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Decision-making is no fun. Especially when the decisions we're struggling with could have life-changing or drastic repercussions, or at a minimum have lots of pros and cons to consider. That's why in my Proverbs 31 devotion running today, I shared about being frustrated with having so many important decisions to make, and how I found myself wishing God would just give me a big ol' neon sign from above so I'd know which direction to take. Or if not that, maybe a big fluffy cloud to follow like the Israelites had in Exodus showing them which way to go. If they could get a cloud, it seems only fair you and I could have one too, right?
I shared a few weeks ago on my blog about my personal situation, which has not only been a drain emotionally, but mentally, because I've had to make more hard decisions than ever before in my lifetime. It has not been fun. After all, who wants to finally make a decision (after a lot of stressing I might add), only to realize later it was a bad one, or at least not the best one that could have been made? I know I don't, and I dare say neither do you.
I believe that's why God brought the verse to my mind that says, "The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way: (Ex. 13:21a). As I stated in the devotion, instead of a cloud, I had a cloudy mind. I was so worried about making a wrong decision that I couldn't make any decisions at all. I felt lost in a wilderness, much like the Israelites. But through that passage, God helped calm my heart and my mind by reminding me that even if I make a wrong decision, He'll still be by my side to teach and guide me through the journey.
I had to change my thoughts about my decisions and stop thinking and acting that things were in my control. Here's what I chose to do instead, and maybe these tips will help you transform your thinking as well, especially if you're facing some hard decisions today, too:
- I chose to pray, and ask God to help me stop stressing over not knowing the future. The future is in His hands, regardless of the decisions I make.
- I chose to stop stressing over whether my decisions were right or wrong and believe He would be with me either way.
- I chose to stop obsessing over worst-case or what-if scenarios and focus my energies and thoughts on the potential positives instead.
- I chose to remind myself not to think negatively every time one of those nagging, worrisome thoughts bubbled back up to the surface. Reject them; move on.
- I chose to trust God. Because that's really the only choice I have. He is in control, and I am not.
You see, I had to intentionally choose to change my thinking, otherwise my thinking would have changed me. We may not have control over our circumstances, or even the outcome of our decisions, but we always have control over how we think about them. Hard lessons learned during the writing of my next book, which I am praying will help you decide to choose to intentionally think positive too.
Tracie Miles is a national speaker and author with the internationally known Proverbs 31 Ministries and has spent the last 12 years inspiring women to live intentionally for Christ She is the author of two best selling books, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future and Stressed Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World. Her newest book is Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live (April 2017). She is a contributing author to the popular Zondervan NIV Women's Devotional Bible, and the Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today Daily Devotional Book, in addition to being a monthly contributing writer for the Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today daily devotions, which reach nearly one million people per day around the world with encouragement from God's Word. Tracie also holds the role as COMPEL Manager at Proverbs 31, has 3 children and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can connect with Tracie on her blog at www.traciemiles.com and all social media outlets.
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