by Ana Munoz
Whether it’s something as insignificant as deciding how to enjoy your morning coffee (always pick an oat milk latte, by the way!) or as pivotal as deciding who you want to spend the rest of your life with, we all suffer with indecision at some level. For the lucky ones, lack of clarity in decision making is something they occasionally wrestle with, but for most of us living in this way-too-many-options culture, indecision is a tension we relentlessly fight against.
Recently, I was at dinner with friends and I realized how something as simple as ordering dinner can often tell you about the wiring of a person. When the waiter came up to us, one of my friends quickly ordered, knowing exactly what she craved. Me? I had a list of ten questions and ten food possibilities ready for the waiter—and I ended up picking something entirely different than what I started with. I remember sitting there thinking, I wish decisions were as easy for me as they are for her.
Although deciding what to order for dinner may not have a lasting impact on our life, the greater decisions can make us feel paralyzed.
What college do I go to?
Should I step out in faith and talk to that person about Jesus?
What career do I pursue?
When are we ready to have kids?
Should I move across the country to that new city?
Should I actually take a first step toward that dream God has been stirring in my heart for years?
Because I struggled with indecision for many years—and eventually embraced the freedom in surrender that God readily gives us—I’ve found these mindsets helpful in standing up to indecision:
So often we treat our faith journey as an a la carte product to purchase, when our faith is actually a person to pursue and follow—Jesus. Christianity on our terms isn’t Christianity at all. It can be dangerous trying to conform Christ to our image when we were meant to be transformed into His. Jesus is a person meant to be in relationship with, and when we realize how incredible He is, we pick Him over the greener grass and endless options at our disposal every time.
Now more than ever, we have unending options available to us, and when we put ourselves in control of deciding what our a la carte faith looks like, we fear of taking the wrong next step. So not only do we live with normal everyday FOMO (fear of missing out) but we take it to the next level and live with the fear of missing out on God’s will.
Whenever I’m tempted to believe my decision carries more weight than my Creator, I read Psalm 37:1-5. It’s been a powerful reminder to me that God is good, faithful, and in control.
“Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes.
Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure,
feasting on his faithfulness.
Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life,
and he will provide for you what you desire the most.
Give God the right to direct your life,
and as you trust him along the way
you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!”
Although our feelings are helpful to gain understanding, they’re not worth following. So often we want to let our feelings direct us. We allow feelings of sadness to tempt us to quit. We let feelings of anger cause us to say something we regret. We permit feelings of being unseen to cause us to question everything. It feels like our decisions are the end-all-be-all field guide to our futures—but we must remember God has sovereign control over our feelings and our lives.
In my early 20’s, navigating big decisions was difficult because, regrettably, I allowed other people’s thoughts and opinions to affect my decisions more than I actively paused to listen to what God was saying and how He was leading me. Scripture tells us to seek wise counsel [Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 15:22]; and hearing perspectives and wisdom from your trusted circle is imperative. However, wisdom ultimately comes from God [Proverbs 2:6], and we’re instructed to receive it from Him [James 1:5]. It’s a tension, but over the years I learned that as I first lean into my relationship with the Lord and ask for His wisdom, then when I prayerfully receive wisdom from other people, His voice, path and plan become much clearer.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Oftentimes, we also allow the feeling of fear in decision-making to dictate our decisions. It can even cause us to delay or avoid making any decision at all. But remember: indecision is a decision. I love what Paul says in Acts 15:28: “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything…”
What motivated Paul’s decision?
“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit.”
Move forward with God. Listen to His Spirit. Follow Him boldly. Don’t enter the prison of indecision. Don’t let your feelings hold you back. And even if you make the wrong turn—God has a stunning way of bringing good things out of wrong turns.
Recently, a mentor of mine and I were having coffee and talking through a major decision I was making. She sipped her warm cup with a sweet and subtle smile on her face and asked one of the simplest yet most life-altering questions I’ve ever been asked.
“Ana, when I tell you to think about the future, how far ahead do you look?”
“I think about 10-20 years from now.”
She gave a little chuckle.
“Ana, you can’t possibly see that far ahead. It’s too dark. Too hazy. And God never asked you to try and look that far out today.”
It was such a simple conversation but helped me realize a profound shift I needed to make: Rather than spending my time constantly focused on the future, I needed to surrender my future to the Lord and actively choose to focus on Him day by day and not miss out on what he has for me in the present. Now, I’m not saying don’t think about the future. It’s wise to do so! However, I had to stop focusing so much on the future so much I missed the “today” I was living in.
God is good. His plans are good. He is trustworthy.
When you feel like you can’t believe those things, say them to yourself. Again. And again. And again.
God is good. His plans are good. He is trustworthy.
When we receive, accept, and live in the truth that God is good, His plans for you specifically are good, and that He is trustworthy—we’re much more eager to follow Him rather than waste time living in indecision. We’re more eager to live in the urgency of the Gospel rather than the tension of the middle.
Don’t lose heart. Stay the path and remember that the path is GOOD.
Ana Munoz is from Las Vegas, Nevada and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has previously worked for many Christian organizations such as Central Church and Catalyst Leader—an organization dedicated to empowering leaders who love the Church. She is passionate about leadership, healthy living, a good cup of coffee, and encouraging others to unleash their fullest potential of who God created them to be. You can find her on Instagram at @anaamunoz.