rebelling against low expectations

3 Tips For Making (Really) Hard Decisions


Making decisions is hard.

As I’ve gotten older I have had to make more and more of my own decisions, yet I am discovering just how hard and frustrating it can be.

It is hard because I want to do what God wants me to do. I want to follow his path and leading, yet sometimes decisions involve choices that God doesn’t say specifically one way or the other, such as, what college to go to, what degree to get, where to get a job?

Yet there still must be a perfect plan that God has for me and how do I know what that perfect plan is?

Before you think I have this all figured out now and can give you the perfect answer, I will just say straight up, I do not have this figured out. I am the most fickle person I know and the reason I am writing this in the first place is because of a recent and still existing struggle of making a particular decision.

I really don’t know how to make a decision. Ask my friends and they will tell you how many times I change my mind (and they are not even aware of all the times I change my mind in my mind).

Why do I struggle with decision making when it comes to things that God does not have a right or wrong answer to?

1. Plain and simple, I am afraid of what others will think of my decision and of not being able to please everyone.

2. I am afraid to make a decision that is not according to God’s will. I want to follow God’s direction for my life, but sometimes I think the decision I make may not really be what God wants or may not be the “best” decision.

3. What if what I want isn’t really what God wants and I am just being self-centered and self-seeking?

As I write these fears out and as you read them, you and I are both probably thinking, “These are really stupid and irrational fears.”

So how do I fight each fear with the truth and what am I learning from my struggles of making big life decisions?

1. Know that it’s God’s opinion that matters.

Honestly, what matters most is what God thinks, not what people think of me (1 Samuel 16:7). God does put parents and other wise people in our lives to help us make decisions, but at the same time, I should not fear what other people are going to think about what decisions I make.

2. Remember that God will use your mistakes.

As I thought about this second fear, I realized how small I was making God out to be. If I am about to go down a path he doesn’t want me to go down, he will stop me, even if it takes a miracle.

Furthermore, God is completely sovereign and never makes mistakes, but I am human and sometimes will make mistakes, so if I make a decision about something that may have not been the “best” decision, God can and will still use that for his will and purpose in my life.

It may mean that I must learn something the hard way, but God knew before the foundations of the earth that it would happen and he will use it for his glory (Proverbs 16:9, 19:21). I am a fallen creature, but I serve a redeeming God and he will redeem my mistakes for his glory.

3. Pray.

I should be continually on my knees before God in prayer, seeking his will for my life and praying that he convict me of sinful desires and replace it with his desires. If I am earnestly seeking God and his will, then he will direct my steps (Psalm 37:4-5).

Yet even if I do make a decision out of selfish or wrong desires, God still loves me and will be gracious toward me. Like I have already said, I am human and will make mistakes, yet I am also God’s daughter and he will still love me and I will still be his child when I do make mistakes.

I write these things and share them with you because I know that many of ya’ll are reaching the age when you will have to start making many of your own decisions in life and I hope that this post may be of help to you as you seek God’s will for your life.

You will always have tough decisions to make, but God is faithful and sovereign no matter the outcome of your decision.

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Hannah Foster

Hannah Foster is a graduate of Bethlehem College and Seminary with a bachelor’s degree in History of Ideas. She loves a well written book, two favorite authors being Jane Austin and L. M. Montgomery. She also enjoys writing, desiring that her words bring comfort and hope to those who have experienced deep suffering through the loss of a loved one. You can also find her crocheting, creating art, and watching western shows while spending time with her husband.


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  • Thanks for the encouragement Hannah! I am also a slow decision-maker sometimes 🙂 I especially appreciate how you counter the fear of self-centeredness with prayer. Talking to God always helps me to see things from His perspective 🙂

    • Hi Mary! I am glad you were encouraged by this. Unfortunately, talking to God is something I forget to do far too often, yet I know that it really does make a difference too.

  • I needed this a ton right now. A friend and I are working on a project that we both have had seasons of doubting whether or not we really have any place working on it. This was very good for my doubting mind. 🙂 Thank you!

  • I really, really, really needed this today, Hannah! I’ve been struggling with these thoughts about a few different things, and today was really frustrating and was getting the better of me. This is exactly what I needed!! Thank you so much!

    • Awe! I am so thankful that God can use my own struggles to bless and encourage others with similar struggles, through my writing and sharing. I had written this several weeks ago, but God knew when it should be posted. 😉

    • I have the perfect college for you, @mimeforjesus:disqus! Bethlehem College and Seminary!!!! 😉 of course, I might be a little bit biased, but seriously if you are interested in hearing more about it, I would love to persuade you to come here. 😉
      And yes, I understand the college struggle. There are like a million in one colleges that you could potentially go to, which is why I literally only applied to one college and that is, well, the one I am at.
      I pray that God would bless you and lead you as you begin the glorious college hunt. 😉

      • Thanks, I’d love to hear about it! 🙂
        Yes. So many! Unfortunately I can’t do that, because I’ve gotta find the best one that I can afford… but I’m trying to not let it get too overwhelming.
        Thank you! I really appreciate that!

        • I am sorry it has taken so long to respond to you! Here is my school’s website that may be helpful if you are interested.
          Just so you are not confused, I go the college part, but there is also a seminary too.
          This college is pretty affordable as far as Christian colleges go and very gospel centered, which isn’t always the case for Christian colleges. It is a great place to go if you are interested in missions just because of the church it is at, which is so missions focused and also it has a missions tract bachelors degree to help prepare those who are interested in missions. One thing I love about this school is how much my professors are involved in my life and how much they genuinely care about me and want to see me flourish academically, but far more importantly, spiritually. They care far more that I have a good relationship with God and grow spiritually than what grade I am getting in school.
          I hope your college hunting is going well. Sorry that is not a lot of information about the school, but you can explore the website, too.

    • I am thankful to God for putting this in my heart and allowing me to share it with ya’ll through my writing. Even though the struggle is unpleasant and painful at times, I am thankful that God can use my struggles and what I learn from it to encourage others. I pray that God would bless you in whatever decision making you must make. 😉

  • Thank you so much for writing this. This is really something that has gotten to me recently and even today so it couldn’t have come at a better time. <3 it so much. I think so many people can relate and feel encouraged by this.
    God bless you!

  • This is such a blessing, Hannah! I really struggle with overthinking; I tend to agonize over every little decision. Thank you for the encouragement and the advice! Hopefully I can make some strides toward better (and less stressful!) decision making.

  • This is a step in the right direction. Being open is so important. If we admit our sins, pray, and are genuinely repentant, then we will be so much more at peace. Great article!

    As a side note: Our culture (stereo type warning!) seems to think that God is just a tool to be used instead of a person to be made a friend. We need to stop asking, “What I can get from God?” and start asking, “What can I give to God?”

    Don’t become so selfish that you hate yourself and everyone around you.

    Jesus is the cure for everything so start seeking Him in everything (pray, read the Bible, pray, and do).

  • I’m sorry I didn’t read this article until now, but I’m glad I found it! This is really encouraging to me because I have been seriously considering moving out to a city a long way from where I live (even though I’m only 20, which is probably younger than usual for someone who isn’t moving away to go to school), and though I knew the things you wrote about, it’s super encouraging to read it in black and white. Thank you!

By Hannah Foster
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →