Written by Naome Seifu
“Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life. Many plans are in a person’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.”
About 2 years ago I realized I was in a place of stagnancy and needed to be discipled and mentored. I never realized how this journey would become the most challenging, painful and emotion-packed roller coasters I would have ever experienced. In my pursuit of seeking wise counsel, I was exposed to my sin, I was confronted with my weakness’ insecurities and brokenness.
As an adult I have always understood that taking charge of your mental health and spiritual growth is something that should be sharpened and prioritized in everyone’s lives. But I never took the time to prioritize that part of my life until I was preparing for marriage.
Every turn I took, it was defeat and strenuous heartbreak. But I knew I could not give up. The journey itself in finding someone for me to walk with in the faith was overwhelming and challenging. Every moment of every second I would ask why this was happening to me. Why was I getting overlooked? Why was I left in pain? Why could I not find someone who saw the value I knew I have? All those questions have ONE common denominator – the word “I”.
It wasn’t until now, 2 years later that i was able to discover how treacherous sin is in my life.
The focus of “I” and not “Him” was what made this journey that much more difficult. I slowly learned that I should have let God take reign, surrendering myself to Him and letting Him bring me the person I need to grow.
I bring this experience to light now, in all transparency (as difficult and hard as it is) because there is a greater story to this. and that is, God is faithful.
I bring this experience to light now, in all transparency (as difficult and hard as it is) because there is a greater story to this. And that is, God is faithful. A verse that has recently been heavy on my heart is this:
“The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid of discouraged.”
In the profound book “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ”, author Peter Scazzero breaks down the importance of understanding and processing our emotions.
“Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality. Listening to our emotions ushers us into reality. And reality is where we meet God…Emotions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice.”
It was this that brought me to a place of clarity in understanding that wise counsel, discipleship, and therapy were all very important resources needed in my life. I’m grateful for the understanding of what marriage counseling opened my eyes to – mentorship. And I’m grateful for what mentorship is teaching me.
It wasn’t until I let God do the work in fully leading me to wise counsel that my life changed forever. I found a person I wasn’t dependent on – but someone who is teaching me how to depend on Jesus. I found someone who decided they would take the responsibility to walk with me and be my person in my growth. It was through prayer and God’s shepherding that brought me to someone who has given me a sense of hope and faith in myself that I can attain the goals and life that I want in the spiritual realm.
My next goal now is in developing a deeper level of wise counsel by seeking therapy.
In the journey of seeking wise counsel, I connected with my pastor in Atlanta to lead my fiancé and me in marriage counseling. It was then, through the first session, that I realized how necessary wise counsel is in my life – it was that moment that I became aware of the accountability I needed for myself in taking charge of my emotions, spirituality and mental health.
Some important factors my fiancé and I needed in a marriage counselor was someone who was married for 20+ years with children, is in ministry, and would be someone we look up to and who’s life reflects one we admire and strive towards. Through the counseling we received thus far, we have learned about wisdom in ways we never understood.
Every day I am thankful for the moments I get to be transparent with our leader that is walking with us as we enter into one of the most important covenants we make before the Lord.
In Timothy Keller’s, “The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God” he breaks down the substance of the gospel by saying, “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Being introduced to that perspective of the gospel convicted me. Our sin is carried through us, but we are still loved in unimaginable ways – an unceasing type of love despite our transgressions.
So, in my testimony of the impact wise counsel has covered my life with, I have hope that the person reading this will find someone who fits them best. Who will guide them and fulfill them in ways unimaginable.
But you will find the best counsel not through your own strength or might, but through your obedience to God’s choice for you.
Your decisions are a reflection of your relationship with Christ. Nurture that one first. He will take care of the rest.