Do you realize how many decisions we are faced with each day? Am I going to hit the snooze button? Should I wear my hair in a ponytail or a messy bun? Should I get a coffee on the way into work? Do I read my devotional? Do I cry now or in my car? (Hope you got that, SLPs). What should I do about this job? Burger or salad? Ice cream or cookie? Bra or no bra?
I mean, it’s a lot. This is why I like my routine. It limits the decisions I need to make, right? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an Enneagram One. I am very concerned about right vs wrong. Naturally, when it comes to decisions, I am worried the decision I’ll make is going to be the wrong one. Just ask my (very patient) boyfriend. The amount of times I’ve heard, “Woman, just make a decision” is a tad concerning.
Decisions are hard for me, especially when other people are involved. The majority of the time when I’m faced with decisions, I find I am more concerned with everyone else than I am with myself. Wait, hang on. Let me rephrase that. I find I am more concerned with everyone else than I am with God. My comfort, my ego, my emotions all rule the decision making process initially. I verbally process, wondering how I’ll be impacted if a decision turns out to be “wrong”.
Now seems like a good time to talk about “right” vs “wrong” in decision making. I remember being faced with a big career decision last spring. I was talking to my sweet friend, trying to figure out what was best. She simply said, “What if there isn’t a wrong decision?”
Wait…what? There wasn’t a wrong decision? No, no, that couldn’t be true. There has to be a wrong decision so I can ensure I’m making the right one! There needs to be a bad one so I know that I’ve chosen a good one. Guys, this is seriously just a small glimpse into the brain of an Enneagram One. It’s rough in there sometimes.
I couldn’t believe what she was saying. Was I now choosing between two good options? My small mind was blown and my world got a little bit bigger and a tad more hopeful.
Picture this: you are at a crossroads, one path to your left and another to your right. What’s on these paths is unknown to you. You stutter step forward, catching yourself at the uncertainty laid out in front of you. You step back, worried for a moment.You haven’t the slightest clue what lies ahead of you. You take a deep inhale, hold your breath briefly, and then exhale. Your shoulders drop. Your eyes close and a soft, confident smile begins to sweep across your face. Left path or right path, it doesn’t matter. The power lies not within the course you choose to take but in the manner in which you take that damn course.
Now, I know someone will throw out a clear bad vs good decision. Let me clear it up: we know bad vs good. This is not a discussion about bad vs good. Your conscience knows that. This is about when we don’t know. We don’t know what we choose is going to come of. We don’t know what lies beyond. You know what lies beyond the decision to, I don’t know, steal or something. Bad. We are aware of that. Okay, can I move on now?
We can’t possibly rule out that some not-so-great things might come out of a decision. Hearts break, jobs are unfulfilling, money is lost, tears are shed. Sure, that’s frightening. It’s scary choosing to walk boldly somewhere new with the pain of past hurts and disappointments looming over our hearts. You know what I’ve found time after time, decision after decision? God is constant.
Look, I am honestly the worst at this. I seek so much validation in the face of a decision. I ask those around me their thoughts. I recruit their brains to help me in my state of emotion. At the end of the day, I’ve found that good ol’ gut of mine ends up telling me what’s right. I like to think our guts are God helping guide us just a little. I don’t think He guides us to the “right” one because I don’t necessarily believe in there being one path for us during our lifetimes. I think He guides us to the one we know we want most in our hearts. Here’s the thing: that decision, if it’s the one we feel most strongly about, will teach us something in the end, regardless of how things play out. Sometimes it’s a, “Oh, Lord. That was a close one. Don’t ever let me do that again.” Other times it’s am, “Yup, my heart was right.”
Oh, that was a bit of a cliche ending, eh? Listen to me, sitting here telling you to trust your gut and listen to your heart. (Okay, but truly do it because life is too damn short to live without knowing).
Making a decision confidently and without needing an abundance of outside approval is the ultimate flex, y’all. It shows trust in you, trust in God, and trust in how much you have to offer, whatever path you may be frolicking down.