Exercising A Heart Of Obedience

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I don’t know what happens when you hear God calling you to something, but I typically do what Jonah did. I run the other way. Especially when it doesn’t fit into my tidy plans.

Sometimes I run so hard and so far that I fill the calendar with a million other little things to avoid the one thing God is calling me to. Been there, done that? Got the tired feet, the booked schedule and the miles to prove it? Let’s face it. It didn’t work for Jonah and it won’t work for us either.

We Can Plan All We Want, But God Is The One In Control

I’m a girl who likes to plan. Thankfully God has allowed me to go through life with a man who is also a planner. We work a lot so we need to make time for the things we love. Having a schedule is partly out of necessity, but it also brings me comfort. I like having defined boundaries for my day. I like knowing what’s coming next. I like feeling as if I have a sense of control in this life. I believe most of us do. But the reality is, we are never really in control, God is.

Trust In God’s Greater Plan For Your Life

Our tidy plans for a forever family blew up in our faces recently. I miss those precious littles who we welcomed with open hearts into our home. God used the experience to glorify Him, even though we didn’t see much fruit through all the heartache and grief.

Even after years of training and preparation, we felt poorly equipped to parent three deeply broken, hurt kiddos. But we said yes to what God was calling us to, even though my mind (and my feet) often felt like running a million miles in the opposite direction.

We were in this adoption for life, but God had other plans. He allowed us to care for these kids for a short season, but He bore so much fruit through our obedience.

Has God given you a glimpse of the purpose behind a recent heartache or trial? It’s truly a blessing when we get to see the fruits of our hardship this side of heaven.

These littles now know what a Godly marriage looks like. They know what it means to feel safe at night, to sleep peacefully without fear of harm. They know what it’s like to live with people who never screamed or lashed out, who set healthy boundaries and gave lots of love. They had their tears wiped away when the nightmares of their past entered into the daylight hours. They shared their broken, painful stories with us and were met with hugs and kisses and the gentle reminders of how much Jesus loves them. Their voices were heard as the darkness came into the light.

We loved those kids with a forever love, even though it was for just a short season. If we had known then what we do now, I don’t believe we would have loved as fully. Our hearts would have been guarded. God knew that too. Which is why things played out the way they did.

If we had to go back and do it all over again, even knowing all the heartbreak, grief and pain it would bring, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Being obedient to Jesus and His calling to love those kids with a forever kind of love will never be a mistake.

Exercise A Heart Of Obedience In Your Life

I don’t know what the Lord is calling you to these days. But I do know that He is calling. The question is, are you listening?

Maybe you have felt the Lord nudging you to join a small group or finally commit to that women’s Bible study. Maybe He is calling you to go back to church, reconcile with a loved one or take a leap of faith and start your own business or blog.

Maybe your nudging is more like a gentle whisper to get back to a hobby you love. Or learn something new. Something that will bring you great joy and fill you up in ways that allow you to pour into others.

Whatever you are feeling called to, I want to encourage you today to take a leap of faith and start exploring how that looks lived out in your life.

If God is calling us to something, we can trust that there is always a reason. Even if things don’t go according to our tidy little plans.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

If you need a gentle reminder to listen to the calling God has placed on your heart, take some time to read the Book of Jonah.

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