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Is God Your Why?

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. Psalm 23 NIV

This or that... one or the other... heads or tails... If I say no, will I regret not taking this opportunity? If I say yes, am I missing out on other things? What are the pros and the cons? Does one outweigh the other? Is there a sign I'm missing? Were there signs at all? Am I just making it up in my head to see what I want to see?

When faced with opportunities and choices, I want to make the right decision. The right one for my future, for my dreams... But what does "the right decision" really mean and is there really such a thing as "the wrong one"? Better yet, is it really the decision in itself that matters? Or rather is it the decision-making process, the journey that we go on as humans to consider every possible factor, that is the real point?

I was just faced with my first real 'big girl' decision a few weeks ago and it was a bit of struggle at first. I was offered an amazing opportunity to work in a research lab as a freshman over the summer and I could not be more thrilled about getting involved. But saying yes meant saying no to other things, and I wasn't sure if I was quite ready for that...

I thought I saw a bunch of signs pointing to accepting the opportunity. I mean it practically fell in my lap so it must have been a gift from God, right? I initially felt like I was obligated to take the position this summer because I didn't know if it was 'now or never', and if it was from God then surely it meant I had to do it...

It wasn't until I started to question whether or not it was truly from God and started to seek advice that I started to realize some of the purpose of this decision. I was asked by some very wise people why I really wanted this opportunity. Did I want it for myself, for another checkbox on my resume, another accomplishment and feather in my hat? Or did I want it because of the learning experience and because of a passion for biomedical research? And no matter the answer, was God the center? Was He a part of my why?

After reflecting and starting to answer these questions, I realized that maybe the whole point of the decision wasn't necessarily my ultimate choice, but maybe the point was to question and to bring God into the conversation. Maybe He is actually more concerned with being included in the decision-making process than He is with what the decision is... Maybe all He wants is for us to turn to Him and seek His guidance; for us to trust Him enough with our lives that we open up our hands and offer Him control.

People say that the journey is more than the destination and to 'trust the process', so why would that be any different with decisions and/or with God? Why wouldn't we trust that the One who created us with divine purposes has the power to lead us where we need to go?

God's fingerprints of control are present over all of the details of everything within this world. Our lives are no exception. And we are not powerful enough to mess up the plan that God has for our lives. We cannot obstruct His activity in our lives no matter how much control we think we have. And we shouldn't want to...

After deliberating for a few days and talking with Jesus constantly during my decision process, I was left feeling filled with peace despite still having a final decision to make because I knew that He was in it. I had answered the questions and I made Him my why. I realized that I only wanted the opportunity if He was going to be in it and if He was going to use it for good. And guess what? Because of that, He showed up far beyond what I could have imagined when I made my final decision. I was offered a position during the school year and was told that I could choose to do the summer experience in any other summer during college. With this, not only did He show me that He is taking care of me right now, but He showed me that He has my future secured within His loving grasp.

I have no reason to worry about if I am going to end up where I am supposed to go because I know that the One leading me will never falter. I don't have to stress about checking all of the boxes right now and I don't have to say yes to everything. I can rest during the journey because I know that God infinitely loves me and is infinitely in control of every aspect of my future, big and small.

So friend, I just want to encourage you to remember that God is for you and that He has good plans for you. You can invite Him into your decisions, even the seemingly small ones, and know that whatever happens is for your good and His glory. Let Him be your why and watch Him guide you closer to the divine purpose you were created for.

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