Making decisions. How does one go about doing so?
First, you study it out in your mind, in your heart (Doctrine and Covenants 9) , and (for me) on paper. Or the blog. Or out loud to friends and family. Or in the shower. Or to my husband when he's trying to sleep at night.
Second, you make a decision. The one you came to after doing all the studying and writing and talking.
Third, you pray about it and ask Heavenly Father if the decision you made is correct. If you have a stupor of thought or if you feel yucky inside or if you just feel confused and wrong, your answer is wrong. That would be Heavenly Father telling you, "EH! Try again" or "Not right now" or "Nope, you got it wrong."
So you do it all over again (steps one through three), although sometimes it's shorter this time (or as simple as switching the answer to the other one, especially if it's an either/or question). And then you ask again. And if the answer is correct, you feel peace. You feel warmth and goodness inside. You see clearly. It makes sense (even if it doesn't make sense. Does that make sense?).
The hard part, for me, is always making the decision. I'm a waffler. I go back and forth. When we go out to eat, Brandon gives me a normal amount of time to choose my dish, and then when the server comes to take our order, I know I will order last and I only have that specific amount of time to decide. It works really well, actually!
Luckily, I'm getting better at making decisions. I'm good at picking meals in restaurants or when shopping for shoes. I know what I like when it comes to music, clothing, and jewelry. So, when do I have a problem with decision making? When it comes to big decisions. Big choices. I have a much harder time deciding when it involves other people (or if the outcome affects other people). I don't want to make the wrong choice.
But, hello!? If I'm following the format of decision-making (one that has been outlined by God, Himself) then why in the world would I be afraid of making the wrong choice? If I make the wrong choice, He'll let me know. If I make the right choice, He'll let me know.
This is why faith and fear don't belong together in the same sentence (let alone the same person). Either you have faith that God will guide, or you have fear that you won't understand God or He's not really God or He won't guide you. Or you can't handle the answer.
Bingo! Usually, when fear and faith collide, it's because you know what the answer will probably be, but you can't handle it. You don't want to hear it. So, you don't ask. You waffle or ignore or continue on in the way you always have. You keep doing what you were doing and you don't change or don't make a decision. Then you won't have to face the answer you didn't want to hear.
This happened more than once with my husband (I hope he forgives me for talking about this!). A couple of times I came to him and said, "Brandon, I believe it is time for us to have another baby."
Me: "Go pray about it."
A few days later I would ask him if he prayed about it. His response: "Umm, I'll pray about it later." A few days later I would come to him and ask him if he prayed about it. He would answer, "Sigh, no. You already know the answer and so do I --let's have a baby."
It didn't happen every time (and please don't assume my husband refuses responsibility in the baby-decision making in our relationship, because it's not true), but I share this to illustrate something: He already knew the answer, but he wasn't ready (or willing?) at the time to hear the answer.
I've done this a lot, too. I can't face the answer, so I don't ask the question. But I want to change this, and so I'm attempting concerted efforts towards the big decision making process --even though it's hard (all natural-man-like-ey). Sometimes, I'm still not sure I want to hear the answer.
How have you approached the decisions in your life? Have you ever ignored a "no" answer? Have you refused to ask because you knew the answer you would get? Have you been blessed for choosing and following a "yes" answer?