As my newsfeed fills up with pictures of young men and women outfitted in long gowns and mortarboard caps, I can’t help but notice that many of their smiling faces are masking internal fears.
What am I going to do about a job?
What if my fiancé and I get married, but we can’t afford to live in our new city?
Is Starbucks hiring? I’m going to need a part-time gig to make ends meet during this internship.
For those who are fortunate enough to find a good-paying job right out of college, those fears may sound a little different, but they’re certainly still there.
What if I start this job and it isn’t in line with my values?
Can I make a difference in a big company?
Is the career path I’m taking in line with God’s plan for my life?
Many millennials today are, in some ways, caught between “settling” for a job they don’t feel is part of their calling, or taking a low-paying internship or entry-level job more in line with the fulfilling and purposeful vocation they envisioned while in school.
How should we make these huge decisions? What happens if we make the wrong choice?
I recently participated in a Bible study where we read and discussed the book The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst. Though the book is written for women, I found the chapter “Analysis Paralysis” applicable for anyone who is faced with multiple choices but wants to seek God’s will for the next step in life.
“Sometimes God gives us two or more choices that would all please Him and be in His will. We get to choose,” Terkeurst writes. “The fear of making a wrong decision shouldn’t strip the faith right out of our faith. The only way our faith will ever strengthen is for us to use it. We need to apply thought and prayer to our decisions and then trust God for the outcome.”
Terkeurst references Proverbs 3:5-6 to underscore her point.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
This was an absolute revelation for me. The world isn’t black and white, and there is more than one decision that will keep me within God’s plan for my life. What a relief!
So often we are faced with two “good” choices, and feel we must determine the “perfect” choice, Terkeurst continues in the book, warning that there is no such thing as a “perfect choice.”
As long as you desire to please God with your decisions, no decision you make will be completely awful, nor will any decision you make be completely awesome. Every decision is a package deal of both. Every thrill has an element of risk. Every leap of faith has moments of uncertainty. And every great success story has elements of failure. In other words, since there is no perfect choice, I don’t have to be paralyzed by the fear that I’m not making the exact right decision.
“There is no perfect job,” She continues. “There is no perfect school. There is no perfect spouse. There is no perfect ministry. There is no perfect church. There is no perfect way to raise kids. There is no perfect house. There is no perfect route. There is no perfect decision. “
“There is no perfect decision,” the author reiterates, “only the perfectly surrendered decision to press through our fears and know that God is working in us to bring about good through us.”
In Romans chapter 8, we are reminded that not only have we been created and called according to God’s purpose, but that we have the Holy Spirit who specifically intercedes on our behalf when we ask for guidance on discovering that purpose.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (vv. 26-28)
As followers of God’s plan for our lives, both young and old, we should find comfort in these words.
Congratulations to the many graduates from both high school and college this Spring, and may you experience the Peace of Christ as you make the next big steps in your life.
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