What does God’s authority over us look like?
God’s Authority encompasses ALL. God is the sovereign ruler of the universe. He has all power and all authority. God ordained human authority in separate areas, Family, Government, Church, and Business.
Would you consider yourself a rule-follower or a rebel? Elaborate.
I would say I am an even keel of both. It all is dependent on the circumstances at hand. While there are many occasions where I follow the rules (employment, visiting establishments, filling out documents, honoring and respecting elders, etc.), I am also a rebel in a sense where I may become a rebel. I may call in sick, just because I don’t want to get out of bed for a particular reason. Or maybe the doctor orders certain tests or medication which I don’t want to follow. It could be any number of things, really. I believe all of us have a bit of both in us. We are human and selfish.
How do we learn and grow (hopefully) if we don’t have a little bit of rebel in us?
That's a great question, Stacey! I'll be thinking about that one for a bit...
Tell me about the positions of authority you’ve been in (parent, teacher, coach, boss, pastor), and what have you learned?
My greatest responsibility as an authority figure has been parent, oftentimes playing mother and father. It was clearly the most difficult. Being on my own since I was just shy of 15, I didn’t know what it meant to be a parent, to raise children. I didn’t have anyone to emulate. The only thing I was sure of was that I would never allow my children to know what it felt like to not hear them, guide them, support them and love them. I also knew that God’s grace and mercy guided me from that young child, scared and alone trying to navigate life and he would continue to show me how to do the same when raising my children. I followed the rules and I also rebelled, especially when times became rough and my patience panicked. It was at those times I learned some of the hardest lessons, it was at my times of listening that I found the greatest peace.
You mention you were on your own at a young age. Did you feel prepared for the authority over your own life at that point?
I absolutely had zero authority over my life at such a young age! I had trauma. I had abandonment issues stemming from adoption and then into an adopted family that I never felt a part of.
How did others relate to and respond to you? (having all the responsibilities of taking care of yourself but still being so young)?
They didn't know how to handle my emotional trauma or why I was such a loner or couldn't feel comfortable in many situations. They couldn't understand I was an empath and clung to people with similar souls as mine. I had no guide when I found they had given up on me and that I had to figure out this life stuff on my own. I discovered that I had a strong survival instinct and that kicked in really quickly. I associated with people that were in similar situations and watched and learned from them. The only difference was I listened to that voice in my ear, which I learned eventually was God. He told me I would make it, He guided my way, I listened. Although please don't think it was easy! I suffered greatly and was placed in horrible situations and circumstances. People took advantage of a quiet, naive, and unloving Stacey. There were many times I wanted to just be done with life.
I tried... But God. I sustained great losses and heartache... But GOD. I shut Him out and He refused to leave. I always heard that whisper, “You are meant for greater things.” He made me tired, He made me weak, He kept whispering until I listened, until I embraced, until I made a plan, until I opened my HEART. He kept me from death, he kept me from addiction, he kept me from destruction. He saved ME.... the little girl that no one wanted.
Did you welcome the authority of God as someone to lean on and rely on, or had your past experiences caused you to shy away from God’s leading in your life?
God has been my driving force in every aspect of my life. He has been my father, my teacher, my disciplinary figure, My sanity. He kept his promise and I owe my triumphs, my successes, and ultimately my avoidance of becoming a “statistic” to Him. My heart of compassion is all because of God's authority over my life and His blessing me with the ear to listen, the patience to withstand, and the drive to make Him proud.
I am nothing without His authority over my life. And because of that, I am the most ME I’ve ever been. I am love, I am worthy, I am a mother, I am successful, I am liked, I am respected, I matter. I can pour into others my testimony of how allowing God's Authority over our lives can make even the impossible possible.