Conflicting values and desires and needs make decisions excruciatingly painful. Choice A means that x is ripped to tatters, but Choice B, which salvages x, means that y is smashed to bits. And both x and y are good in themselves and of great value and one desperately wishes to hold on to both.
But such choices do have a clarifying value, if one can finally move beyond the agony. Perhaps x and y are of equal value and one desires both equally fervently -- but being forced to choose between them also forces a recognition of which is ultimately -- in the long view -- more important.
There will inevitably be those who look at the choices one makes and think, that's foolish, or irrational, or unhealthy. They may be right, of course. Or they may be seeing from their own values and understandings and even wisdom . . . where these do not apply.
Job's friends didn't speak lies. They spoke truths. One can take statements made by these men and live wisely by them. But they were not true of Job, did not apply to his person and his situation. Perhaps, since God required of Job a sacrifice for his friends, they sinned in not knowing or trusting him as they should have. Perhaps the sacrifice was intended to ensure Job's forgiveness of unintentional hurt by men of good will. Perhaps both.
Mostly, it seems to me, in those excruciatingly difficult times, others will fault one's decisions not out of lack of knowledge or love but simply because those decisions cannot be seen as rational without the voice of the Holy Spirit, Who very well may speak only to the one faced with the choices.
I don't know exactly how the decisions made in the last 24 hours will look in practice just yet, and I have no idea where they will ultimately lead. But I am confident in the priorities I have chosen, and I do not think I will lose a certain blinding clarity that has come in the process (only in the darkness do we see clearly?).
Thanks to all who have been praying. You are precious beyond words, and God will reward your love and faithfulness.