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Three Tips for Making Good Decisions

Michelle Bergmann

 The next time you’re facing a big decision, follow Brianna’s example:

• Talk to God about your decision a lot! Proverbs 3:5, 6 promises: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV).*
• Weigh the pros and cons. Make a list of both and carefully consider each point. Just the act of getting something down on paper will help you analyze your situation and help you come to a decision.
• Ask people you trust for their advice. Bounce your situation off your parents, your friends, maybe your favorite teacher, or your youth pastor. These people can be objective and point out things you ought to consider as you make your decision.
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Stay or Go?

by Brianna Wise

Should I move back to California with my parents or stay in Ohio for my senior year? I was torn!

 “What! What do you mean we’re moving? Next year is my senior year! Don’t you know that a teenager’s senior year is their most important year of high school?” 

My parents’ news utterly shocked me, and angry words spurted from my mouth. Just four years earlier we’d moved from sunny California to ice-cold Ohio. Now my parents were telling me that we were moving back? Waves of fear and sadness washed over me as I searched their faces for reassurance that I hadn’t entered some alternate universe. They were really serious.
Later I sat in my room and asked for help from the One whom I knew could give it to me. God, please help me! I prayed. What am I supposed to do? I really like it here—I like my life and my friends. I have faith in You that You’ll guide my path, but it’s hard to have faith all the time.
We decided as a family to keep the news about our move a secret until more details were finalized. That was fine with me; I had no idea how I was going to tell Rachel, my best friend. She’d lost so many people to moves, and I didn’t want to add to her growing list. “What ifs” filled my head. What if Rachel and I didn’t stay in contact? What if we stopped talking altogether? This was the worst thing that had ever happened to me.
Again in my room I prayed. God, how can this be happening? I feel terrible about leaving my friends behind. I don’t know how to tell them, and I feel like hiding in some dark hole until it’s over. Please give me the courage to tell them soon before it gets too hard. I left my other school without even telling my friends, and I don’t want to do that again.
Finally I worked up the courage to tell Rachel. “Hey, Rach, I have some bad news. I just found out that my family is moving back to California.” Watching her face for a reaction, I saw shock, then sadness. “I’m sorry, Rach. My parents need to do this. You know we’re having troubles.” Of course she knew—she knew everything about my problems. I felt bad about laying my burden on her.
That night I didn’t look forward to spending an evening with my grandparents. How did they expect me to enjoy myself with so many worries running through my head? I was in no mood to mingle.
After the dinner, I decided that the evening had turned out all right. Actually, it was great, just like every other evening spent at my grandparents’ house. Then I got a second alone with my grandma. Dad had taken  Mom and my sisters home. I sat in the living room, staring with disinterest at the movie credits while Grandma cleaned up toys.
“So, Brianna, how are you feeling about moving?” Grandma asked me.
I mumbled the expected response that I’d given endless times before, “Oh, I’m excited. It’s going to be great.”
“Um, I was talking to Papa, and we were wondering if maybe you’d like to stay here and finish your senior year. How would you feel about that? I haven’t said anything to your parents yet, because I wanted to get your take on it first. So what do you think?” With an expectant expression on her face, she turned to look at me.
Stunned, I sat there and asked silently, Is she serious, God? This is what I want! Are You answering my prayers? Please help me make the right choice.
“Seriously? I would live here with you guys while I finished my senior year? Well . . . I don’t know. I’d have to talk to my parents before I decided anything, but I’ll definitely consider it.”
Three days later Dad and I were riding in our van. “I was talking to Grandma the other night,” I started, “and she suggested that I live with her next year . . . I told her I’d run it by you and Mom.”
Dad’s face looked solemn. After what seemed like forever, he responded. “She suggested that? I’m not sure what I think about it just yet . . . It’s your choice if you want to stay or not, but be careful to look at the pros and cons.”
As we drove on, we got into a deep discussion about the pros and cons of me staying with Grandma and Papa. It ended with me telling Dad, “You know, this is a huge decision for me, and I need to talk to God about it.”
When we got home, I shut the door to my room and prayed once again. Wow, God! This is such a big decision. If I stay, I get to finish my education with my friends, but I’ll miss an entire year of my little sister’s life. Help!
The next day in study hall I sought Rachel’s advice. “I don’t know what to do. I’ve pretty much decided to stay, but I’m still worried. And now my grades are dropping! I can’t let this happen! My parents are already stressed enough about the move without me adding to their problems. I don’t know how I let this get so out of hand. Do you think I’m making the right decision to stay here?”
“Of course,” Rachel reassured me. “And I’m not just saying that because I want you to stay for me; I really do think it’s what would be best for you.”
On the bus ride home from school I talked some more to God. OK, God, I’ve decided to stay. Is this the right choice? I seem to be so unsure of myself lately. I feel like I can’t make a decision without consulting at least two other people. What I need now, though, is the strength to tell to my parents about my decision.
That evening after school I told my parents that I’d decided to stay. Then I called my grandparents in California to inform them that I’d be staying behind.
Through this experience I learned that I have to put my faith in God. Eventually He will help to work out everything. And, as it turned out, staying in Ohio was the right decision for me.
Brianna Wise wrote this story as an assignment for her English honors class. Outside of class Brianna enjoys reading, swimming, shopping, singing, and acting.

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