Psychological and physiological trauma can generate a vast array of symptoms in people relative to the magnitude of trauma experienced. One symptom that can occur is difficulty making decisions. This happens to be one I’ve wrestled with and for a long time, I had no idea why making a decision was paralyzing for me.
Being a Christian added another layer of complexity to my desire to make the right decision. Right referring to the one that pleases and honors God. Thus, when faced with multiple options I often became overwhelmed.
Praise God, I had a breakthrough in this area a few years ago. I sought counsel from the elders of my church when I found myself stuck. There were two good conferences at the same time. The schedules overlapped and they were in different states so I had to make a choice, it was impossible to attend both.
After I queried, “When there are multiple options before you, how do you know which is right? Which choice is God’s will?”
Several of the men shared practical Godly wisdom regarding discernment. I was stunned by the concept that not every decision in life results in one being “right” and the other “wrong” as I had been thinking. Then one of the pastors used an analogy I will never forget because it freed me from the paralysis. I still slip into primal default thinking but now have the tools to get back to freedom.
A Life-changing Discourse:
Pastor: “If the choices before you do not violate a moral or ethical law and there is no Biblical command against either — you just choose.”
Me: “But how do I know which is God’s best?”
Pastor: “Imagine you have a fenced-in yard. Inside that yard, you have a swing set and a sandbox. When your child asks if they can go outside and play. You answer, ‘Yes, but stay inside the fenced yard.’ You don’t care if the child plays in the sandbox OR on the swings because you’ve provided both for their enjoyment and pleasure. Your parental concern is that they stay within the safety of the boundaries you declared.”
Me: “You’re telling me, sometimes God gives us choices just so we can pick what we want or prefer?”
Pastor: “Yes. When you’re paralyzed by the choice it’s like the child going into the yard and fretting over whether they should play on the swing or in the sandbox. Imagine the child nervously thinking, ‘Should I swing or should I play in the sandbox. Oh, what should I do, what should I do? I don’t know which one is right. I want to do the right thing. I don’t know what to do. I’d like to swing but what if that’s the wrong choice. Mom didn’t tell me which one to do.’ The child paces back and forth, losing their playtime due to gnawing indecision.”
Me: I saw how silly my overwhelming fear of choice must have looked to my Heavenly Father. In an instant, overwhelming love washed over me. I began to laugh as my tension ebbed away.
Pastor: “Does that help clarify things?”
Me: “Yes!” I added with a chuckle, “For the analogy to accurately fit my life and my Father; the yard would have more than swings and a sandbox. The choices in my yard are more like swings, sandbox, teeter-totter, slide, monkey bars, and playhouse. My Father is generous, gracious, and likes to give good gifts.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17, CSB).
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13, CSB).
Dear Reader, if you freeze up with worry when a choice is before you. Ask yourself, does the option violate God’s moral law? Is it unethical? Will it cause harm to myself or others? Does it violate any Biblical command? If not enjoy the free will that God has given you and make a choice — don’t stress.
Dear Father God, thank You for giving us free will. Holy Spirit, guide us with discernment to make good and wise choices. Help us remember to be grateful for every good gift Jehovah provides. Let us emulate You by being generous with our gifts. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
Would you like to know more about the afterlife and how you can be assured of eternity in Heaven? Check the Questions page.
Check the Free Gifts page for downloadable/printable study guides and resources.
Copyright © 2020-2022 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.