When Obedience is Worship

The wheels are turning. My mind is jumbled with dreams and ideas and things that have been pushed aside or buried or dormant for a long time. There is so much to say, and perhaps now, at the tender age of 37, I am growing wise enough to actually say them. No, it isn’t wisdom so much as obedience and bravery.


When we were children, obedience didn’t feel brave. It felt resentful, stifling and misunderstood. As young adults, obedience represented everything we were trying to push back against in our quest to define our fragile independence. As grown men and women, obedience becomes a dirty word. Marriage vows no long speak of loving, honoring and obeying the husband. We are desperate to be seen as equals — not subservient, and certainly not  submissive.

But when it isn’t another human being that we are striving to obey, but the God of the Universe, the scenario changes. All of a sudden, routine tasks that simply aren’t on our daily plan have the potential to become holy moments. Because in obedience to God, miracles can happen.

If I were to to follow every act of obedience back as far as I could go, I can easily see how differently my life would have turned out had I done anything differently. We could still be in Maine, comfortable, with friends and family nearby, and living in our own sheltered world. We could have told God “No — we don’t want the hassle and work of a church plant.” We could have turned away from the Lord after we lost a baby to an ectopic pregnancy heartbreak in 2009. I could have walked away from my then fiance, deciding that his history and all that he carried with him was simply too much. He might never have moved to Maine from California in the first place. When my best friend at the time invited me to church with her in 1999, I could have ignored the way my heart leapt inside my chest and turned down the invitation. . .

If any one of those scenarios had played out differently, I have no idea who I would be today.

Tonight, I am in awe of the journey. I can see Ebenezer stones all throughout my past, at those pivotal moments that seemed so impossible at the time. I can see altars at the times of rejoicing, and celebration. Through all of it, I see God’s loving guidance so beautifully weaving stories together.

For example — the woman I admired on the worship team at the church I attended in college stepping down to pursue her own music, and I took her place on the team. We reunited three weeks ago when I began my new job at a Christian school in Tennessee — which is another God story all by itself.

We do not need to worry about our clothes, or what we will eat. My God in heaven is making all things new, and He is providing every single thing that we need. May we not grow discontent in longing for the next new thing. All around me are the blessings of a God that is crazy about me. He is wooing me with His grace, and I cannot let go.

I have tasted the freedom of His will, and vow from this moment forward to walk in it as best I can, trusting in His presence, His guidance, and His peace. Are you with me?

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