Graduating University throws big decisions at us. How are we to navigate the next path?
How do I know what path to take?
Isaiah 30:21 says, ”Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘this is the way,’ walk in it.”
But is it really that simple?
Fate or Feat?
It seems many sit on one of two sides. A) We have absolutely no control over our path, but rather, fate evolves from sequential circumstances that create our unique paths. B) Our path is ours to choose, whether by actively progressing, making decisions or attempting to control/prevent future disadvantage by our own means.
Neither of those options work. If we have no control, then the sum of our interests, pursuits and efforts is nil. We may as well sit back and truth be told, we become prisoners to a pathway we did not choose. We are unable to ‘opt out’ and find a better, more life-giving career/relationship/venture, unless fate affords the chance. Yet in reverse, when we view our journey as the sum of our making, we instantly come under a huge burden: I must fix my personal life; I must work harder to win my dream job; If life turns sour, I only have myself and my past naive decisions to blame.
Neither option truly grants freedom.
So, are we simply lost in slavery and floating between two dilemmas? Stuck trying to figure out what to do with our lives? At 23, I Know all too well the reality of half feeling like I must make more of myself, or better decisions, and half wishing for things to fall naturally into place for me.
We can’t win! Perhaps, you also, are being pulled backwards and forwards between the two? Maybe, you’ve never really stopped to think about the path you’re on? Thirdly, you could be confused or curious about how exactly, you can know that the decision you do make is the right one? I am very much a number three!
Finding a Better Way
Fortunately, I have found and I know a better option: to trust in God. God is our Father and creator who is close and interested in our lives. He is not a distant Christmas, bearded figure. For thousands of years, many writings about him have been passed down that are just as true today. This particular one recalls a promise that God spoke:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
God really does have a perfect, unique plan for each one of us! We can step into that, learning to place the control and our path in his hands.
Story Time – My Big Decision
As an illustration, I’ll use my own story. Earlier this year I was faced with a huge decision: stay in Bath with all my friends and study on, or, move to Edinburgh to start completely afresh and study in a new place. How on earth could I decide that alone? How would I ever really know which would really be best and live without the FOMO whenever I looked back on the option I didn’t choose?
In faith I remembered: My God has the perfect plan for me and I can ask him to show me which way to go. As the Isaiah verse says, we can literally look to God, ask him to show us which path to take, and He will answer.
Wait?! God speaks?
God showed me that this time, the path to take was one of uprooting and moving to Edinburgh. Did He come down from the clouds in a booming voice that said, ‘Ye shall move!’? No. God is much more diverse, creative and personal. He speaks in different ways to different people, and gradually, gentle whispers turned into louder prompts and an invitation to trust. I decided to hold my future open handedly, deciding I would trust whichever way God revealed because He knows best.
I began to find that the name, ‘Edinburgh,’ came up in conversation a lot, with many different people. As I read my bible and prayed, things jumped out at me about not staying comfortable and being ready to say, ‘I will go.’ I explored more about the city and felt so excited , really coming alive by my first impression. I applied to the University to test waters and prayed, ‘Ok, if this is right, let it be. If not, God, would you please close the door?’ 6 days later I received an acceptance letter – much earlier than typical waiting times! If that wasn’t enough, from then on, every time I began to doubt, God graciously gave me signs of his provision: A miraculous house find; Financial help to purchase a car; Dreams in which I saw myself living there; Friends and connections beginning to develop before I’d even left Bath…
Perhaps, all this may sound like coincidence. But when you are inundated with so many things, then truly, it can only be God! He is orchestrating all things to unfold in his good purposes. It just takes faith and courage to believe and trust. Hear it from me, yes, it is daunting and sad to leave all the good I had in my life in Bath. But, I can freely rest, knowing that I’m in Gods hands – not the hands of fate, or worse, my own hands. I don’t depend on chance or my own, and often, inability to make good decisions.
I am already experiencing the blessings of a new season, because God is so unbelievably good and He will never abandon us!
Will you take fate, feat, or try God?
What path are you on? What decisions are ahead? Try asking God to come alongside you, and to help you recognise his whispers of loving guidance. May you know the God who has a perfect and prosperous plan for your life.
If this is the first time you open up to the possibility of there being a God out there, then, welcome! I pray that you will come to have your eyes opened to the wonders of his love and guidance at work in your life.
Got questions? Send them here and let’s chat!
Want to join the conversation? Post your comments below. How have you noticed God guiding you lately?