Big Decisions

LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”                                        Jeremiah 10:23

This morning I’m taking my son to a college open house. This isn’t just any college, though. It happens to be my and my husband’s Alma mater (I won’t tell you how long ago!).

We traveled to one other school, which he fell in love with – the location, the program, the campus were all really inviting to him. He applied there and actually got accepted. But, he got very little financial aid from them. As you can imagine, he was pretty crestfallen for a few days. Then he got an acceptance letter from “my” school, with a generous aid package.

It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster, and I’ve been riding it along with him. So many factors to consider, and he’s doing an admirable job of sorting through it all. Today should hopefully add more pieces of information to the puzzle.

As he ponders, I’ve been praying. When faced with a big decision, I know how easy it is to stay focused on data. In my own life, I’ve needed other people to remind me sometimes to pray. I don’t ever mean to leave God out of the loop, but I get fixated on what’s in front of me.

The truth is, though, God already knows what choices we’re facing. Not only that, He knows what His best plan for us is. He wants to reveal that plan to us – but He won’t force Himself on us. And, as much as we like to think that making up our own mind makes us powerful and independent, we just aren’t. Even when we think we have all the information, our picture is still incomplete.

I’m so grateful to know that our Heavenly Father always knows where we are. And as I walk with my son through the tour today, I’ll be lifting up a few quick prayers that my son would hear God’s wisdom along with the professors!

What big decisions are you facing right now? Are you asking God to show you the way?

God’s Handiwork

Do you know how special you are? I hope so. You are unique, a one-of-a-kind creation. And you were put here on purpose – there’s nothing accidental about you. You were made to be exactly who you are.

God said to this to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart…” Wow. And if you think that only goes for Jeremiah, listen to what Paul wrote about all of us in Ephesians:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Paul understood the amazing truth that God designed him, you, me, everyone, by His own hand – individually and intentionally. And he not only accepted it, but embraced it.

That can be hard to do, though, can’t it? Most of us have gotten the message somewhere along the way that we’re not very special at all. Whether someone told us that directly or we’ve spent years comparing ourselves to other people, we can end up feeling that “different” equals “less than.”

Well, that is a lie. And I’ve seen too many wonderful, incredibly valuable people buy into it. I spent years doing the same thing, and I know the pain it causes: low self esteem, discouragement and even depression.

I think Jeremiah and Paul might have struggled with this, too. And how did God answer them? With reassurance and encouragement that they were crafted by His hand, and that He delighted in His work!

If you’re ever unsure about your value, these verses can start to change your attitude. Try lifting them up as prayers, and soon you’ll feel better about being exactly who you are – a beautiful example of God’s handiwork.