Being a strong-willed child got me in trouble many times and I don’t think it got any better as I grew up.
Thinking about this reminds me when I was young, and my dad had gone off to college giving my sister and me a chance to show our mother how we could be good little girls. My sister passed with flying colors while I continue to forge my own path. I’ll never forget one day I got in trouble and a spanking was heading my way. Standing in the dining room, I positioned my hands on the edge of the table with my legs splayed preparing for flight. At the opposite end of the table my mother darted to the right with the paddle in her hand trying to catch me, but I fled from her grasp darting around the table. Back and forth we did this until to my extreme relief and surprise, my mom gave up and simply told me not to do it again. That was the first and only time I got out of being punished for one of my defiant acts.
Another time my friend wanted to ride bikes into town for ice cream. My mother said ‘NO’ to this idea but being me, I went anyway thinking mom would never find out. The bike I chose to use was my dad’s with a cross bar that was a tad high making it hard for me to stay on the bike when I stopped. I had to either place my foot on the curb to stay on the bike seat or try straddling the bar with one foot on the ground and my other leg hanging over the bar.
Casting aside all safety, I rode the bike into town on unfamiliar streets to me as I followed my friend. Mind you, this is when we didn’t wear helmets. We rode onto a busy street and signaled with our arms to get into the left turning lane. I remember feeling out of my element, but I forged on. When we stopped, I stretched my foot out to rest on the middle medium while we waited for the light to turn green. I’m not sure what happened next but when I came to, a police officer was standing over me telling me I was going to the hospital. I flat out told him no way was I getting into an ambulance. I think I repeated that a few times until he gave up and walked me to his cruiser to sit in the back seat waiting for my mom to showed up.
I was told later that a car hit me with enough force to catapult my bike across the intersection and send me flying up in the air only to have gravity bring me back to the pavement.
As you can see my disobedience got me in trouble. But having defiance in my life is not necessarily bad. There are times when I need persistence and determination or what I call, grit to get through the yuk in life.
Being defiant may not be a word we would normally associate with God, but it can actually be quite fitting. Defiance means resistance, opposition, noncompliance, disobedience, dissent, and rebellion. And when it comes to things that would destroy our souls, that is exactly the right response. We are called to resist the lies of the enemy.
Today I still have a defiant attitude, but I use it in a way that gets me through the hard times. I refuse to let a bad experience get the better of me. Who wants to be dragged down when life offers so many learning and growing experiences. So how do I keep my head above water? It’s called DEFIANT JOY!
Joy can always be found during a tribulation. I just take my eyes off my current situation and focus on something that gives me joy such as a beautiful sunset, laughing with a friend, going for a walk or maybe star gazing at the amazing sky above me. These are just some examples but there is so much more. Why should I let despair govern me when I can still have enjoyment during difficult times. Now that takes defiance!
If Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (and it is), then we are meant to experience and enjoy it, regardless of our circumstances. Whatever may be swirling around us, the eye of the storm is joy. – Stasi Eldredge, Defiant Joy
In essence, when I allow joy to be a part of my life amid a storm then I find that hope begins to stir with in me. Hope that encourages me to stay strong. This is assurance that my current ordeal is not going to be forever and that things are going to work out. Now, that is something I can live with.
“It’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but I figure you already know that. So instead, I’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.” ― C.J. Redwine,
So, be bold. Don’t give up. Allow yourself to have breaks from the tough times. Breath and be defiant allowing joy in your life. Hope will begin to rise with in you and you will see that you can succeed. YOU CAN DO THIS!
Philippians 1:6 – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Cover picture by Peter Conlan on Unsplash.