I’ll be honest. I don’t like making decisions. Usually the small choices in life aren’t too vexing like deciding what to eat for lunch or where to hang out with friends on the weekend. But it’s the bigger ones that can be nearly paralyzing. Where should I go to school? Who should I marry? What job should I pursue? Where should I live?
Over a month ago, I had to make one of those more significant choices. Should I stay in China another year or go back home? At the beginning of this spring semester, I was strongly leaning towards going back home. But as time progressed, my certainty wavered. Nearly all my friends are here, I have a close spiritual family, and frankly, after living for four years in China, Huangdao has become my home.
But I still had concerns too. I could only teach two more years at my university because of the five-year teaching rule, and what would be next after that? How much longer did I want to teach in China? And if I stayed longer in China, how hard would it be to re-acclimate to America if I ever came back?
Honestly, the closer the date came for me to make the decision, the more conflicted I became. And I began to stress and worry about it much more than I should have. I even began losing sleep over it, which didn’t help clarify the issue for me much. What if I choose to stay in China another year and lose a job opportunity in the States because of it? Or what if I come back to America and can’t find a job? What will I do?
Finally, after months of agonizing over the decision, I made my choice. I decided that this would be my last semester in China, and I would go back to America this summer and look for a job. It was one of the most difficult choices I’ve made for a long time. Sometimes I feel like I’m abandoning all my friends here. Other times I feel like there’s more uncertainties back home than here. And to an extent, there is. But I’ve made my decision now.
Sometimes when I have to make big decisions, I wish God would send me a letter that would delineate each step I need to take. That would certainly take the pressure off of me. But then I wouldn’t need to trust him. Through this decision making process, I was reminded again of God’s character. He loves me and desires the best for me in my life. Even when I fail him, he remains faithful to me.
As I look back on these past four years in China, I can see how God has directed my steps. Honestly, I hadn’t expected to be in China one year, let alone four years. And I certainly didn’t envision myself teaching English to college students. But that was his plan for me. I certainly still fail him and don’t serve him as consistently as I should, but I’m thankful for the mercy and grace he showers upon me. He is continually reshaping me into a more useful vessel for him.
I still don’t like making decisions in life. But I am thankful God decided to send his son, Jesus, into this fallen world and that he decided to lay down his life for me and rise again, proving he was God. Somehow my decision seems petty compared to his. The future still unnerves me at times, and I still face many unknowns. But I can continue trusting in a sovereign God who has led me and will continue leading me as I decide to come back to America this summer.