Hey there friend,
Five years ago my entire life changed when I finally understood the meaning and importance of this one word. For years I misunderstood it’s true meaning and I denied the important role it played in my life. I always thought of this word in a negative way and I honestly never thought I would now find so much comfort in what I once ran away from.
So, what’s the word?
Now, I first must tell you that one of my biggest personality flaws is that I have a serious issue with authority. I hate being told what to do. I despise being out of control of any situation and I much prefer to be the one in charge. I’ve never been an all-out rebel, but I have been known to stretch the rules as far as I possibly can without technically breaking them.
Shockingly, I was an obedient child for the most part — but once I turned 17 that all changed. I got just 365 days away from “freedom” and adulthood and thought that I knew everything. And so began my belief that my parents no longer knew what was best for me. That guy they asked me not to date? Yep, dated him for three horrible years.
Throughout my career I have struggled with wanting to do things my way rather than the way I’ve been asked to do them (even though I can PROVE that my way is more productive and efficient). Let’s just say there is a reason I now work for myself.
Church? Yep, I have been known the fight authority there as well. We’re supposed to bring 2 desserts to this event? Count on me to bring one dessert and one side dish. You’re talking to the girl that has no problem walking in 5 minutes late just to prove that no one can tell her to be there at a specific time. When I say I struggle with authority I am not exaggerating — just give my mom a call and ask her all about it. She will first roll her eyes and then laugh…because she knows exactly who I got it from (thanks, Dad!).
As much as this is still a daily struggle for me, I learned something in the winter of 2014 that forever changed how I viewed obedience. In fact, I would probably be much worse than I am now if I never had this revelation about that word I disliked so much. I want to share that part of my journey with you and the one really important thing I learned about that dreaded nine-letter word.
Almost five years ago I was walking through one of the darkest parts of my journey to here. I was in a relationship that was leaving me empty and hopeless (yep, should have listened to Mom and Dad) with no intention of walking away. I was a Christian then, just as I am now. But I was walking in darkness — in disobedience (if there is anything that made me cringe more than the O-word, it was putting those three little letters in front of it).
…no matter how much I showed up and tried to get alone with God and hear from Him, all I found was silence
You see, I was daily seeking God. I was finding time to read my bible, do my devotions, and spend time in prayer. I was searching for things like peace, comfort, and purpose. Looking back, I now know that I was looking for those things because I was depressed, anxious, and lacking true joy. But, I wasn’t finding what I was looking for.
In fact, no matter how much I showed up and tried to get alone with God and hear from Him, all I found was silence. It was as if there was a wall between us and even though He was speaking I couldn’t hear because of that wall. I continued to show up…and still found silence on this side of the wall. And then, it all changed.
I was more concerned with being right and comfortable than I was with being in God’s will.
For months, maybe even years, I had been feeling this weight on my heart regarding this dating relationship. I knew that God didn’t want me in it anymore and that He never intended me to be in it to begin with. But, as I’m famous for doing, I pushed for my way instead. That relationship left me empty, broken, and incapable of identifying who I was or whose I was. But I was more concerned with being right and comfortable than I was with being in God’s will.
Finally, after months of wrestling with God and with countless friends speaking truth over me almost daily, I finally worked up the courage to walk away. I put that relationship, like my disobedience, to death. I finally believed, no matter how much it hurt to walk away, that God would draw me back to Himself and set me on the path He always intended for me to walk.
The walls came tumbling down and peace flooded through my heart in a way I had never known.
And, He showed up. Big time! The walls came tumbling down and peace flooded through my heart in a way I had never known. And as the walls came down they set off this domino effect in my life. One fell and then another. And before I knew it I was finding joy, discovering my purpose, meeting my husband, celebrating a marriage and a relationship that thrived with Christ as the central point, and telling the world about what God had done for me.
I sit here now, still a girl who struggles with authority, but fully understanding the power that comes with obedience. Friend, my life forever changed when I realize what I could do by just being obedient to what God was calling or asking me to do.
It is in my nature to respond to direction with a big NO WAY. I guess I really am a daughter of Adam in that way. But, it is God’s nature to know the very best for me, and for you. In finally listening to Him and doing the one simple thing He asked I was able to rejoice in things like joy, purpose, peace, comfort, and even ambition.
I sit here now, still a girl who struggles with authority, but fully understanding the power that comes with obedience
We have turned obedience into this monster of legalism and wrath — we have distorted the meaning behind the word. There is not a single relationship we can enter into that doesn’t require some form or amount of obedience from at least one, if not all, parties. And what I discovered in my relationship with Christ is that I cannot have a full, close, and even intimate relationship with Him if I am disobeying His calls and commands on my life every single day.
I can honestly say, from this side of the screen, that I love my life. I love everything He has brought me through and everything He has led me to. And I honestly believe that my obedience that day is what started this new journey to joy. I learned how powerful it is to walk in God’s will and ever since then I have tried my hardest to listen to His leading and obey what He asks of me. Every part of my story has been woven with obedience — meeting my husband, building this brand, showing up here for you and doing my best to encourage you…it all happened because of the new (and true) meaning I found when I looked at that word I once despised.
Obedience is a beautiful and life-changing thing, friend. I once believed it stripped me of control and freedom. But I now understand that it is the very thing that GIVES me power, freedom, and abundance.
If you are in a place where you feel like God is silent…I assure that He is not. He is speaking and reaching out to you but there might be a wall in the way. It could be that you, just like I did, have built a wall with bricks of disobedience and mortar made from bitterness and distrust. I want to invite you to examine any place in your life where you might be walking in disobedience and therefor rejecting God’s plan for you. And if you find it, don’t waste any more time with it…give it up. And finally understand the joy that I have found in simply walking where He leads.
Update: I recently felt led to discuss this topic at length on my YouTube channel. You can check out the video below: