I dont have the best memory when it comes to my childhood, but one thing I know is that I was never good when it came to obedience. If I had to be told to do something, that made me not want to do it; I guess you could call me a rebel. That sort of makes me sound tough but I was not that at all. I was actually pretty wimpy and fearful. I would allow myself to be bullied and even touched inappropriately by others because I didn’t have enough courage to defend myself. For some reason I suppose I didn’t feel worthy, I always had a guilty conscious.
I would snoop in my parent’s closet when they were gone at work, as if I was going to unveil something mysterious, I would try on my moms high heels and walk around the house pretending to be beautiful like her. My dad worked on a farm and sometimes would take me to work. There was a camp where a lot of the farm workers would live during the busy season, they had pornographic photos all over the walls and while my dad was preoccupied with work I’d find myself looking at all the photos; the rush I felt looking at the photos made me feel ashamed and guilty. My best friend lived next door, her and I kissed when I was in the 4th grade. One day we went in her backyard to play and she pulled out cigarettes she stole from her mom and we smoked them together (while choking and crying) but we were determined to finish them just so we could say we did it. So anytime it would have been appropriate to stand up for myself or fight to protect myself, I just didn’t. I lived under this lie that if I stood up for myself, all my secrets were going to be exposed and then I guess I’d just die because I was that bad.
“I know; I am pretty dramatic”…
My life of disobedience just sort of grew as I got older, I didn’t know who I was in grade school and it got even more confusing when I was 15 and my family moved to another city that was NOTHING like where I grew up. I did whatever it took to fit in. I lied to my parents and went to parties, I would drink and take big risks just to stand out, not ever weighing the consequences or how my actions would affect others (which to be honest, is my only real regret) I was hurting but also like a fire on a trail blazing, I was hurting others.
This practice of disobedience rolled over into my marriage. I can’t tell you how many ladies I have spoken to that have shared with me that they thought once they had their own family, their own husband, son or daughter, that life would be easier, smoother, flawless, maybe even perfect. I was one of those girls, googly eyed and all wrapped up in my own idea of how perfect my marriage would be. Instead I rebelled against my husband, He would love on me and I would push him away, He would try and touch me intimately and because I didn’t realize I had triggers from my past, I would cry or lash out at him. He would suggest that we did something a certain way because it totally made sense, but I would find a way to complicate it. I would blame him for everything and worst of all my depression grew so deep, I wanted to die but I never communicated it to him.
I had convinced myself since I was a child that this pattern of disobedience, rebellion, self sabotage, and denial of self care was just how I was wired and there was no way out, it was too late.The world had too much on me now..
Then for some unknown reason, which I still do not completely understand, I had a supernatural encounter with my Lord and Savior Jesus.
Okay wait! You probably read that sentence and you’re like what in the heck?; this thing was just getting interesting… at least give me a few mins to explain ((praying hands)).
I hated GOD! I honestly peeled away from the idea that he, she, or it even existed…. I mean really?! If you only knew me then.. when I was a little girl and my heart was broken, because of whatever broke my heart that day; I would lay in my bed and for some reason I’d talk to God. Not because I was taught to do that or because I was religious. Looking back I truly believe it was my innocence as a little girl, I just knew that there was a God, I had yet to experience the world that would fight to convince me otherwise. I would talk/pray to him and ask God to help me. Help me not feel scared, not to feel scared of the dark, to help me sleep, to make things stop happening that I didnt like and guess what; He never talked back, the bad things didnt stop, and to be honest, I am still a little freaked in the dark. This lack of response just made me bitter and I quit talking/praying to him.
Fast forward to October of 2008, life was being life, and life is hard. So after months of self harm, self sabotage, etc.. I lost consciousness in our apartment after passing out, slamming my head/face on one of the surfaces between the toilet and a shower wall of our tiny bathroom. Immediately I experienced what some people call “an outer body experience”. I could see my body,lifeless on the ground, I could hear my husband shouting my name and as he spoke I could see the tears falling from his eyes. I felt completely void of pain, fear or sadness. I felt a joy that I still, all of these years later, cannot articulate with natural words. I sensed that I was being approached from the left side of my (being) by what I can only call (perfect love). And that was the moment I encountered the most incredible LOVE of God which is Christ Jesus. I was amazed that He KNEW me! I was amazed that He LOVED me! But what amazed me the most was that outside of my (shell) of a body; I KNEW Him too! I was 100% myself with Him, totally comfortable. Somehow we talked without words, it was more like familiar impressions and although it was only a handful of minutes, those minutes changed my life forever!
People often tell me; “Melissa, I love the way you love the Lord.”, and it always baffles me because I don’t see another way to be after this encounter other than in LOVE and in OBEDIENCE. It’s not all roses and sunshine! I think that is one of the GREAT misconceptions people have about faith in Jesus or being a “christian”..
Obedience is HARD but not impossible.
The definition of Obedience is: Being in compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority. Another definition reads: “submission to the restraint or command of authority.”
This definition got me: Obedience is being “WILLING” to OBEY!
The world isn’t roses and sunshine because GOD gave us FREE WILL! I truly believe that when you have an encounter with the LOVE of God, you are still, in that moment given a choice. You are given and invitation to drop your disobedience and walk with Him IN obedience, not because He wants to RULE you or make your life any less exciting, His intention is to protect you and give you a life more abundant, greater than anything you could ever dream of or imagine. That is not (fairytales) or positive vibes sent into the universe! It is Him having ALL of you and you having a JOY and PEACE that nothing or no one else can ever give you.
I heard this song titled, Obedience, by Lindy & the Circuit Riders a few months ago and I began to thank God because when people ask me how I stand the way I do in Christ, I struggle to explain my position. I always narrow it down to this; I didn’t like or know who I was and the things I did trying to figure that out, God, because if His fire blazing love for us, He interrupted my self destruction and He saved me from myself. Not only giving me back my life but giving me a life more abundant (rich,profuse,bountiful).
So what else can I do but live a life of thankfulness, gratitude and worship. You see He gives us FREE WILL but He prays and wishes and dreams for us to choose Him so we can be in relationship with Him; that’s all He ever wants is a (relationship) with His creation.
I love the pre course to OBEDIENCE, when she Lindy sings, “I see your (YES) to me in your nail pierced hands” WOW; I mean really let that sink in! He died to give you life! Life as He intended, He wants you to have all you have dreamed of and more!
Lindy goes on to sing that obedience is, MORE THAN WORDS, MORE THAN A SONG, its A LIFE LAID DOWN, and that there is action on my part involved. How many of you are STILL WAITING for GOD to do this and that for you!? His word says for you to GO forth in faith and He will bless it! Isaiah 55:12
I love how the course of this song declares to Jesus; therefore, because of who you are and what you have done, then I….. “I will love you with MY yes! And with obedience…
That’s why it’s awkward when people scratch their heads at how I’ve changed, at the fact that I can actually enjoy myself without getting drunk, the music I listen to etc… yes, I am human and at times this temptation comes but like the lyrics of this song so perfectly express, “its my JOY, to lose my life and find it IN Jesus Christ! It’s my Joy to choose what is going to keep me in a place of peace and fellowship with my God.
My life is not my own, and I love that! I have a creator and I love who He made me to be. I love that I love to love people, that I am awkward, passionate and dramatic, I love that I can see the beauty in ordinary things and pretty much everybody I meet. I love that gardening is my favorite thing to do and that in this life I don’t have it all figured out. He is my freedom from expectations of others,labels and statuses. It’s my whole heart that everyone will have the same revelation I did and live whatever time they have left on earth in the extraordinary love of their creator.
I promise, Melissa ❤