When I think of surrender I get a mental image of a person with their hands up over their head, at gunpoint. Maybe I watched too many old WW II movies as a child. Yes, that’s my mental image of surrender. This also takes me to the idea of lifting my hands over my head, which unless I am holding a barbell loaded with weight over my head, I do not do. I don’t lift my hands in worship, or on a roller coaster, and I don’t wave them up in the air. It’s just not my thing, and generally makes me uncomfortable. So you can imagine how the journey to surrender may be a truly uncomfortable and foreign one to me. It has been a terrifying yet incredibly journey nonetheless.
Lk 18:27 (ESV) “But he said, ‘What is impossible with man, is possible with God.’”
I’ve gone through a really intimate and powerful process with God over the last few months, and it’s only beginning. I’ve spent more time in his word and in prayer daily than I had in a long time, multiple hours a day. I fought hard and allowed God to unearth pain and fear within me that I had never dealt with, and yet, he keeps pulling up more. I put down shame I was unable to in the past and truly allowed him to reveal the depths of my sin and it’s consequences to me. I devoured His word, cried out in prayer, and went beyond myself begging God to reveal, restore, redeem, and change me. I would not yield as I fought for my salvation and true transformation. And because God is faithful, He delivered and continues to do so.
Rom 10:17 (ESV) “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
I have confessed my fears and weaknesses to others like I had not in a long time, what is in the depths of my heart. To call others and ask them to pray for me and with me when fighting on my own is not enough. I need help. I cannot do it on my own. I’ve practiced what God has been teaching by being vulnerable and saying, “Hey I don’t feel safe right now, or I am tempted to defend myself right now even though I know your on my side. This is hard and I don’t have a plan, I don’t know the answers to all the questions. All I know is what God has shown me. This hurts and I don’t want to go any farther.” I am letting Him lead the way, because I haven’t in a long time. For the first time in a long time I don’t have a plan, the answers or any idea of what the next steps will look like because I’m surrendered to letting Him lead. I’m just being honest and placing my heart in His hands, terrified.
Ecc 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
It’s learning to be comfortable in the uncomfortable and the unknown. My very essence is that of curiosity, planning and solutions. This surrender thing is foreign territory to me. However it does not change what I am called to. The transformation I have undergone, and continue to embrace, has not been by my sheer will and effort. It has been from surrendering my will to the power of God’s love by faith, where I have nothing left to give, I turn to Him to work and change me.
Col 3:15 (NCV) “Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace. Always be thankful.”
Christ is worthy of giving up my control to. God’s love softens my heart which began to be hardened by a lack of forgiveness and shattered trust. Christ’s love inspires self-sacrifice I thought I was incapable of and gives me the courage I did not think I had to let go of my fear and lay everything on the line, no matter what the outcome. It helped me to face my selfishness and self protection and surrender it over to Him.
Col 3:14 (NCV) “Even more in all this, clothe yourselves in love. Love is what holds you altogether in perfect unity.”
Love offers release from my deepest fears but I cannot experience this Love unless I surrender. This has been at the heart of my journey: surrender and acceptance. No matter what, through the pain.
1Peter 4:8 (NCV) “Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause people to forgive each other for many sins.”
So I may still not be comfortable with raising my hands over my head unless I’m weight lifting, but I do have a new mental image of surrender in my head. It’s one of God holding me in His arms when I am falling apart; it’s one of me falling into His arms; it’s one of me on my knees listening for His word and guidance in my heart. It’s still scary, even terrifying as I lay my soul’s desires before Him and say, “I don’t know what you’re will is anymore. It scares me not to know. I’m sorry that I am scared that they wont be what I want but I know what you want for me is better and when you give it, in your time, I will not be disappointed.”
Philip 4:4-7 (HCSB) “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, though prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses every thought, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”