What do you do when you have a big decision to make? How do you figure out the best way forward? In particular, how do you determine between two options that would both be good but would have very different implications? I would have to say that I have approached discernment around decision-making in different ways over the years. While I hope the changes are indications of greater maturity, they are also a sign of learning. We can only do what we know to do at the time.
I really remember very little about how I decided to study French at Warwick University, for example. I loved French, I spent my Gap Year in Switzerland, and Warwick seemed like a fine place to live. Did I pray? Probably. Did I seek the advice of others? Perhaps, but I don’t recall. Did God bless the decision, in spite of this rather flimsy process of discernment? Absolutely (I met my husband there, for one thing!).
Deciding to get married, to join a mission agency and work in Mozambique, to start a family … the decisions seemed to become increasingly weighty as time went by. As I went along, I learned to invite wise input from those around me, in addition to considering the rational pros and cons. I learned to weigh the decision in light of biblical principles, the way I knew I had been led to live my life, and the values that shaped me. And I learned to notice and honour my own dreams and desires.