if you want to read more). A door opened for me out of the blue when I wasn’t even looking for one and instead of trusting my gut instinct that the timing was wrong and the decision would be a step backwards, I hemmed and hawed and stewed and struggled and stressed and asked about 15 of my closest friends what I should do. And I made myself physically sick over it.
Note to self: When you have to ask a bunch of other people who do not walk in your shoes what you need to do with your life, something is WRONG. Also, when your body is rejecting this decision, something is WRONG. So I made a decision thinking it was the RIGHT thing based on the opinions of others although I KNEW it wasn’t a good one. Less than a week later God said “Not yet Stace” and closed the door I was about to walk through. Like he literally slammed it shut and threw away the key. No going back through that door ever again. It was a step backwards and a SAFE move but not a good one. He knew I would struggle if I kept going and he doesn’t want to see me struggle when I don’t have to. I am thankful for the closed door because I would be in a pickle right now if I had walked through it and ignored him. But he made sure I got back on course.
3 – THERE IS NO WRONG DECISION.
God is orchestrating my journey and he sees the big picture even when I don’t. However, I do have free will and ultimately I will do what I want. Thankfully he is there to guide me when I steer too far off course. Just like my dad corrected my handle bars when I was learning to ride my banana seat bike without training wheels. He allows me to choose my path. And when I screw up, he rescues me. The highways, back roads, side streets, or even the overgrown weeded dirt paths that I have to chop down or pull out weed by weed to get through will lead me to where I am supposed to be eventually. Every road I travel and every decision I make is a learning experience that is leading me to where I am supposed to be. I have faith in that no matter what I do or where I go, I am going to be okay.
I want to give up sometimes. I cannot lie. Believing God wants the best for me and is leading me to something greater is DIFFICULT when I seem to be stuck in limbo for a long time. But I must remember that I have been in this situation before. Waiting and watching and hoping and wondering WHEN IS SOMETHING GOING TO HAPPEN? WHEN WILL I MOVE FORWARD WITH MY LIFE AGAIN? I TRIED TO MOVE BUT THAT ROAD IS BLOCKED NOW. WHY? WHEN? WHAT IF?
But every time I have felt stuck in the past, eventually I moved forward to something greater. The being stuck part is where I learn the most. It is where I become aware of my past mistakes and learn to adjust back to the path I am supposed to be traveling on. God is always there, but I must show up for him too. Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
Trusting the closed road as well as the open one I reach next. And trusting that no matter what decision I make, God is guiding me home.
Stacey ~ iamalive