1 a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand
b: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another
2 a: to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner
b: to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)intransitive verb: to give oneself up into the power of another : yield
: to experience great pleasure or delight : rejoice
I like to be in control. God got a hold of me in the last year and impressed the importance of my full surrender to Him. I guess it all started a little over a year ago. I was listening to Andy Stanley’s message titled Discovering God’s Will. I just like listening to him, and this message series fit perfectly because I was beginning to feel the stirrings that God wanted something more or wanted something different. I remember one part of the message where he was explaining that most people say they will surrender to God, but they want to know the cost, be able to count the cost, and then make their decision. God, however, wants us to go “all in” before we know what’s coming. THAT’s true submission. It struck me that I wasn’t quite there. I’d surrender, but I always wanted to be sure that success awaited me on the other side of that surrender. Not full surrender.
Then, I had felt the prompting to do Beth Moore’s Believing God study again. But, last time I went through it was in the middle of the decision of whether or not to plant a church. I didn’t want to, God wanted us to, He changed my heart, and we did. I knew something big was going to happen when I did the study, so I procrastinated. After two years of procrastinating, I started in the fall. Of course, the idea of surrender in light of truly believing and following Him came up, repeatedly. So did this feeling that I needed to do something more. But, did I need to teach a small group at church? Try to write devotionals? Speak? Yikes and “Please God, no” came from each idea that sprang to mind there. Quit teaching? Do photography? “Just” stay at home? None of those felt completely right, either.
Then, in December I remember daydreaming in a Sunday morning message. (It doesn’t happen very often, really, but this morning I just COULD NOT stay focused on my dear pastor/husband and what God was using him to say.) Then, I swear Jeremy looked right at me (though later he doesn’t remember it, and he usually only looks at me if he’s telling a story about us), and said, “Some of you haven’t really surrendered your life to God.” I took out a piece of paper and wrote down his exact words (though I’ve thrown it away now, and I wish I hadn’t) and felt that feeling in my stomach that I had to do something. Thus, that became my goal for this year (can I drag me feet any harder?). I shared it with Jeremy, shared on my blog, and received so much encouragement. Not just “you can do it” type of encouragement, but others shared that I had challenged them and spoken to them. As Jer and I talked, it created an idea…have a separate blog for what God is teaching me. Not to write devotionals, just share where God has and is taking me. Then, I procrastinated a bit more because I didn’t have a good title.
Then, the car happened (I’ll add that post here later).
Then, just two days ago, in What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, I read “One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience with accomplish – and it is good. We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss. … We tend to wait to see the big picture complete with all the details before stepping out in obedience to God. We long for a cost analysis where we can weigh out what we’d be giving up against what we’d be gaining and then decide if the trade is worth it” (TerKeurst 45).
CRAP, I’ve been caught! BUSTED. This is the point when I literally looked up, held my hands out in surrender style, and said, “Okay, God. I’ve asked for signs before, and I think I might have caught on to this one. You’ve got me – I’m all Yours for whatever You want.” I am crying as I write that. Tears of joy. It’s taken me a long time, longer than just this past year, but I’m there. God, whatever it is, whatever it requires, whatever You want me to do, I’ll do it. I am finding joy in the surrender, hence the title of the new blog. Surrender is t-e-r-r-i-f-y-i-n-g for me. Joy flies in the face of being terrified. So, the paradox of the two terms speaks of my reliance on God as I follow Him, for HIS glory, not my own. I don’t know where I’m going, but, here I go…I pray that I follow God in every step, and I pray that God will stir in your heart along the way.
[can you say “crap” and be spiritual at the same time? I think so.]