Radical Obedience to God

As I look back on my life, there are moments which stand out as crossroads — times when I’ve had to decide whether I will follow what God is calling me to or not.

December 2007 was one of those times. I was happy to be a “stay-at-home” Mom to our five young children. My life revolved around my family and our church. There was a municipal election in October 2007, which included electing school board trustees. The election ended with a vacancy in our area. In December, God impressed upon my heart that I needed to put my name forward for this position. This was definitely beyond my comfort zone. I argued for a couple weeks. Then I asked my husband what he thought. I was surprised when he agreed that I should pursue the idea. I talked to several other godly people in my life, outlining why I SHOULDN’T do this. However, each and every one of them encouraged me to go forward. I ended up participating in the bi-election in March 2008 and was elected to my first term as a school board trustee with Northern Lights School Division No. 69.


Northern Lights School Division Board of Trustees 2010-2013

Fast forward to January of this year, 2013. I was serving my second term as a trustee, thoroughly enjoying the work, and looking forward to putting my name forward for a four-year term, beginning in October. God started impressing upon my heart that I needed to step back from my position as a trustee. Again, I argued for a while. In fact, I was still arguing until May. (Why does it take me so long to learn?!) I continually cried out to God to show me His will, but refused to listen to the still, small voice I heard. Finally, in May I realized that if I wanted to pursue being a Music for Young Children teacher, I wouldn’t be able to be on the school board. The day I decided not to put my name forward again, God’s peace flooded my soul. Interestingly, the people who encouraged me to run in 2008 are now encouraging me to step down, even though at first they questioned the change.

In our online Bible Study, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God”, Lysa gives a 5-question filter for discerning God’s voice. These questions include:

  1. Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture?
  2. Is it consistent with God’s character?
  3. Is it being confirmed through messages I’m hearing at church or studying in my quiet time?
  4. Is it beyond me?
  5. Would it please God?

Obeying God by giving up my position as a school board trustee has opened other opportunities for me.

  • I am able to offer Music for Young Children lessons in my home, which allows me to decide how much time I will dedicate to working.
  • I have signed a contract with Helping Hands Press to participate (by writing a 8-9,000 word short story) in a Christmas series with Kathi Macias.
  • I have been asked to take over as President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship

If I was clinging to my position as trustee, I wouldn’t have the ability to participate in these exciting opportunities, all of which will stretch me and cause me to rely on my Heavenly Father in a new way.

What about you? Are you stepping out in radical obedience? I’d love to hear about it.


  1. momentswithglory on August 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Ruth this is very timely for me. Just tonight I made a decision that was very hard for me to make and took me through many twists and turns in my mind before I made it. I find myself at age 51, with an empty nest and no job. Although I have worked as a reporter in the past that door closed a couple of years ago and doesn’t seem to be re-opening in the near future. I’m a writer but have been floundering at home with so much alone time as my husband is a semi driver. So I have decided to go to Bible College at Caronport (we just moved to Caron a year ago which is right across the highway) to get my BA. I have no idea what I’m meant to do with it and I’m very nervous about attending college with 18 yr olds but….God has placed it continually on my heart over and over and even though I’ve pulled a ‘Jonah’ a few times and ran away from it…tomorrow I am registering for classes to start in two weeks 🙂 I wish you much luck in your new venture!!

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 15, 2013 at 6:40 am

      Thanks for sharing how this post encouraged you. I’m glad you’re following God’s leading in your life by registering for Bible College. I’m sure you will grow in your faith, and who knows what God has ahead for you? By the way, my husband attended Briercrest in the ’80’s and we’re talking about attending the Homecoming this year.

    • livnfrog on August 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      I can relate so much to both of you! Thanks for sharing your post Ruth and thanks for your comment “momentswithglory”! I am finding myself in the same shoes almost… I’ve been a stay at home mom for 7 years and feel God’s tugging to go back to work. I have a degree in elementary education. I can really relate to pulling a “Jonah.” I love that! I am praying for both of you now! Praying that we will all chase after the Lord with radical obedience and KNOW when He is speaking to our hearts! I am so thankful for this bible study and all the wonderful women God has allowed us to share it with! Blessings!!

      • Ruth L. Snyder on August 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm

        Thanks for stopping by and encouraging us with your comment. Thank you also for your prayers. That means so much! I’m also grateful for this community of women and that we can learn and grow together in our walk with God.

  2. Marilyn on August 15, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Thanks for sharing Ruth how you followed God were elected as a trustee for your school board then fast forward God has a new plan. Although you did argue and question God about stepping down you did listen and look at the opportunities God has placed on your path by listening to His small voice. Blessings to you as you follow God’s new path for your life. Enjoy the journey my friend.
    Marilyn ( OBS Group Leader)

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 15, 2013 at 6:41 am

      Thanks for your encouragement, Marilyn. We never know what God has for us until we open our hands and obey. I’m excited about the opportunities before me 🙂

  3. Week 2, Thursday | In My Life on August 15, 2013 at 6:44 am

    […]  4. Ruth L. Snyder  […]

  4. Paige Ward (P31 Prayer Warrior) on August 15, 2013 at 7:28 am

    What a testimony of hearing a listening to the still small voice. It encourages me to listen to what God is telling me to do even though it doesn’t make sense. Like with you I think God has other opportunities on the other side if I will just say “yes”.

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 15, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Paige, thank you for stopping by and encouraging me. I will pray that you will step out in obedience. God has many wonderful things He wants to do in and through us, but we have to take the step of saying YES!

  5. krisdanko on August 15, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Isn’t it amazing how God directs us and opens up so many doors when we truly listen to Him? I’m like you, though–I would argue with Him the same way you did! Thanks for sharing your story of obeying God, it sounds like He has given you great blessings!!

    Kris Danko (OBS Small Group Leader)

  6. Beckey on August 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

    A season for everything – in His time! Thank you for reminding me of that! Have a blessed day.

  7. TABITHA JONES on August 15, 2013 at 11:07 am

    This post really spoke to me. I am in a situation were I feel I need to step down as president over a very active club I am in and I have been battling if I really needed to. I think your posts is what God was wanting me to see this morning. As soon as I can get past some of the things I have going on within the club I will be stepping down. Thank you for this posts.

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Tabitha, Thanks for sharing your struggles. It’s hard to step away from something that we’re involved in, especially when it doesn’t look like there’s anyone willing to step into the position we’re leaving. Right now I don’t know who will take my place on the school board, and that does concern me. However, I know that I need to be obedient and let God take care of the consequences. I will pray that you’ll continue to be sensitive to God’s leading in your life. His timing is perfect and He doesn’t make any mistakes.

  8. Christy on August 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Ruth, I enjoyed your post in stepping out in faith! After lots of prayer and discussion with God and my husband I recently decided to go back to school and finally finish College! I am 45, I work full-time and have 2 kids still at home so it will be a challenge, but worth it! Thanks for you encouragement to step out of my comfort zone!

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Christy, thanks for stopping by. Life transitions can be challenging. It’s interesting how we crave consistency and order. Change disrupts that, so sometimes we fight change. May God bless you as you step out in faith and follow Him!

  9. Carrie Kopec on August 15, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Ruth, I was led to your blog today. It is interesting because my blog is similar. I have always wondered if I should quit work to stay at home. I have found that I was hoping that God was speaking to me in this way but am finding out that it is more my desire then God’s. It is amazing how we hear God speak when we open ourselves up to listen. Out of all the blogs out there, what are the chances I would find your and it is about the same thing that I too have struggled over? Thanks for your words!

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 16, 2013 at 6:42 am

      It definitely is amazing how we hear God speak “when we open ourselves to listen.” It’s all about choices, isn’t it? I read an article the other day that said we make over 200 choices a day. Continue to seek God and listen to His still, small voice. I’m glad God lead you to stop by. I’m praying for you, that God would fill your heart with His peace that passes all understanding. Take care, my sister in The Lord!

  10. maribeth2012 on August 16, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Hello Ruth. I just read your piece, “A Time for Everything” – in Fellowscript. The passage from Ecclesiastes has been on my mind these days. I had a son late in my life – at 43 – my only child. I took the last year and a half off work (teaching) to be home with him as he began to make the transitions to school. He will turn 6 in September, and I will return to school as a Guidance Counsellor. I have long desired this job and I feel God has (once again) dramatically opened the door for me there. Yet my heart twists with conflict at this point of change –
    ..and now this article “Radical Obedience to God” – I wish at times there was a formula – ‘do this’ and then I would know (or would I fight it anyway?) what to do – radical obedience – often comes down to me about trust – do I trust God for the people in my life? can I ? should I? am I irresponsible? unloving? will I make a mistake? did I hear right? am I selfish?
    …thank you for your words. I value words. ‘Radical Obedience’- will I and everyone I love be safe? Do I trust God to keep me and them?
    My heart found comfort this morning as I read Psalm 64 and 65 – “But God…” and then in Ps.65 ‘You will provide atonement..’
    Thank you for giving us a snapshot of all you do in your life Ruth – teaching, writing, mothering, and trusting.
    Maribeth O’Donnell

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 16, 2013 at 6:37 am

      I have tears in my eyes as I reply to you. I hear your hunger to follow and serve God. Keep pursuing Him. Yes, trust is hard, especially when we feel insecure, can’t see around the “bend”, and feel like we’re literally leaping into the unknown. But God…So often I find myself taking my eyes off God and who He is and getting lost in the “waves” like Peter did. I’m glad my writing has been an encouragement to you. Thanks for saying hello and for sharing your heart. I’m praying for you today Proverbs 3:5,6.

  11. shirleypdx on August 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Ruth: thank you for sharing your story. As you so wonderfully encouraged us to be a radical obedient woman. As in Is 41:13 God will be right beside us to hold our right hand to help.

    • Ruth L. Snyder on August 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to leave an encouraging comment. Isaiah 41:10 is one of my favourite verses – one I’ve clung to since the year I went to boarding school as a child at age 9.

Leave a Comment


Subscribe to "The Map" The Ultimate Writers Magazine