About a year ago, God asked me to stop going to the gym. This was upsetting for me because I have gone to the gym ever since I was a young adult. I love working out, and the gym atmosphere motivates me and ensures that I exercise. I couldn’t understand why God would ask me to take this step of obedience.
Because I no longer had a gym membership, I had to squeeze in my work-outs at home. My four to five times a week exercise routine shortened to two or three days. It became increasingly difficult to find time to exercise with three kids at home. I would beg my husband to watch the kids while I jogged. I would work out on an exercise step outside while the kids played. I would work out while the kids napped or after they went down for the night.
My work-outs began to eat away my writing time, and I struggled with not being able to effectively do both. I couldn’t figure out how to balance my schedule, and I started to feel like I wasn’t able to handle all of my responsibilities.
Finally, I became fed up. I decided I was going to wake up an hour earlier each morning. I already woke up about 30 minutes before my kids so I could do a quiet time, but now I was determined to work-out and spend time with God before my kids came looking for me.
The first day, I dragged myself downstairs and did a work out video. Afterward, I felt so great, and I had an excellent time with God because I was wide awake and filled with energy! By the time my kids were up, I was ready for the day. I didn’t have any bad mommy moments that day because I no longer had an agenda to keep. I wrote while the kids slept, but other than that, I was completely there for them.
What I learned from this experience is that many times our steps of obedience take us into a period of confusion or imbalance. This is normal because we are adjusting to our new situation that the change creates. I think many times we turn away from our obedience because we falsely believe that the transition should have been easy. The fact is that many things we do for God are not easy, but God always has a wonderful purpose.
It took me an entire year to finally adjust to my small step of obedience. And although life still does not play out perfectly each day, I have found the balance that I knew God wanted me to achieve. I’m sure He cheered for me the entire time, and I’m glad that I trusted His will for my life.
What step of obedience has God asked you to take? Have you experienced a time of difficulty because of the changes? How were you able to modify your environment, attitude or obligations to adjust? Did you see God’s purpose in the change?
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5.18 NLT).