Obedience. This seemingly “churchy” word elicits a visceral and emotional reaction. We think of oppression, we feel a lack of autonomy, and we remember all the times that the kids just would not listen in the grocery store. But what about the phrase “Adventurous Obedience”? For Glynnis Whitwer, the Executive Communications Director for Proverbs 31 ministries, obedience means blessing, peace, and a new intimacy with our Creator; she found the reason and blessing in obedience to God’s call and has an amazing story to share because of it.
Glynnis’s story gives a whole new perspective on obedience to God’s voice. I asked Glynnis how she came to her position at Proverbs 31 ministries and her story blew me away. Glynnis’s heart and home resides in Glendale, Arizona where she was born and raised and still resides today. With her big family of seven complete with two adopted girls from Liberia, Glynnis’s life brims to the full. Her entire family attends New City Church in Phoenix where Glynnis and her husband are among the few above thirty. Glynnis thrives in the presence of young people and loves watching how the Lord uses her in that environment. Her story of an adventurous obedience begins in this context when it seemed life couldn’t be better. Glynnis’s husband announced he found a new job in Charlotte, North Carolina and wanted the family to move. Glynnis was heartbroken at the thought of being torn away from her home. Then, the miraculous occurred. As Glynnis describes it, “It was the first time that the Lord spoke to me directly. He said, ‘Tell your husband yes.’” This was the beginning to an unexpected adventure.
Things looked rather miserable in Charlotte until Glynnis heard Lysa Terkurst of Proverbs 31 speak on the radio. Glynnis was struck by Lysa’s words of wisdom and encouragement. The Lord spoke to Glynnis again in that moment, “Call Lysa and ask to volunteer for Proverbs 31.” Perhaps even more shocking than the leap of faith to move out to Charlotte was the prompt to call a woman Glynnis had never heard of and offer her time.
In college, Glynnis studied PR and journalism and dreamed of being a communications director one day. The Lord was guiding her steps even then, for He had prepared a place for her as the Executive Communications Director at Proverbs 31 ministries. When Glynnis called Proverbs 31 they said, “We’ve been praying for someone with a journalism degree!” Glynnis’s obedience to God’s clear guidance was resulting in more blessing than she could’ve imagined. Now, “She [Glynnis] is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today, the Proverbs 31 e-mail devotions, with over 750,000 daily readers. She is the author and co-author of 9 books, including her latest Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day. She blogs at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com.” (excerpt from professional bio)
As Glynnis’s eyes read across every remark of truth from Scripture and the writers, the Lord began to do a work in her heart. For the first time, she began to set her identity in what the Lord names her and not what her life contains. One of her biggest hopes for the younger generation of women is, “Start building your inner self now.” She says that once a person identifies and builds his or her core values, the exterior of life will fall into place.
One of the stories that encourages Glynnis in her path, devotion to the Lord, and Proverbs 31 happened in India. A Proverbs 31 missions group went to India paired with another missionary organization already stationed. Two speakers from Proverbs 31 were approached by a villager who told them of a woman with breast cancer. The woman had just undergone a tough round of chemotherapy and needed prayer. The trio traveled for an hour late at night to pray for this woman they had never met. When they arrived, the woman with breast cancer asked them their names and said, “I read your devotions every day from Proverbs 31 and have prayed that God would let me go to America to meet you both. But, on my lowest day, He has brought you to me.” This stunning display of God’s detailed care for His children could bring anyone to tears. Proverbs 31 and Glynnis have countless stories such as these that highlight the power of the Lord through us when we obey His call.
Glynnis lives a life with emphasis on humility, honesty, kindness, and an active faith. She says, “I take every doubting thought captive and choose to trust.” That mantra has ushered much peace into Glynnis’s life and she hopes for all people to experience the peace that arises from the bravery of stepping into faith and trust.
It’s easy to be inspired by this woman’s adventurous obedience. Continue to follow her and be encouraged and blessed at proverbs31.org and glynniswhitwer.com.
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