I am almost ashamed to admit that instead of allowing God to direct my steps, I always find myself trying to take matters into my own hands. Even in my prayers, I specifically make the promise of giving God total control over life’s perplexities and “I” then proceed to take control and end up creating total chaos. Because of my impatience, I’ve blocked specific instructions that God has given me through various situations. Who wouldn’t prefer a “quick fix” to life’s problems? What we don’t realize is that these same problems teach us important lessons to help define our purpose.
During my tantalizing twenties, I found myself in what almost everyone around me (whom I ignored) considered an “unhealthy” relationship. Of course it didn’t start off this way. It was one of those relationships that just…happened. No courting, no dating…we ostensibly just became one. We accepted each other’s baggage and wanted to grow together. Six months into this long-distance relationship I vividly remember red flags. I was determined to make this relationship (that no one else believed in) work. I lied to myself because I knew that the truth hurt. Despite the obvious signs that I should run like hell, I chose to stay. Two years later, I found myself in a relationship that I was now scared to leave. Upon consulting God, I remember praying something like this:
Please give me the strength to leave *Trevor* if us being together is not what you want. I know that you are in control and ultimately I want to do what you want me to do. If you give me one more sign to leave him, I will leave. I know that you know best. Amen.
No matter how many “signs” God gave me (more than I could count) I did not leave. Each new sign became one more time I would forgive and make excuses for this man’s behavior. I slowly relinquished my standards and ignored His obvious warnings. God would often position me to get out of the relationship, but I could not get out of my own feelings long enough to see that. It wasn’t until our relationship became violent that everything became clear. I toiled for weeks over how I was going to finally leave. Instead of reacting, I began to rest on God’s word. I was actually still long enough to hear His direction. A couple of months later *Trevor* was removed from my life. And while it wasn’t in the most ideal way, I am grateful that I was strong enough to be still. God’s plan ultimately surpassed the pain.
The act of “being still” takes on many meanings. It means being quiet long enough to become aware of the signs God puts in front of you regarding your destiny. It means realizing that you are not in control of everything. It means knowing that God will do what you’ve asked him to do. It means trusting His timing. Being still ultimately means that you truly believe that there is a greater purpose for your life. So the next time you ask for God’s help, make sure that you are willing to be still long enough to hear the answer so that you can ultimately reap the blessing. Trust that you are being lead down the right path, even if you are not the driver and the road appears foggy. Focus on the slither of light that always shines through the darkness and allow it to guide you.
By Dr. Avis Foley, Co-Publisher, Purpose Weekly