Tonight I breathe deeply feeling the fullness of peace and love. I have spent a full day of learning and letting go. I want to write some of my thoughts and what God is showing me because the joy I have found today must be shared. It may be a bit of a rabbit trail, but go with me a bit…
My husband proposed to me in the midst of the most uncertain time we had ever known. I had thought he might be proposing soon, but when this season began, I thought it would be forever before he did. He had no money and didn’t know his next step. I had spent five years waiting to be his wife. People thought I was crazy for waiting on him so long, but I knew. God had given me dreams and visions about being his wife, and I felt called to it. I remember crying at nights asking God when? And what’s wrong with me? God, the beautiful painter of time, knew everything and had a plan. When our world was turned upside down, Vince realized I was the only thing that was right in his life, and he had to make me his bride. We went to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” at a historic theatre in Nashville, and he kept fidgeting with the ring in his jacket all night. I had no idea, and surrendered all hope of him asking at that point. At the end of the movie, there’s a scene where George Bailey realizes all he has and all is not hopeless. The town gathers to do whatever they can to help the Baileys. George’s brother enters the emotional scene coming from war and drops his medal in the basket and says, “to George Bailey, the richest man in town.” It was in that moment that George realizes that his wealth is found in his family. I was crying which made it that much harder for Vince to keep it together. He pulled me outside, got on one knee and said, “you’re the only thing that makes sense.”
That night changed our lives forever. I still remember it like it were a second ago. Things aren’t necessarily easier nor do they make more sense, but we are the wealthiest people in town. The story of the Baileys resonates with people because it’s honest. A man who tried, lost everything, felt disappointed and completely hopeless but in the end found out he had everything he needed all along.
I have spent countless hours over the past few weeks struggling with where I am, what I’m doing and what do we do next. God has been teaching me over and over again the lesson of surrender. I will most likely be writing more on this as I unpack what I’m learning, but for tonight, my message is simple. Surrender is hard. It’s letting go of control (or sense of control). It’s letting go of who we think we are, who we think we’re supposed to be or even who we want to be.
I’m reading this book called “The Me I Want to Be” by John Ortberg. It is blowing my mind. The book talks about how we become truly ourselves when we surrender ourselves fully to God. He created us in such a unique way, and when we surrender, we open ourselves up to become who we were designed to be. We become more “us”. Surrender also means letting go of grudges, habits and even sometimes dreams.
George Bailey gave up on his dream to see the world, but at the end of the movie, you see that he HAS the whole world. I laid on my floor today crying and letting go. It was so hard. There are dreams I have and things I feel I might be called or designed to do, but it is not the season for them, like being a mom, mission work, or writing a book. I am where I am. Sometimes surrendering means letting God have control. Surrender sometimes means you let go of your time frame. Surrender sometimes means giving up money or energy. Surrender sometimes even means forgiving someone and releasing them from the hurt you’ve held onto. .
I don’t think surrender is a one time thing, and that’s why I still have a lot of more to talk about on that topic. But, if we want to live a life full of purpose and passion, we have to let go of the control. We have to let go of things that keep us bound. We were made to be bold and have dominion. We were made to be full of light and joy for a dark world. We were made to enjoy and delight in God’s goodness. We can never be the people were created to be until we let go. So, breathe in and breathe out and let it go into God’s hands. Do whatever you have to do to get alone and let it all go, all of it. Don’t try to fake it. He knows what’s not on the table.
God is not in the business of making us dull or weird. He wants us to die to self so that we can become who he created us to be. He asks for us to let go not to take away but to ultimately give. God’s heart in surrender is to unlock something in us that is shackled by our own will. When we surrender, we allow the Spirit to flow through us and give life. We can fulfill our purpose in creation. When we let go, we find the person we want to be, and then we realize all along we’ve had it all.
I’ll leave you with this…
“To have no other will, no other wisdom, than to follow the Lord wherever he leads. Let this then be the first step, to abandon ourselves and to devote the whole energy of our minds to the service of God.” John Calvin