This is a blog post I’ve been sitting on for a while. It’s a lesson that I feel God has been teaching me over and over and over again in 2015. As I look to 2016, I wonder what new lesson(s) God will show me. Or if it will just be this same one over again. (‘Cause, that’s a very real possibility! I just don’t know that I have this one down, yet!)
I gained even further clarity with the whole Obedience Vs. Pride thing during the Advent season. Ya know, Mary and Joseph and that little guy, baby Jesus? Yeah, them. Because really, this lesson can be applied to any area of my life, not just the big things.
It started almost a year ago. It was in February 2015 that Tim and I felt like the Lord had made it clear that we were to move to Hawaii. “Come again, God? Are you serious?” was our first reaction, followed by “Woo-hoo!! We’re moving to Hawaii!”, then a, “Ummm… wait. We have to sell all our stuff to move? Whaaa…?” Needless to say, it’s been extremely emotional for the whole family. The excitement of moving to paradise, the mourning of leaving family and friends. It’s all there.
So, it would stand to reason, that as I talked more and more and more about it, I realized not everyone was on board with this mighty plan that God had come up with. I was feeling slightly Noah-ish, honestly. Like I had just announced to the world that I was building an ark for a world-wide flood that was on it’s way. And honestly? I sort of hated that ick feeling inside I’d get, every time someone gave me that look, the one that said, “Sure. God told you to move to paradise. Right.”
So then my insecurities would kick in and I’d question myself. “Was that really you, God? Had we really heard you right? What if God changed His mind?” *panic sets in* “What if God totally pulled an Abraham/Isaac thing and He waited until we sold everything to tell us not to go? OH MY WORD, WHAT IF GOD DECIDED TO MAKE US STAY AFTER ALL WE HAD SAID AND DONE AND WE LOOKED LIKE FOOLS IN FRONT OF EVERYONE?!”
And then this little tiny voice whispered in my ear, “So what? Do it anyway.”
“So what?” Yeah. So what? It finally dawned on me that God’s ways are higher than our ways. And it is absolutely possible that He could change our direction after we’d come so far, that He could have something entirely different in store for us, than what we thought He had.
And ya know what? That’s ok. It’s a huge pride killer, sure. But would I rather please man and look like I have it all together all the time, or be in God’s perfect and peaceful Will? I think you can guess my answer. He had told us to ‘Go’. That was all we needed to know.
So, yeah. Early in 2015, God began to teach me to value of Obedience over Pride. And then he did it again. With my writing.
This summer I attended a Writer’s Conference in Philly. Days before I left, I felt a little niggle in my heart, a little something-something that God was saying. And then He said it. Over. And over. And over. At that conference! And guess what it was? You got it! Obedience over Pride!
Instead of focusing on getting published, instead of worrying about how many followers I had on my blog, or ignoring my family while I tried to market myself – I just needed to write what He told me to write. I needed to focus on Him. He would do the rest. “But, God. What if none of my work ever gets published?” ‘That’s ok’, He said. ‘You’re writing for a reason. Know that. Take comfort in that. There is one person who needs to read your words. I’ll make sure they get them.’
Wow. That was really… relieving, actually.
As I reflect on this holiday season, on this story we listen to year after year – about a scared young girl and a brave young man, and how they gave birth to a miraculous Savior in a miraculous way – well, I see it again. Obedience over Pride.
Mary had to swallow her pride when she came to her betrothed to tell him she was pregnant. Joseph had to swallow his pride when he chose to stay with his future bride. And the two of them had to bear shame and guilt that wasn’t theirs, when his relatives turned them away at the inn. (Because we all know it had a lot more to do with the fact that an unmarried pregnant couple sought shelter, over the fact that ‘there was no room’.) Even the earthly mother and father of my own Savior had to choose Obedience over their Pride, all those years ago.
And I thank God that they did.
I thank God that I have their example to lean on, that I can be encouraged to choose Obedience over Pride. I thank God that no matter what happens in my future or what others might think of the decisions that we make, I can always find shelter in the arms of my Savior.
What about you? Have you been struggling with choosing Obedience over Pride lately? I’d love to hear your comments below!!
Happy reading, friends!