I really struggle with making choices- both large and small, but it’s the big decisions, like what city I want to live in, what career I want to end up in, whether to leave or stay where I am, what job to take…etc. those are ones that truly terrify me and just listing them out, I can fear the anxiety creeping in. The freedom of choice is beautiful, but the fear of choosing wrong is paralyzing. Making things even harder is the fact that most choices aren’t aren’t right or wrong… they’re just choosing among options that all have good aspects to them, but also some drawbacks. What are you supposed to do with that?
At the root of it, I think I struggle with decisions because I struggle with letting go of all the times that, in my mind, I chose completely wrong. My mind could happily make its home in the land of what-ifs & re-dos if I let it. I am hyper critical of the times I think I should have known better and in hindsight, wish I had chosen differently and avoided the hard lessons learned.
The wild thing that I’m finally coming to realize/internalize, is that regretting decisions and disappointing people (including yourself) is inevitable, no matter which path you take. Even if I could go back to certain points in life and decide differently… there still would still have been let-downs and wonderings of what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. It’s impossible to go through life unscathed.
However, it’s freeing to know that we’re not stuck in a cycle where there’s hopelessness in our future because of our past choices. We’re not missing out on the “best version” of our lives that could have been, but for our own screw ups- because if you believe in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection you can’t walk in that lie. Call out that mentality for what it is… a blatant lie that attempts to shift the burden a fear of the future onto our shoulders.
Christ’s blood was shed to take on the power of death, of fear, of hopelessness, and as a result there is literally nothing in this world- no choice you can make – that can overpower God’s will, calling, and promises on your life. And He promises a future that is immeasurably more than you can imagine (Eph 3:20) and full of hope and peace (Jer 29:11)- gifts that are freely available to us simply because He is good and that is enough, despite our own shortcomings. Purpose, re-direction, and growth rise alongside us each time we get up, learn, and move on. What we see as failure, God doesn’t see as wasted.
Ultimately choices & letting go, are intertwined. To move forward with a decision, you have to let go of what you could have decided & what might have been. But the good thing I’ve discovered is that when given the blessing of choosing among good things… there is no wrong option. God is in every single one of those decisions & His grace isn’t dependent upon us choosing well because He’ll use us wherever we are, and lead us to wherever we should be.