Several years ago I was stuck. I had to decide what to do for college, and I had no idea where to go or what to do. Should I go to a brick-and-mortar school or attend online? What should I study? Would I attend a school near to my family or far from home? Questions like these were constantly running through my head. It felt as if I was stuck standing in front of a huge fork in the road.
Maybe you’ve recently found yourself at a similar place. It might be a relationship you’re in, a school decision, or a question about whether you should be involved with a certain activity. If you’re not at a fork in the road a this moment, you will be. Life is full of them! It’s deciding which fork to take that can give us pain or gain.
I wanted to share with y’all (I’m from Texas which means “y’all” is a completely acceptable word to use in a blog post) six steps that I believe will help you move forward if you’re stuck at a fork in the road right now. And if you’re not stuck, file these away for later when you will inevitably need them.
We don’t want to move forward without knowing where the Lord wants us to go. He’ll direct us by His Spirit, but I’m encouraging you to ask for that direction.
Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Not only will the Lord give you direction, He will give you peace. And as you probably know, forks in the road can give some sleepless nights. Peace and guidance from the Lord are a huge blessing. So hit your knees and pray!
Proverbs 11:14 reminds us that, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
Ask your parents, friends, and mentors what direction they think you should choose. Listen to their advice carefully. Also ask yourself what you feel the Lord has placed on your heart to do. Ask Him to make His will clear to you.
Think of all the answers given to you (including what you think yourself), combine them, and see if you can find common threads to tie together. When you find a common theme, take note!
4. Take action.
When you find what the Lord’s placed on your heart, and some common wisdom from your friends and family, do just one thing: Decide what the first two steps are that you need to take in order to pursue these goals, dreams, or ideas.
For example, earlier this year I wanted to begin a young adults’ Bible study. My first two steps were to decide what the goal of the study was and then to decide what to study. If you plan out more than the first couple of steps, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. So take it two steps at a time and keep it manageable, especially if you have multiple projects you’re working on.
Don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Yep, you’ll mess up. When that happens, remind yourself that the Lord works all things together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). Learn and laugh through the mess-ups, and write down those stories for the future!
Along the way you’re going to grow and develop. You might find one thing more interesting than another or realize the Lord is guiding your steps in new directions. That’s okay. Go willingly. It is much easier to go down the path He’s already made for you than to try and cut your own. Allow yourself room to grow, develop, and take new roads.
Don’t Focus on the Fork
In 2 Chronicles, we find Jehoshaphat and the Jewish people confronted by a huge army. They’re frightened, confused, and unsure about what the future will hold. Jehoshaphat gathers everyone together and prays these words:
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (20:12).
This has become one of my favorite passages. Focus on the problems and forks in the road, and they’ll grow to overwhelming. But keep your eyes on the Lord, and every problem you have, every fork in front of you, will shrink in the magnificence of who He is.
What’s one thing you need to do but haven’t? Maybe you should hit “delete” on that app, give up social media for a while, apologize to someone, or make a phone call. And now that you know what to do, go do it!