How I made the right choice for my future

There are times when we are confronted with having to choose which direction to take at a fork in the road of life.

Written by Nelly van Stralen
How I made the right choice for my future

“Choose life that both you and your descendants may live…for He is your life and the length of your days …” Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

When one is young there often are times or opportunities which can seem both attractive and innocent or harmless, but which when examined more thoroughly may reveal a multitude of dangers. If choices are made without looking beyond the facade, extreme regret may result, with no chance of reversing the fruit of one’s choice. Therefore, it is so wonderful that God, who has chosen us from before the foundation of the world, puts a check, so to speak, in our heart so that wisdom can be revealed and acted upon at the right time, if we are obedient. “Until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the hidden counsels of the heart …” 1 Corinthians 4:5. Looking back, I can rejoice that God put it into my heart to make the right choice at a crossroads in my young life.

A new adventure

God had His hand over me from the very beginning of my life. I had a really good Christian upbringing, and at one point I even filled out an application to attend Bible College to become a missionary. I really loved people, and wanted to tell them about my Friend, Jesus.

As a young woman I was asked to be a representative in a sport-related beauty contest. An offer to go beyond the rather simple daily life that I had was attractive, and even flattering. When I told my parents, at first they reacted with cautious enthusiasm and interest. There was nothing to really set off alarm bells. Participating in sports was after all healthy and wholesome for a young, sporty girl.

I accepted the offer, and things started out as a great adventure. Then one day I got a message with the unexpected and surprising news: “You have been chosen as one of eight finalists to compete in the Miss Outdoors of Canada contest.” At first it sounded exciting; so far everything had actually been a lot of fun!

But now the “expectations” of the committee were clearly laid out. First they told me about the many perks. It was the last requirement that woke me up and made me look past the facade of this adventure!

What was it that was so shocking?

One year of being dedicated and on call to represent the National Sportsmen Association, coast to coast, wherever they decided for me to go.

All of a sudden I felt trapped!

Making the right choice

Having gone this far, there was quite some pressure to continue, and fear of what people would think gripped me! But the thought of being at their beck and call all of a sudden bothered me so much that I couldn’t sleep. Up to this point it was innocent and even fun. But to go further as a bondservant, so to speak, to unknown, although perhaps well-meaning people put a stop in my spirit.

That night I kept praying to God to help me! It’s written in Psalm 34:7 that God has His angels encamped around those who fear Him. That certainly was the case for me! In answer to my prayer, God gave me the boldness to make the decision that was best for my future. I dropped out of the contest.

The organizers of the competition put a lot of pressure on me, and did not make it easy for me. However, God had shown me enough, so that I could boldly say, NO! Peer pressure can be one of our greatest enemies, and when we cave in to another’s demands we cannot then see what God is trying to keep us from, or lead us to. “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” John 5:44.

So there are times when we are confronted with having to choose which direction to take at a fork in the road of life. One may have attractive, visible rewards and promises, but in the end, we are bound. The other, if taken, may be less-travelled, with less tangible rewards, but it leads to freedom. I felt a huge sense of relief with my choice and in keeping myself free from people’s planning. Instead I became bound to God’s planning. It is now 55 years since that decision was made. I married a God-fearing man and became a joyful mother of 15 children, and grandmother of 88 grandchildren! I’m thankful that God gave me the grace to choose a life with Him rather than a fleeting moment of glory and fame.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6.

 

You may be interested in reading more on our topic page about Plans and future, or in the articles below.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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