35. OBEDIENT | with Candice Tubera
This is the extended series of spoken words shared by women who I honorably share their spoken stories and word from God. It's to showcase the power of faith and how God whispered to them and they listened wholeheartedly in His plan.
I met Candice around the time of Mother's Day of 2017. My friend, Nicolen added me into this women's group called WWOW and I just loved what it stood by. Earlier in the year, around that time, I was truly inspired to leap in faith to where God whispered to me to do. Where I needed to be a servant to others and bringing them closer to faith creatively. I was invited by Nicolen to attend their event and it was truly honorable. I saw the vision and felt the spirit so strong in Candice that I had to approach her, and let her know the amazing thing she is doing was beyond inspiring. We met one to one,where we got to talk deeper about faith, our stories, and future visions. While getting to know her, I felt like we were the same person. Like where I am now, is where she was at; and she inspired to continue living His plan to be in her shoes today. Even through all the fears and doubts I tend to carry, her story resonates in my soul. She's living proof of what it takes to trust God wholeheartedly and be obedient to His plan.
A little over a year ago, I was praying intently about something. I remembered the more I prayed, it seemed like I was getting farther from that one thing. The more I prayed, and the farther I got, it just started to break me down. I described it as if I was an onion, and all the layers of me were being pulled away. Which is exactly what I think God was doing. He was stripping me of all things I THOUGHT I needed and wanted, and was bringing me to a place where I had no choice but to look up and trust HIM.
Then, my prayers changed to wanting something so specific to: "God, I don't know what it is I'm supposed to be doing. But I TRUST you. So, I pray, God, you USE ME. ". And, that prayer, which I fervently prayed for months, may have been the single prayer that changed my life. Fully surrendering and trusting God was something I genuinely was ready to do. This comes from a person that was so inherently wanting to be in control of EVERYTHING. So, here I am, at a time where I felt completely out of control of everything and surrendering myself to a power greater than myself. That in combination with asking to be USED for God's purpose was what started this most recent shift in life.
But don't get me wrong, even after I began praying this, and God started giving me glimpses of a vision, I was fighting it. What He was showing me, was NOT what I was praying for or ever PLANNED for. When God has a time and purpose for your life, He makes the way. And, that's exactly what He did.
I was getting this vision of a "women's group". I had never in my life had a lot of close girl friends, and always was one of the "guys". I grew up with my (guy) cousins as my closest friends, and spent a lot of time with my uncles. Growing up, I never liked the "drama" of being around so many girls. So, as I kept seeing this women's group, I kept questioning "What is THIS??". But, God was starting to put me in front of people and opportunities that was making it very clear and apparent that this was HIS plan. So, I eventually became OBEDIENT.
I took a leap of faith and starting writing down this vision including who, what, and the mission. I even named it: "Winning With Other Women", or "WWOW". Then, I started talking about it to other people. And, to MY surprise, there were others that were excited about it, wanted to be a part of it, and really were (for me) affirming that this vision was real.
Even though, I was being OBEDIENT, which was never a strong point for me (just ask my parents), there was still a part of me that kept questioning what I was doing. Being OBEDIENT, also didn't mean I had all the answers, it just meant I had all the FAITH in HIM. I remember, God speaking to me a few months after starting WWOW, and still feeling some uncertainty, He said: "Don't worry, my child. You THINK I'm not answering your prayers, but I am. Everything is connected. Do NOT worry, my Child."
Fast forward to today, and looking back on the last year, He was right. He was answering my prayer of "God, I trust YOU. USE ME." My OBEDIENCE to God's vision and plan, may have been the biggest act of gratitude for His gift of grace.
WWOW has been the biggest surprise, possibly the biggest risk I have taken, and has brought the biggest blessings in my life. It has also been the easiest thing I have ever done. Which to me, is just confirming it is God's PURPOSE for me. My biggest lesson in all of this is that there will be a time in life when you have to give up everything you PLANNED, for your PURPOSE. I have no regrets of putting my faith in Him, and being OBEDIENT to His purpose and HIS plan for my life. The obedience combined with action, which is just as important, has changed my life completely. I find myself filled with love of all things and the desire to make other lives better. For me now, true happiness isn't found in the possessions I have or how can I be promoted in life, it's found in the impact and service of others. How can I help someone else? How can I make a positive difference in a life? How can I help others WIN? It's the act of being selfless and a servant leader when you see life's true meaning and blessing.
" 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord" - Isaiah 55:8
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" - Ephesians 3:20