A number of years ago three different single women I know bought their own homes – one had been widowed twice, another once, and the third never married. Once the transactions were complete, each one struggled with doubts whether they had made the right decision. I observed the struggles, heard the doubts, and prayed for peace for each of them. I also empathized.
Making big decisions alone is not an easy thing. Carrying it out alone is even harder.
Satan wants us to be miserable as we agonize over life’s decisions and then agonize even more with self-doubt afterward. Our Heavenly Father, on the other hand, not only wants us to have peace and joy as we make our decisions, He promises to guide those decisions and assist us as we carry them out. He came to give us abundant life, not misery! Ever our Constant Companion, He will never leave us nor forsake us, and will be constantly guiding and helping us at every step.
Big decisions – or maybe even little ones – can paralyze us, especially when we are fearful of making a mistake. I love my father’s advice in such situations. He has often told me to make decisions based on what I believe God is leading me to do and on what I know at the time. If later it becomes evident I need to pivot and go in a different direction, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean the first decision was a mistake. Even if it was, it’s not the end of the world. We serve a redeeming God who is bigger than any mistake we make and is able to bring good out of every situation:
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 HCSB)
Our decisions and choices do have consequences, there’s no doubt. But the truth I hang onto any time I have to make a decision is that in the end, God in His sovereignty determines the outcome. This truth gives us much freedom, as does all truth.
None of the three women were truly alone in their decision-making process of choosing and buying a home. God’s promise to be with us and to guide us is real, if not always physically tangible.
So how do we know if our decisions are truly led of God? The best answer to this was the encouragement one of these women gave to another:
“If you trusted God and acknowledged Him in the process, then you have to believe that He directed your decision.”
Another friend of mine said something similar when I was doubting a decision I had made:
“A life lived by faith is not one of second guessing.”
What a freeing truth! Truly if we are asking God to guide our lives, if we are committed to following the promptings of His Spirit within us, and if the choices we make are in line with these promptings and His written Word, then we can be confident our choices are not only within His will, but directed by Him.
If you are struggling with whether God guides and how He does, take time to study and mediate on these nuggets from Scripture; they reveal His truth so much better than I can!
“The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 HCSB)
“He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.” (Psalm 25:9 HCSB)
“I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel.” (Psalm 32:8 HCSB)
“A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24 HCSB)
“You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me up in glory.” (Psalm 73:24 HCSB)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 HCSB)
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 HCSB)
“Whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21 HCSB)
“This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17 HCSB)
“The Lord will always lead you.” (Isaiah 58:11a HCSB)
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7 HCSB)
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26 HCSB)
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13 HCSB)
“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13 HCSB)
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5 HCSB)