In the early 1980’s a movie titled “Sophie’s Choice” was released to the theaters. I did not see the movie but from what I understand of the plot, Sophie was a Holocaust survivor who had been ordered to make an unimaginable choice by the Nazi’s…the choice was to pick which of her children was to be killed. I cannot even fathom having to make such a decision.
Chapter 12 is about making difficult choices; nothing as difficult as Sophie’s but life changing all the same. Nicole and her husband have just moved to Egypt to serve as missionaries. It has been their dream for some time and they are just beginning to settle in and become acclimated to the culture and to the people. They receive word that Nicole’s father has suffered a heart attack and her mom begs them to come home to help with emotional and physical support. They are faced with abandoning their dream and leaving behind what they had just begun.
Patty and her husband Kyle are raising three children, but their marriage is not a comfortable place for her. Kyle is an alcoholic and Patty struggles to maintain some semblance of order in her life. Does she continue to allow this disease tear apart her family or does she take a stand with him?
We are faced with choices every day. Simple ones like choosing what to wear, what to eat, what book to read next etc. And then there are the hard choices like the ones Patty and Nicole faced. How do you tell your husband that he can no longer live with you because of his actions or how do you choose between your family and your “calling” like Nicole had to do?
Lee shares a quote from John Ortberg’s book “The Me I Want to Be” which emphasizes the importance of sharing our burdens: “Never worry alone. When anxiety grabs my mind, it is self-perpetuating. Worrisome thoughts reproduce faster than rabbits, so one of the most powerful ways to stop the spiral of worry is simply to disclose my worry to a friend…The simple act of reassurance from another human being becomes a tool of the Spirit to cast out fear – because peace and fear are both contagious.”
I like to feel that I have it all together and that I don’t need help making decisions or difficult choices, but in reality, I feel all alone when those times come in my life. I should feel comfortable sharing my concerns with the Lord but that little voice in my head says “it doesn’t matter to Him so just do what you want to do.” That little voice is the Enemy telling me that I don’t matter to God. It is scary to admit that I need help… after all I am in control and I can do this! It is at times like this that I need to remember that admitting I need help doesn’t mean I am broken… it means I am being open and allowing my friends to walk along side me. When I allow the Enemy to keep me from asking for help, I am giving him the victory when in reality, the victory belongs to the Lord. And that is reason to shout AMEN!
1. What do you fear most when it comes to making difficult decisions?
My biggest fear is criticism from my peers and from my family. I can imagine them rolling their eyes and saying “that was a dumb thing to do” or “Why did you choose to do that?” I don’t trust my own judgment in making big choices.
2. Do you believe most of the important life questions you face have a right or wrong answer? Why or why not?
This is a tough question to answer. I tend to believe there is a grey area where right and wrong overlap…a decision made one way on a certain day can be the wrong decision on another day. It all goes back to trusting in God to keep us safe and to guide our steps.
3. How important is avoiding shame when it comes to evaluating your choices? How might it prevent you from inviting trusted friends into your decision-making process?
I have already shared how that little voice keeps me closed off from asking for help. I don’t want to shatter the self-imposed image of having it all in control, so I will avoid shame at all costs.