We have a saying in our house that goes, "Slow obedience is no obedience."
My husband, Mike, and I used this when our kids, Molly and Reid, were little and didn't do what we asked as quickly as we wanted. But, a few years ago, I'm certain God was saying this to me!
I wanted my family's path to go one way, but the Lord led us in a completely different direction. We were living in Acworth, and the kids had just started at Cornerstone. For months, our family had been searching for a mission opportunity where we could serve together.
I prayed frequently during that time, asking God to show me just where He wanted our family to serve. I wanted our little family to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Through our church, we had some connections with missionaries, so we contacted the organization that supported them about a short-term mission assignment in South America. I knew that our family would grow closer to each other and to Jesus through the experience of traveling to a foreign country and spending several weeks serving others. But, as I prayed about the opportunity, I didn't find peace. Instead, I felt a tugging at my heart to move back to my hometown.
At first, I chalked it up to being homesick, but every time I prayed, it became clear that God was calling us to move back to Rome. Not only that, but he was calling our family to open a University-Model school! This was the mission opportunity that I had been praying for! I resisted this direction time after time and prayed many questioning prayers. I wanted a confirmation before I was going to obey!
That confirmation came in a conversation with Mike one day while driving in the car. Even though I had not spoken one word to him about my internal struggle, he looked over at me while we were stopped at a light and said, "We're supposed to move back to Rome and open a school, aren't we?" I couldn't question that, could I?
Providence Prep opened its doors 19 months later! God knew all along where we would serve, but my obedience was slow. When Providence closed last year, and Mrs. Borders approached me about the Cornerstone elementary principal position, I felt God calling me once again to serve families in the University-Model. This time my obedience was much quicker!
What I've learned is that when God calls us to serve, our obedience unlocks our understanding. Understanding can wait, but obedience can't!