Five words that follow every decision I make


Every time I do something really big—and I do mean every time—I always feel like this:

It never fails.

I know there are lots of people out there who talk about feeling a “peace” about the decisions they make. But that’s never been me. Ever. Even when they’re the right decisions. Instead, it’s always, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

This weekend, it happened again. On Friday, I finally (finally!) pitched another book to a publisher. It’s actually one I first pitched two years ago, but it’s not gone anywhere. And I made some serious headway on another book that I’m pitching in the next couple of weeks hopefully, provided my ducks are all in a row (meaning, I’ve got about 1500 words still to write to round out two sample chapters).

This is very exciting for me, obviously. But no sooner did I hit “send” on that first email than those five words began running through my mind: I’ve made a huge mistake.

Maybe I sent it to the wrong publisher. Maybe I should have just shelved that book altogether. Maybe I actually kind of stink at writing and should give up on continuing to pursue publishing opportunities. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

All of which is dumb, I know. But this is me. I feel confident right up until the moment after I take action and then begin second-guessing myself as soon as I’m committed.

Last week, as Emily and I were driving home from a Christmas party, we were talking about another big decision we’d made recently.[1. I’ll tell you about that when the time is right.] And about halfway through the conversation, I realized all I was doing was spiralling on the what-ifs, and wasn’t recognizing reality—and that in doing so, I was failing to acknowledge the fact that I can actually trust God with all of these things.

And so, I stopped mid-sentence and immediately began to pray:

  • I asked God to forgive me for not trusting him, and for focusing on the things I don’t need to worry about.
  • To forgive me for not acknowledging that he is the one who has planned out every day of my life, and that whatever happens happens so he might be glorified.
  • And to help me to trust him while I wait, because his “fast” is not mine (because I am impatient).

This is a lesson I keep needing to learn again and again, because it’s one I keep forgetting. But in asking him to help me with these things—which in itself is a huge decision—there is no need to second-guess myself. He is trustworthy, and he will bring about all that will fulfill his purposes in my life. And in that, regardless of the result, I can find comfort.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.

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