Thursday, October 4, 2012

It Pays to Obey

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths."
~ Proverbs 3:5, 6

Proverbs 3: 5-6 is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. I recite it to myself regularly to encourage myself. It's so easy to "lean on our own understanding." The last two and a half years have been an interesting journey in trust and obedience. In March 2012 the Lord told me to leave Maryland and go to Connecticut to help my sister. I'd been living in Maryland for eighteen years, had my own office/business, long time friends and ministry opportunities. I think that's the side most people saw and therefore found it difficult to believe that God was moving me to CT. I encountered quite a bit of opposition and disbelief, even from my spiritual leaders. Nevertheless, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was being directed by the Lord to go to Connecticut. Though on the surface, i.e., in the natural, it seemed impractical and I didn't know all the reasons why the Lord was instructing me to go, I was looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with my two sisters and get to know their children. I had also been pretty sick for almost a year and was looking forward to some rest.

On my own I would never have thought to relocate to Connecticut. The Lord knew this, but he also knew just what I needed and his timing was perfect. I no longer owned my own home, I had no children, I wasn't married or otherwise engaged and the lease on my apartment was about to end.

Three weeks after my move to Connecticut, my beloved nephew was murdered and I was the first person my sister saw and came to when she received the news. I'm so glad I was there. During the year and four months that I lived in Connecticut I got to know my other nephew and two nieces. I also reconnected with other relatives, published my first two books and got my artwork into a bookstore in Connecticut. What if I had disobeyed God and stayed in Maryland?

After my season in Connecticut ended I received an invitation to go to Florida, another place I had absolutely no desire to move to, but my older brother invited me to come and I felt the Lord was telling me to go. Once again, I received a good deal of opposition. This time it came from a few family members. I'd been job hunting and interviewing for about three months by the time my brother invited me to move to Florida and I had just gotten a couple decent job prospects. The job market in Florida on the other hand looked bleak. But because I knew this move was also the Lord's will, I obeyed.

It's been ten months since I relocated to Florida and the Lord has done some wonderful things. Once again the Lord put me in a position to renew my relationship with another sibling. He's been opening doors for publicizing my books and art. He's given me a number of new, heartwarming friendships, allowed me to start a new business venture and opened up ministry opportunities for me at my new church. Today as I reflected on God's direction over the last two and a half years, I marveled at his design and I'm glad that I trusted him and obeyed.

 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways  higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts," says the Lord. (Isaiah 55: 9)

To God be the glory.