This past week I witnessed my oldest daughter struggle in-between two big choices on each side of her.
She was asked to join her youth group this summer to attend a five-day Christian high school conference by the name of CIY Move, which she hasn’t ever gone to. This is an event held in different areas of the country and I’ve been told it’s absolutely an amazing experience. On the flip side that sweet little conference just happens to land on the very same week as our county fair, and Paige showing her animals for 4H is something she doesn’t take lightly. I remember one summer we were in the middle of moving and by a cluttered state of mind I didn’t get my kids signed up for 4H, I thought I was going to lose my role as mom over that deal!
Needless to say, given the idea these events both take place on the same week Paige would have to end up deciding on just one.
Choices are tough, especially as we age. They say, on average, people are presented with roughly 35,000 conscious choices in one single day — goodness no wonder my ‘meat computer’ feels close to fried each evening!!
We choose what time we’re going to wake up in the morning. We choose our clothes…breakfast…hairstyle (this one’s easy for my bald husband). We choose our attitude, and whether we’ll smile, laugh, or frown.
Choices happen all day long, sometimes without us actually even giving much thought at all. I like to think of these as ordinary, everyday choices.
But then there’s those tough decisions, like what my daughter faced this week. I honestly cringed at the idea when I knew I was going to have to let Paige know these two ‘very-important-to her-events’ are happening the same week this summer and she’d have to choose between the two.
You bet when I finally told her, the good old fifteen-year-old floodgates poured open. She took herself and the news straight to her bedroom where I figured she’d remain for the afternoon without any desire to talk this over — ever. BUT when I went to check up on her a bit later she was actually holding up maturely and had let me know she was going to visit with her youth group leader to get her input.
Paige was already beginning the steps of choosing well in what impacted her as a big decision! And she was doing it with a good attitude! As a mom, this is exactly what I wanted to witness.
Decisions like Paige’s often times carry pros and cons and these are definitely worth considering before choosing one way or another.
There are some key Bible verses I like to reflect on when I’m overwhelmed by choice-making:
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Perspective is also important, because even though either of Paige’s two choices would’ve been fine it really comes down to having a glass half-full attitude rather than a glass-half empty one.
We can choose to see the good in all things. Even when the news of cancer comes, we can choose to recognize that God offers the most important healing for our souls in that circumstance. When the decision to move our family from one place to another seems unfavorable but necessary we can choose to remember God will come along regardless. When the pregnancy results in a miscarriage leaving an empty womb, we can choose to trust that God longs to fill our hearts with comfort, growth, and strength in Him.
Those are the tough things — but it comes down to choosing well even in the midst of chaos. When we feel nothing is left we must choose to remember, surrender, and obey to God’s perfect will — choose to believe in His unconditional love for us no matter what else is happening. He already has everything figured out anyway.
And when we miss the better choice we can come humbly to God, rest assured He holds us in the palm of His hands and will show us the better way still. After all we’re perfectly chosen by Him who makes no mistakes. He is the Corrector and Perfecter of all things and no doubt about it — choosing God, His way, and His direction will always be our best decision and can help guide us in everything else.
When I spoke with Paige later that evening she confidently told me she’d decided she was going to CIY this summer. When I asked her what helped her decide so assuredly she simply responded, ‘I just knew I wanted God to come first and felt this was the better choice.’
Oh how this mama’s heart chooses to swell with joy over that beautiful decision…I can’t wait to see how God is going to MOVE in the lives of those teens that week!