The Art of Surrender

Surrender. That was my word for 2019. I talked a few blogs ago about how to surrender means to abandon oneself entirely. Another definition can be “to give up or hand over“.

I should have known then, that this was going to be a year for the books. I am still very much learning how to abandon myself entirely for what God has in store for me. The glimpses, I have been given are amazing, and I know that in order to get there I have to surrender. I have to abandon myself, I have to find delight in the Lord, and that is when he will bestow his blessings.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:3-4

Now why would a good good God give me this amazing desires and this vision for a beautiful amazing future without the intent of fulfilling those desires. It is simple. He has the intent. But for me to receive them I have to delight in him, I have to be faithful to his calling. In other words I have to abandon myself. What? Mind Blown.

In other words I have to take what God has given me and be faithful in that. I have to show God that I can be faithful with little, before I am entrusted with more. Light bulb. It is that simple. Every moment I am given is a chance for me to say, I will use this 5 minutes to glorify you or to glorify me. I can only do one of those. It is my choice.

Crazy?

Right?

As I have been learning to lean in on that one definition of surrender. God has used the other definition “to give up or hand over” as a way of teaching that to me.

Leave it to God to use the same word multiple ways to teach me several lessons.

Give up or hand over. How hard is that. My humanness wants to hang on to every ounce of control I have. To micromanage my way into tricking myself that I have the power to control the outcome of anything.

Olivia’s surgery in particular was a huge catalyst of surrendering, of handing over. In more ways than one. I had to hand her over to the surgeon. To trust that he was making the right decisions. More importantly I had to give her up to God. I had to come to realization that she is simply a gift he has chosen to bless me with, and at any time he can say her purpose has been fulfilled and call her home. Handing my daughter over to a surgeon with her life and quality of life hanging in the balance was humbling. I had absolutely no control over what was going to happen.

I wish I could tell you that it was easy, that I trusted God so much with her future that I had complete faith he would bring her through surgery unharmed. That wouldn’t be true. I doubted God so much that I had her entire funeral planned out. I knew what flowers I wanted, what colors, I knew what picture I would use, what songs would be played, the quote for her headstone. I had it all planned out. I wanted to be able to fully grieve without having to make permanent decisions. In my heart of hearts I knew that God could perform healing for her, but I doubted that his idea of healing, and my idea of healing were the same.

I hoped and prayed for the best, but I prepared for the worst. However, it was in the preparing that God worked in me.

By preparing for the worst, I was finally accepting that I had no control. I was finally saying “God, she is yours. She was yours before she was mine. She will be yours long after I am gone. Lord, use her, use her story in whatever you see fit. Let her story be known. Use this, in whatever outcome use it to your glory.”

Surrender, it is a hard lesson to learn. It is even harder to live out. But in the surrendering there is a beauty to be found. I am not called to anything beyond what Jesus himself would not do. Jesus, too had to surrender to God’s will.

“And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but you will.” Mark 14:36

Surrender. To hand over to give up. To abandon oneself entirely. It is raw, it is hard. Yet it is so beautiful. Just like the rainbow after the rain, there is growth after surrendering.

I surrender. I surrendered. I surrender still.

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