You know how the Bible talks about God having ways? Like those passages that say “Lord teach me Your ways” and “His ways are higher than our ways”? Well, I’ve said that prayer, “Lord, teach me Your ways” as I was sitting on the living room sofa my roommates and I shared as a 20-something. I had my Bible out and I was having my “quiet time” and my heart was open to Jesus. I had no idea what I was praying, I just knew that I loved Him and wanted all that He had for me.
Fast forward about 7 years and I can share a little bit on what in the world that prayer meant. It meant that for most of my journey the things and people I desired would not be good for me and I would have to give them up. It meant when I thought I was ready for something He said I was not and I was called to wait. Overall, it meant dying to self.
The thing is God wasn’t being mean or random in His ways (as I believed for so long). He was actually being very purposeful. He was showing me that as much as I loved Him and as good as my own intentions were, if left to my own devices, I would lean to my own understanding and I would make very poor choices. The people He asked me to give up were actually very unhealthy for me (and sometimes I, for them). But I could not see that. All I could see was my love for them. My very misguided love for them. So for most of my life, I would continue to function in unhealthy relationships, whether they were familial, friendships or romantic. Because one variable in all of those equations remained the same.
I was unhealthy.
And my lack of self-awareness caused me to repeat the same cycles of unhealthiness over and over (and over) again. See, I thought letting go of my first love was the big sacrifice. But that decision was just the beginning of freeing me from the cycles of dysfunction. Because my ways, my function, were tainted with sin that led me to always pursue what was destructive.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but that way leads to death (Prov 14:12).
Solomon, the author of those words, was a wise man. But wisdom can be freely given to all who ask for it. And when I asked to know the Lord’s ways, I was actually asking for wisdom. Only I didn’t know it. My pride and selfishness made me feel that God was holding out on me. That He was not fulfilling the desires of my heart. So He patiently and gently led me on a journey to discover that if I put Him first, He will bring forth His promises. So far I can say, He has fulfilled many of the desires I have had and in other ways He has exceeded them.
It is only upon walking with Him that we can attain a level of maturity and understanding to see why He has chosen His particular path for us. And even though His path varies from person to person, I think we all have this in common: we are all misguided. We choose things and people that are unhealthy and destructive. Our hearts deceive us. We lean to our own understanding. Our original mother and father, Adam and Eve, did the same thing in the garden.
I am still in recovery from misguided love and I’m still in process of manifestung my wholeness but I’m thankful Yeshua walks with us and has helped me make it to this level of awakening. I’m thankful He does not leave us broken and in pain and ignorant.
If we want it… If we choose it… He will teach us His ways and we will no longer be ignorant. We will be led and guided by the One who knows the path that will bring forth the best outcome for us.