This 20-year-old college junior is struggling to resolve a dilemma. She has a vision of leaving her small-town to have “an amazing” career in a big city and see the world, but she fears that not marrying her boyfriend now will mean missing out on the rewards of having a loving husband and family. She asks, “What do you think is best in the long run?”
Tricia also gives some important background information that makes it easy to answer her question based on what I learned when I asked this question: "What do you wish you had known before you got married?" many women told me "I wish I had known more about myself," and "I wish I had waited." She is in danger of doing what she thinks she supposed to do and regretting it later.
However, it's very important for women to take responsibility for making their own decisions. Instead of telling her what to do, I would point out that she's already given me the important information that she can use to decide what would be best in the long run.
Tricia has already told me:
What I suspect is that what she is actually afraid of is that this will be her only chance to marry someone she loves. She's also afraid of disapproval; the disapproval of her parents, her boyfriend's parents and her friends. She knows that she doesn't fit their world very well now but so far, that's her secret. Nobody else knows and she's afraid of what will happen if they find out.
My advice for Tricia and for many other young women who can't see beyond their immediate options is to slow down and imagine other possibilities. Think about what might happen a few years down the road if you follow your dreams and what might happen if you cave in now and do what other people expect you to do.
For starters you could imagine yourself five years from now at the ripe old age of 25. Imagine the result each possibility. First imagine marrying your boyfriend and staying in your small town. Where might you be living? What might you be doing? What is the best possible outcome in that situation? What is the worst? How would you feel about both the best and the worst outcomes—sad, mad, glad or scared?
Then imagine pursuing the other things you have always wanted to do. Answer the same questions. Next think about what you need to do, starting now, to make the best possible outcome likely to occur in each situation. Finally decide whether you are ready, willing and able to do what it takes to be happy in either situation.
Then read some of the other books in this series before you make your final decision.
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