Retirement can free you from the bounds of a career, allowing you to spend your time doing many of the things you enjoy or simply resting and enjoying time with friends. But it doesn't free you from making decisions — big or small.
For many seniors in later life, major decisions can be related to situations such as medical issues or needs, managing financial resources and choosing where to make a home. One decision many seniors might face is whether to downsize from their existing home into an independent or assisted living community.
Bethesda Gardens in Frisco, Texas, is a faith-based assisted living community. While not all our residents are seniors of faith, many are, and we work under a mission of faith-based service. We also know that the Bible offers support and guidance for people of all ages who are making major decisions. Here are a few things the Bible has to say about making decisions that might be relevant to seniors considering a move into an assisted living community or other major change.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
Often when faced with a decision, we try to rely on what we know to make the best possible choice. And while an educated decision is certainly a good idea — especially if it's a major one — seniors of faith also probably realize that we can't know everything.
For example, when considering a move into an assisted living community, you can know what your personal preferences and needs are. You can do research to find out what a community offers and read reviews and testimonials to discover if it has a good reputation. You can even schedule a visit or tour to see some of these things for yourself.
But you can't know what tomorrow will hold or exactly how your move into an assisted living apartment might play out over all details. Which means you must be willing to trust in God if he is leading you to make this move.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."
God doesn't make decisions for us, though. He gives us the gift of free will so that we can make decisions and choose to love him. Which means we also have to make these earthly decisions. He doesn't leave us unequipped, and we can ask him for guidance and wisdom for these choices.
"Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety."
Some people get stuck listening for that still, small voice of the Spirit when they seek guidance in a situation. But remember that God doesn't just speak directly to us. Often, he speaks to us through others. Talk about your decisions with people you trust, faith leaders and experts. And be willing to hear from God in other forms, including sermons, books and even television shows. When you're open to the spirit, you never know how it will arrive.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Sometimes we're guilty of turning to God in prayer only for the major things. And while all these tips certainly apply to big decisions such as how to spend retirement savings or whether you should sell your home and move into an assisted living community, they also apply to little things.
The Bible tells us to pray about everything. Consider praying in the morning about which assisted living activities you should engage in that day or whether any of your fellow residents could use a kind word or a smile during meal times. Other things you might pray over include how to use the time and talents God has given you, when to call a family member and what to say to someone who you feel needs encouragement or who has wronged you.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…"
This verse in Timothy reminds us that all Scripture is good for learning. These five are a great place to start, but if you're seeking guidance with a decision — big or small — consider reading your Bible and looking for Scripture that speaks to you.
Residents of Bethesda Gardens assisted living can also attend Bible study and story sessions, prayer meetings and worship or seek one-on-one guidance with an on-site chaplain.