We all have big decisions to make and you’re currently in a VITAL time of your life for making decisions which can add to a lot of stress and worry.
Perhaps you’re currently facing some of these BIG decisions right now…
- Should I go on a mission?
- Which college should I go to?
- What should I study in college?
- Should I live at home or with roommates?
- To date the boy or not date the boy…
- How will I know when I’m ready to be married?
- Is he the one?
- And the list goes on and on and on… am I right?
But let’s talk about why we think these decisions are such BIG ones in the first place. It’s easy to think that God has one specific plan for us, and if we don’t end up following it to a T, if we step out one centimeter then that’s it… our plan is forever ruined and now everything is forever broken.
Is that how God works? It’s SO easy to think that because ever since we were little we’ve heard the words “God has a plan for you”. Let’s dig deep into the character of God for just a second. Would God, a perfect and unconditionally loving Father want for you to fail? NO! You know that! I know that! … and yet, Satan is constantly trying to get us to believe otherwise. And if God doesn’t want us to fail, then would he make it that easy to step out of the lines to never have hope of happiness again? Absolutely NOT!
And perhaps you’re thinking, well I know that! I know there is always hope to live with Him again, but what about my happiness right here right now… what about that? Heavenly Father doesn’t want you to fail in The Plan of Salvation, but He also doesn’t want you to fail in this life in whatever your happiness may look like.
It’s important to lighten up when we are making these “BIG” decisions. Yes, there is a chance they may shape you or create more events in your life. They often help to mold your character and qualities, but God is good and He is also is able to adapt to your plan.
Have you ever made a mistake you thought would ruin you? I know many teen girls who think this, but God knew what was going to happen BEFORE you did. God is so incredible that He goes before you to help smooth things out for your greatest good. Don’t get this confused with interfering with your agency, because He certainly won’t do that. But He cares and He will do everything in His power to create happiness in your life.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about some tips for making decisions.
STEP 1 – MAKE A PRO & CON LIST
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A pro & con list is a really powerful way to evaluate your feelings about the situation. It will help you to really see the situation in a new & whole perspective as it gets your jumbled thoughts out. Stress builds up when you don’t take the time to sort your thoughts, and that’s literally what we are doing here… sorting our thoughts. What’s the good? What’s the not-so-great?
STEP 2 – PRAY OVER THE LIST
Let’s say one side is longer on your list than the other, does that matter? That’s up for you to decide. The point of the list wasn’t necessarily to see which one comes out longer than the other so that can be the winner. The point of the list is to organize your thoughts so you can SEE them.
It’s also important to note that a circumstance is neither good nor bad, it just is. It’s all on opinion and the thoughts you create around that circumstance. Let’s say one item on the list was “I would be far from home.” Chances are if you put at least 10 girls in a room together, you’d each have a different opinion on if you personally thought that would be a pro or a con. What if what you think is a pro, God has a different opinion? What if after talking with Him and others, your opinion changed?
Praying over your list will help you see if you have the right perspective. I then personally love comparing what I feel is the answer God is giving to me with Moroni 7 where it talks about EVERY GOOD THING.
If it’s good, I trust in it.
STEP 3 – MOVE FORWARD
God can’t steer a parked car, I’m sure you’ve heard that over a million times before, but it’s true! You have to move and show God where you want to go. As you are moving is usually when you will be able to hear His voice the clearest. God wants you to see that you are willing to act and take initiative and that’s usually when the greatest answers take place.
You’ll soon figure out if you need to make a U-Turn or if you actually are headed in the right direction. To have to go a different way is never a bad thing, it’s sometimes the only way to know that that is not the way.
STEP 4 – REMEMBER THAT SOMETIMES GOD WANTS US TO CHOOSE
It can also be hard to have analysis paralysis because we just want God to map out everything for us. Remember, agency is a gift and sometimes we forget to use it. If you still aren’t sure if God has an answer for you, then go forth remembering that this might just be one of those times where God wants YOU to decide. What a gift that God trusts you!!