Counselor Michael Gembola explores decision-making anxiety and points to the peace that comes from knowing God as your refuge and ever-present help in trouble.
Do you get anxious when you have to make a decision? Do you overthink, overtalk, and overanalyze? When anxiety surrounds every decision, the result can be decision-making paralysis. Learning to trust God, even when the path is not clear, will give you courage to move forward one step at a time.
Anxious with Decisions will help you see that God offers you something better than certainty and the absence of risk when you’re faced with decisions both big and small. He promises to be with you. And when you allow the Good Shepherd to lead, you will find that he uses times of decision-making to make you more peaceful and become a better steward of the opportunities in front of you.
Michael Gembola, MAR, MAC, is an ordained minister and licensed professional counselor. He serves as executive director of Blue Ridge Christian Counseling in southwest VA and has taught counseling as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. He is the author of After an Affair: Pursuing Restoration, Anxious about Decisions, and several articles on counseling. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Roanoke, VA with their two sons and daughter.
"Bigger than a minibook, smaller than regular, just the right size to give biblical answers to common counseling questions. This book, along with others in the series, is an affordable, much-needed resource for the church community—strugglers, pastors, counselors, and other helpers."
Barbara Miller Juliani, VP New Growth Press
“Remarkable. Michael helpfully identifies the new variants of today’s anxieties and then he gathers the insights of wise people and joins them with his own pastoral wisdom in a way that actually gives direction.”
Edward T. Welch, Faculty and counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of A Small Book for the Anxious Heart
“I could not help but think of several people in my life who would immediately benefit from Michael Gembola’s latest offering—Anxious about Decisions. Well-written, well-researched, and brimming with wise and biblical insight, this book brings both a skill and a humanity to an often-overlooked issue. Those who find themselves anxious and in need of help will find Michael a patient and understanding guide, helping you toward a deeper faith in Christ.”
Jonathan D. Holmes, Executive Director, Fieldstone Counseling; coauthor of Rescue Skills
“Drawing upon years of experience in counseling those who are anxious about both big and small decisions, Michael Gembola thoughtfully and winsomely leads readers to deeper insights about their anxiety and provides Christ-centered, practical suggestions for facing their fears and finding freedom from decision paralysis and endless rumination. Debating whether you should read this book or not? Gembola would say that you have freedom before God to choose either option. (But if you take the risk and buy it, I’m 99.9% sure you won’t regret it!)”
Michael R. Emlet, Dean of Faculty and Counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners
“Decision anxiety is real, but so is the peace that God offers. The pages of this book are packed with practical and biblical ways to process your anxiety. It will help you get to what is at the core of your decision anxiety and point you to the peace of God.”
Eliza Huie, Licensed and biblical counselor; director of counseling, McLean Bible Church, Vienna, Va; coauthor of The Whole Life
“Anxious about Decisions: Finding Freedom in the Peace of God is packed with biblical wisdom that is profoundly comforting, gentle, and practical. Michael Gembola astutely addresses the many reasons we struggle with making decisions. After reading it, you will understand how to navigate decisions with humble confidence, knowing that Jesus holds you amid your fears and uncertainties.”
Darby Strickland, Faculty and counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of Is it Abuse?
"Michael Gembola's book, Anxious About Decisions, is one of the most helpful books I have ever read, being clearly written and supremely relevant. Which one of us has not fretted over pending decisions? Gembola cites Scripture frequently and draws on an impressively wide array of Christian thinkers, ending each chapter with practical questions for reflection, making this book perfect for individual or group study. I cannot wait to make it available to my parishioners!"
Christopher A. Hutchinson, Senior Pastor, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Blacksburg, VA; author of Rediscovering Humility
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The Ask the Christian Counselor Series provides keen insights that are shared in an easy to understand manner. Anxious about Decisions tackles the issue of anxiety related to decision making. The warm encouragement and biblical truth shared empowers the reader to move forward with greater wisdom and discernment. While this complimentary book was provided for review by New Growth Press, no other compensation was given. All remarks are my personal and honest opinions.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed by decisions? Find it hard to make them, or feel anxious about the implications, that “what ifs?” Do you overthink, gather lots of advice, feel self-doubt, feel unable to trust others, or delaying in decision making so long that you lose opportunities? If this is you, you are likely to find some helpful guidance here. Michael Gembola’s general message is that God uses your decision-making to help you grow up and mature as a Christian, it is an arena for spiritual formation. Part 1 explores decision anxiety and how we make it worse (by overthinking, overconsulting, overchecking, and avoidance). He notes that God tells us his moral will, but not the answers to nonmoral questions. Part 2 explores where decision anxiety comes from - notably the cultural challenges of young adulthood, and family background, but growing in spiritual maturity is the key. Part 3 explores three main areas: marriage, vocation, and the smaller things (which also touches on areas more affected by those with OCD). With marriage the key advice is that you need to know God and know yourself to have wisdom to make this major life decision. With vocation he encourages working toward faithful stewardship and peace. He encourages learning and practicing decision making in smaller areas. Gembola explicitly does not provide a protocol for making good decisions, but does suggest resources at the end for those who would like that.
I love Anxious About Decisions: Finding Freedom in the Peace of God by Michael Gembola! I appreciate the knowledge and experience that Mr. Gembola shares in the book. In my opinion, Mr. Gembola writes the book with compassion and understanding that shows he wants to help the reader with their anxiety and decision making and to have a peaceful life. I love how the author encourages the reader to get into the Word to help them combat anxiety and make decisions. I also love how the Scriptures the author chose matched perfectly with whatever he was talking about at the time. I love the scenarios that were in the book and how the anxiety was explained in the particular scenario. Dealing with anxiety myself, I loved how the author explained different levels of decision making anxiety and that some people deal with multiple levels of anxiety when making decisions and some people only have anxiety making certain types of decisions. I also love that Mr. Gembola doesn’t make the reader feel guilty about the anxiety they may feel while making decisions, but encourages the reader to take a Step of Faith and make the decision and lean into God during the decision making process and outcome–good or bad. If you battle anxiety while making decisions, I highly recommend Anxious About Decisions: Finding Freedom in the Peace of God. I also highly recommend Anxious About Decisions: Finding Freedom in the Peace of God if you work in the mental health field or in Ministry. I will definitely be telling others about Anxious About Decisions: Finding Freedom in the Peace of God by Michael Gembola and will be reading it again! I would like to thank New Growth Press for giving me a copy of Anxious About Decisions: Finding Freedom in the Peace of God to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Full Review at: https://leslieslibraryescape.wordpress.com/2022/10/14/book-review-anxious-about-decisions-finding-freedom-in-the-peace-of-god/
I am enjoying the New Growth Press series “Ask The Christian Counselor.” It is packed with practical, comforting, and gentle encouragement. This week’s book is “Anxious About Decisions” by Michael Gembola. Gembola helps us understand what decision anxiety is and how it works. He explores the way people try to fix it and oftentimes fail. Then he addresses the topic of God’s will and how our decisions play into that. Once we grasp the problem, he narrows anxiety down into different topics like: moving into adulthood, family, marriage, vocation, as well as plans and purchases. I love when Gembola said, “In all of our decision making, the Holy Spirit never leaves or forsakes us.” We can be encouraged because we are never alone in making decisions. God is with us. Whether you struggle with decision anxiety or have a friend who does, I believe this will be book encouraging to you.