Making choices; not a strong point of mine. I tend to procrastinate as long as possible before I come to any conclusion as to what direction I should take. There has been a decision looming in the back of my mind. I kept saying, "I'm a missionary. I can worry about that later." Then a few weeks ago, someone reminded me that I needed to make a decision, and I needed to do it right quick! What is the decision? Where on this earth to I finish up my schooling?!?
If I go to school A, I won't be close to my family. If I go to this school B, I won't be in the exact program I want. If go to school C, I may not get into the graduate program I want. If I go to school....you get it. What to do? Where to go? What to sacrifice? This has been racking my brain, which I haven't liked as I am supposed to be focusing on missionary work. So I had a little heart-to-heart with the Man upstairs. You know what He told me? I need to figure it out myself. Not what I wanted to hear...
My mind went to a scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 6, the Lord reveals to us a pattern that we can use to obtain revelation, or divine guidance, from our Father in Heaven. We find the template in verses 7 and 8.
"you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But...I say unto you, that you must study it out in your own mind;Study it out in your own head: weigh the options, list pros and cons, play out scenarios, seek counsel from others, the list goes on. Yes, we can pray and ask for help along the way, but God gave us noggins for a reason. We can put our mind to the task and think it out. Then, once we feel we have the correct choice, we can take it to our Father in Heaven in prayer. We can share with Him how we intend to act, and ask if it is the right choice. The scripture tells us the promise that, "if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."
I know that this pattern works, because I have used it time and time again and experienced it for myself. So where am I going to school? I don't know exactly. After pondering it out in my mind, Heavenly Father helped me to see that I wasn't even to that decision yet. I was able to figure out that I have a lot of options, and that all I need to do for now is apply to the schools I am interested in. Then I can make a more concrete decision when I get home. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father doesn't tell me exactly what I need to do. He allows me to grow by using my own mind (even though I have limited cognitive ability). I know that this same pattern can work for you!