Recently in life I had a big decision to make, which required great discernment on my part. I was taught this by a Canossian sister:
To answer the question “Should I do X?”
1. Begin with a prayer to surrender all distractions; desires and expectations, to let His will be done.
2. On paper, write, “Do X” and list the pros and cons of making this decision. Leave this paper alone for 2-3 days. Don’t think about it.
3. Repeat above steps for the “Don’t do X” decision.
4. In the process of leaving it alone and not thinking about it, discover where your heart is prompting you towards.
5. Pray on why you feel this way, and if God is calling you to this decision.
6. Have the courage to make the decision.
I followed this process, also making sure to discuss it with those affected by the decision. No point discerning if you may not have the freedom to make the decision.
It was a month long process, meeting God in prayer, adoration and people. I was frustrated because I couldn’t find an answer. But I kept at it, until God revealed to me this line, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion…”
On some level, I wanted the answer to be “Do X” but I was afraid God was calling me to say no. As a person not keen on letting others down, this was extremely difficult. But as I continued praying, God revealed to me more reasons for this decision and gave me courage to say no. Today, I am fully humbled by what it means to submit myself to the will of God, to let myself decrease and let Him increase within me.