Just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. – Romans 5:19
Throughout Scripture, we read accounts of how people’s obedience affected not only their own lives but often an entire nation. The greatest example of this is Jesus Himself. Christ’s obedience to death on the cross made a way for us to be called children of God. Likewise, our choices can have a lasting impact on both our own lives and the lives of the people around us.
Our choices will not only impact our own lives, but they could also have a lasting impact on generations to come. Just look at the story of Adam and Eve, for example. They made one poor choice and disobeyed God, and the world as God originally created it was forever changed. On the flip side, good choices can also affect generations to come. If we look at Noah’s choice to listen to God and build the ark, we can safely say that this wise step of obedience had lasting results. If we would stop and take a moment to think of how our choices today could impact someone decades from now, I’m sure we would be quicker to obey.
Obedience was and is the very reason that I am doing what I am doing today. One of the greatest steps of obedience I have taken to date was when I left my nursing job in order to pursue Dashing Dish as a full time business and ministry. In case you are new to Dashing Dish or you haven’t had a chance to read my story, let me begin by telling you a little bit about my testimony because this is where my journey truly began.
When I was about 14 years old, young and naive, I received a series of lies about my body and believed them as truth. This led me down a road of disordered thinking about food and my body. This eventually turned into disordered eating, which took on many forms over the years. Over the next 10 years my weight fluctuated, but my weight was simply a reflection of what was taking place deep inside my heart.
After many unsuccessful attempts to find this freedom on my own, I knew that the only way to break free was with Christ. God was the only one who could change the issues that were taking place on the inside of me, which is where the healing had to begin. I made the choice to once and for all surrender every area of my life over to Him, and as I did, He transformed me in a way that only He could. Not only did He build me up spiritually, but He gave me the wisdom to know how to take care of my body physically as well.
My healing took place one day at a time as I would spend countless hours in the kitchen cooking, while listening to sermons on my iPod. While renewing my mind with the Word of God, I also started creating recipes in a new and healthy way that I had previously enjoyed (for me, this was an important step in developing a healthy relationship with food). As God revealed His perfect love for me, I started to mend on the inside.
Where there were once walls built up, He stripped them down, layer by layer. Where there was once brokenness, He put me back together piece by piece. Eventually, this transformation that was taking place on the inside started to show on the outside. As I started to eat healthy and treat my body right, I found that my weight settled naturally at the place that God designed my body to be.
During this time in my life I was in nursing school to pursue my lifelong passion of becoming a Labor and Delivery nurse. After graduating from nursing school, I got married and got hired as a Labor and Delivery nurse.
Around the same time that I began my nursing job, my husband convinced me that I should start a website where I could share my healthy recipes. Shortly after, Dashing Dish was born! I started this website with the thought that it was simply going to be a fun website to share with family and friends. However, despite all my plans, I soon began to realize that God had something different for my life than what I had in mind.
About six months after starting Dashing Dish, I started to receive hundreds of e-mails from women of all ages, from all around the world. Whether it was about losing unwanted weight or finding freedom in the areas of eating disorders, each woman had her own story.
I started to realize the great responsibility that God had given me with this website and that it was meant to share much more than recipes. I felt the Lord prompting me to share about the freedom and joy that can only be found in Him and to teach women how to find their true beauty in exchange for the ashes of their life (Isaiah 61:3). I came to a place where I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was my calling and it was confirmed to me many times over.
Despite knowing my destiny was awaiting me, I started to have doubts. How could I have spent five long years in nursing school and have the job of my dreams and give it all up for something that wasn’t yet even established as a business or ministry? I began to wrestle with what my heart was telling me and I second-guessed myself every time I would listen to my head. Although it didn’t make sense to me at the time, the Lord began to calm my thoughts with His Word.
I began to realize that what God was calling me to didn’t have to go along with “my plans”… I knew that I had to listen to my heart and trust His plan. I spent many months thinking over my decision, talking to my husband, my parents, and many Godly mentors that I respect. God used every single person to confirm that this was indeed God’s call on my life. It was then that I knew it was time to leave the “security” of my nursing job and to jump full-time into the business and ministry that He was calling me to. (I want to mention that I believe nursing is truly one of God’s highest callings. It is one of the ultimate acts of servanthood. I am humbled to have worked with such caring and amazing women while working in L&D.)
On August 9, 2011, I decided to step out in obedience. I made the decision to listen to God. It was one of the hardest decisions I have made in my life so far. It still didn’t make sense in my head, and it certainly felt like I was stepping out of the boat. However, I have found that every time I make the decision to step out in faith, God never lets me sink, as long as I keep my eyes on Him.
On the day that I left my nursing job, God led me to the passage of scripture in 2 Timothy 4:5-6. It reads, “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God.” I knew that by making that decision, I had taken the first step in pursuing the ministry that God has called me to. I made the decision to pour out my life as an offering to God, and how could I not after Jesus gave His life for me!
During the transitional phase of switching over to Dashing Dish full-time, God began to flood my mind with ideas and ways that I could minister to people. Little did I know that God was about to lead me to a ministry that was far beyond myself! In addition to starting a website, God has used my step of obedience to further His Kingdom in so many ways! Two of those were the opportunity to write the Dashing Dish Cookbook and Dashing Devotional, which have gone on to reach thousands of people and bring fame to His name
Maybe you can relate to part of my story, or maybe you feel that God is calling you to take a step of obedience in an area of your life. If this is the case, I would encourage you to get alone with God, and spend time listening to what He is speaking to your heart. When His Word, wise counsel, and wisdom align with what you feel He is speaking to you, go ahead and take the next step in His timing!
God has specific plans laid out for each one of us, and He promises to complete the good work that He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6), but we have a part to play. When we follow God, He will guide us every step of the way. Each step He tells us to take—or not take—is an important step toward the fulfillment of His good plan. When we obediently take the next step, God releases His power into our lives.
I took the step of obedience to start Dashing Dish about six years ago, and since then I have never looked back! I may not know every detail of the future, but I believe that as I continue to be obedient to the Lord’s leading, He will continue to use Dashing Dish to further His Kingdom. One thing that I am sure of is this: Being obedient to God may not always be easy, but His plan and timing for our lives always turns out better than ours!