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How to make a difficult decision
I was not doing well in school. During my freshman and sophomore years, my grades were low, reflecting my lack of care for my schoolwork and classes. By the end of sophomore year, I knew I had to make a change, because my current school environment just wasn’t working for me. But how do you make a decision that could change your life forever?
I had a few options, including another public high school nearby and a private boarding school really far away. I had the whole summer, which I spent at a camp for Christian Scientists, to decide where I would be for my junior and senior years.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. At first I tried to make the decision by gathering information. I talked to people who attended the boarding school I was considering, and they all said good things. In fact, everyone, including my parents, thought this school would be a really good fit, but I was still unsure.
The whole decision seemed so stressful and impossible, and I was worried about making the wrong choice. But one day, I talked to one of my camp counselors about it, and he suggested that I turn to God for guidance. Initially I was a little reluctant, because even though I had learned in the Christian Science Sunday School that God is both all-knowing and all-loving, I had never actually turned to God for help in this way.
I felt that I had to make this decision on my own. That nobody else could make it for me—not even God! Finally, though, with a little encouragement from my counselor, I opened up the Bible at random and immediately saw this verse from Psalms: “Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face” (5:8).
I was amazed by how perfectly this verse addressed my situation! Feeling a little more confident about leaning on God, I began praying with and thinking more deeply about this verse. The last part really stood out to me. It helped me realize that I didn’t have to worry about taking a misstep, because God was putting the right decision clearly in front of me. He would make the way “straight”—clear and direct. I suddenly understood that a belief in “mortal mind,” or another mind apart from God, was what was making this decision seem complicated and stressful. But in reality, there is only one Mind—God. And Mind was giving me all the right ideas, taking care of my present and my future, and leading me forward.
I didn’t have to worry about taking a misstep, because God was putting the right decision clearly in front of me.
By the end of the summer, the decision was clear as day: The boarding school was the right place for me. I felt so peaceful about it and even excited for what was to come. My mom bought me a plane ticket, and I was in the dorm at the beginning of the school year.
Everything at my new school felt right. I fit in quickly, making great friends within the first week. I was able to enjoy playing a new sport, and I felt a lot more focused in my classes and dedicated to my work.
By turning to God, I was led to a situation where I felt truly happy. I’m so grateful to have learned that I can always trust God for guidance.
Originally appeared online in the teen series: Your Healings - July 7, 2020
From the readers
Joy Oldemeyer, Karen Neff
How to make a difficult decision