What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Ever wonder what’s next? Whether experiencing too little or too much, both can be paralyzing and lead to wondering about our path. Currently living this, I realized others are, too. When faced with not knowing what to do, we have a choice: wonder, worry, and be overwhelmed with options (or the lack of) or simply do what you can.

Recently, I discussed my thoughts for what was next for my writing, business, and next phase of life with a few close friends. I have a lot of ideas and truly appreciate the blessing of choosing what I CAN do. I’m just not sure exactly what I SHOULD do.

There is what I think I want, but am unclear if that is what God wants for me as the best choice. This wondering created by my own making and also life circumstances is certainly a weird place. One thing is for sure, this type A, planning girl is more than a bit uncomfortable.

As I’ve contemplated, I realize there are always things to do to get ready for what’s next. At the very least, activities abound at my home, for friends, and myself that had been neglected. So, I’m doing those things. Interestingly, as I shared my quandary with my husband, he helpfully added to my list of projects to tackle in this season. Great, thanks.

It’s not that I don’t have things to do, I simply wonder about the best, next option. A friend also in this place put it succinctly. “Sometimes, we need someone to verify our choice is okay so we can move on.” Yes, exactly.

Who we choose to verify our choice matters. Is it someone whose values align with ours? Is it someone who will tell us if we’re doing something inconsistent with our values? Is it someone who cares, yet still has an objective perspective? These criteria will help in looking for some godly wisdom and discernment as we travel along our questioning road.

As I navigate this path of what to do next, I’ve found a few bits of wisdom:

  1. Pray (& listen for God’s reply). This should always be our first step. God may be quiet initially but keep listening. Sometimes His guidance comes as we take the next steps. But talking to AND being still enough to listen for God in prayer and His Word will always bring more of His insight into our search.
  2. Let go of what we cannot control. This includes others’ opinions we don’t value, circumstances beyond our responsibility, pay grade, or power, and what truly isn’t feasible.
  3. Focus on what we can control. This includes our own health, faith, and actions-even in moments we don’t want, think are fair, or enjoy. Choosing positive, life giving, and proactive will always be better than worrying or lamenting our plight. Do what you can do and let God handle the rest, which leads us to…
  4. Give it all to God. So much of this life seems unfair and out of control. Instead of stewing on or being overwhelmed by choices or a lack thereof, let’s simply rest in knowing God is in control over it all. Sometimes we may question His allowance of things to occur in this life. That’s okay and normal. Talk it through it with God, but then surrender it all back to Him. He knows what He’s doing and the sooner we accept this, the sooner we rest in His peace and move on.
  5. Learn from the past and move forward into what’s next (however small that may be). We may not always know what is next, but there is always something to do. I don’t know the fully outlined plan for my business, writing, or the next 20 years, but I know I can plan a wedding shower for my niece, clean the closet, help a friend, or write something useful for all of us.

It’s time to take the next step. We may not know if it’s the absolute best step, but we’ll never know if we don’t take it. Let’s use the time God has given us in this life to move forward as He wants. If it’s not right, He’ll course correct us. But if it’s a prayerfully made choice, chances are He’ll use it for ours and others’ good.

God’s has a plan and we just need to find it. In the meantime, we do the work in front of us and seek Him in every step.

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