The Art of Surrender

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I’m finding myself questioning these days and wondering about the impact of surrender. Of course I trust Jesus and rely daily on Him but how much of my life do I place completely under His control, without sitting back and constantly trying to take back the reins? What does it mean to truly surrender everything to Jesus?

Here’s what I reckon – if I was willing to daily get on my knees, and say to God “Good morning God. Here we have a blank canvas – a Wednesday – I’m giving you the brush. Let’s paint a picture today that speaks of Your glory and wonder. I’m willing to take the back seat here and just because I can’t see the picture You’re painting today, doesn’t mean You aren’t there or that my life is less meaningful. Help me to trust in your workmanship, invisible or not, in my life today.”  The greatest adventure of my life begins there.

Walking to the edge, and being willing to jump off IN FAITH, knowing that no matter what, God has my best interest at heart and will never forsake me, is easier said than done. Having a God who personally works in my life, doesn’t mean it’s devoid of pain, of discomfort, of sorrow, of heartbreak.

The thing I find with my life is that I easily give praise to Him when all my ducks are in a row, my life is hunky-dory and I’ve got everything going my way. I’m willing to say “God, You’re the captain of my ship and praise! You’re doing a great job! Hallelujah!” But in the dark, in the shadows of life, where it’s a plough and I’m running on empty, I’m so quick to jump to “God, remember the great job You were doing when everything was awesome? Well, You’re starting to drop the ball here and I think I need to take over.”

The thing about me wanting to control my life is that my humanness is a problem. There is only so much I can do. My wanting to control my life, which He gave to me in the first place, puts God in a box. I think God can’t give me what I can give myself, or I think God won’t give me what I want, or I can do it better than God can, so I fight for control. Let me just say something:  what God wants for us, or what God wants to do in and through our lives, is so much more than we can ever dream. Will the process be difficult? Well, maybe. There’s no guarantee of rainbows, smooth sailing and bottomless coffee, or Coca-Cola in my case.

I need to not only be willing to give God total and utter control of my life in the joyful seasons but I need to learn that the control I give Him when life is going wonderfully, needs to be the same amount I give Him when I’m crawling through the trenches. The depth to which I surrender to Him is directly linked to how much I trust Him. My belief in His ultimate grace, and love for me, NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCE, should surpass any earthly tribulation I have to face because I’m assured of that fact.

I walked in my deepest valley when I found out God was sending me Noah. (You can read my earlier blogs to catch up if you don’t know the story) Did I think God had my life under control? Definitely not. I questioned whether God was even in my life at all. I thought He’d stuck me on the backburner. But I distinctly remember where I was, the exact time of the day, the actual date, where I pulled my car over to the side of the road and shouted at the top of my voice, hearing my words echo back at me off the roof of my car: “OK GOD! I’m done!  Whatever this journey is supposed to mean or teach me or anyone else, I’m done trying to figure that out and I’m totally done trying to handle this all myself. I’m laying it down RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE.” It does sound weird, and totally spacey but at that moment, I just had complete and utter peace about the road I was walking. Did life get easier? ABSOLUTELY NOT – in fact, it got harder before it got close to being ok. But, from that moment, where I chose to lay it all at His feet without picking it back up again, God wrote such beautiful stories through my pain, and through my processing and through my discovery of motherhood. God did miracles, God was tangible to me in a way that I’ve never forgotten. Jesus’s refining process, in His way and on His terms, was more astoundingly beautiful that I could have ever imagined. Excruciating, difficult, painful? A resounding yes, but not any less magnificent and indelibly soul transforming.

There are times I want to grab my life back from His clutches, of course. The human heart is fickle and there are times when I think that the vast space of trusting and not knowing, is too much to try and navigate and trust through. When there’s no evidence of His working that I can visibly see, that’s when the need for control creeps up on me. In a way, there’s comfort and freedom in truth – the truth of knowing that God fights for me, in battles I can’t even see. That He’s creating and moulding and shaping in the quiet depths while I think He’s barely on my side at all. That truth resonates in my heart if I’m willing to listen to it. Faith is believing that, even when I can’t see any evidence of it.

There’s a song that is deeply touching me right now – probably the reason why I’m on this path right now of questioning all this stuff. It’s Touch The Sky off the new Hillsong album, Of Dirt and Grace. A few lines go like this:

My heart beating, my soul breathing

I found my life when I laid it down

Upward falling, spirit soaring

I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

 The greatest and most beautiful stories are written when we’re willing to give up control, surrender and hand God the pen. Let God write your life story.  Give Him the boundless space to create no holds barred, the most breath-taking tapestry with your life – a portrait so glorious and outside of our human capabilities that it can only be attributed to the giver of life Himself. He’ll astound you with what He’ll do, if you’ll just let Him.

Surrender – the act of laying your life down, and in the process, finding out that is really where your life begins.