Have you ever been paralyzed from the fear of making a wrong decision? I hate it when I have a 50/50 chance of getting it right, and apparently, I get it wrong yet again. But have I really gotten it wrong? Or is this just another way of God guiding me through my Christ-life lessons?
Some decisions we know immediately were wrong – like running that red light when the cop was on the corner. Other bad decisions we discover later – like picking the wrong guy to date, or dealing with the pain of poorly chosen food. Then there is the other type of “bad” decision – the one we never really know if it was right or wrong, but the worry about it nags at us throughout the years.
I know that I look back at times in my life and wish I had do-overs. I wish that I had been athletic as a child, so maybe I wouldn’t have been so overweight or obese 90% of my life. I think that maybe I might have been more attractive, and therefore more confident, and could have accomplished more social and public things. I assume I would have been healthier throughout my life.
I also look at other crossroads – like after college, when I had to choose between becoming a missionary or working as a counselor at the Georgia Governor’s Honors program for a summer. What would have happened if the missionary acceptance letter had come prior to the deadline for accepting the counselor position? What would have happened if I had been available to take my music publisher up on the opportunity to write songs with the singer/songwriter for New Song and Niles Borop (songwriter for Sandi Patti), instead of being in Valdosta as a counselor that summer.
What about that divorce that forced me to stop homeschooling, and give up all my dreams of offering my two very different children the absolute best teaching they could have obtained? Would my children be different, instead of scarred from all that happened to them in public school? Would my children have escaped all I had hoped for them to escape, instead of living most of the hell I went through in school?
If I stop there, I would just be listing the possible wrong decisions up to the time I was 30 years old. That leaves out the last almost 17 years of more “wrong” decisions. But that also brings me to my point.
If I hadn’t taken all those turns and twists, I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. Not that I have achieved or have arrived, but I have learned. I have learned enough to share with women younger than me going through many of the same questions and decisions. And I have developed perspective that can only come with age.
I know now that whatever decision I make, He is still Lord over all. Whether I turn to the right or turn to the left, He still sees me. When I walk away, but then return, He is waiting for me. And He is the Redeemer – the redeemer of my past, and also the redeemer of all of my “wrong” decisions.
He can take every mistake I have made, and still bring something beautiful out of it. The path I chose brought me two truly amazing children, although they travel two very different paths, and I have no idea where either will end up. This path has brought me closer to my parents, something I never would have guessed early on. But most importantly, it has brought me closer to Him. I see His fingerprint near every milestone in my life, being the Master Chess Player, countering my every move to position me right where He wants me in the end.
So maybe, just maybe, those decisions you are agonizing over aren’t really as important as you may think. Regardless of whether you turn to the right or the left, good or bad decision, if you have committed yourself to Him, you are His, for all eternity. You are His responsibility, and in His care. He has a plan for you, and if you truly entrust yourself to Him, He will bring that plan about for you.
And whatever happens, all things will work for your good, because you are called according to His purpose, and you love the Lord. The result of whatever happens will be the transformation of yourself into the image of Christ – Christ in you, the hope of glory. I find comfort in knowing that even when I screw up, He can use it for my good and His glory, and bring beauty from ashes, dressing me in a garment of praise. He can bring all of this about, even from my “wrong decisions.”