Last August, during a long walk down a jagged path on Martha’s Vineyard, I heard the word “Surrender” in my heart. There was nothing particularly urgent going on in my life. I was on vacation in my happy place. All was right with the world. I could not think of anything I needed to surrender. I walked along a few more paces in silence before I asked God, “Surrender to what?”
I took two steps and God whispered what I obviously needed to hear. “Surrender to you.”
I rarely have a difficult time surrendering to God and his sovereignty in my life because life taught me very early that I am not in control. Otherwise, I’d be able to enjoy all the red velvet cake and champagne I like without gaining weight. Surrendering to “me” was a tall order. So, for the first 120 days of this year, I’ve been focused on my thoughts and beliefs, my feelings, and my desires. I’ve disciplined myself in prayer, spending more time with God to better understand who I AM and more importantly, WHY I AM.
My #oneword year of SURRENDER began with a season of listening. That’s basically what I’ve been doing all year. It’s also why the blog doesn’t get updated on a regular basis. In my year of SURRENDER I am slow to speak and quick to listen…to hear God. I can’t hear God and talk at the same time. So I had to get quiet. Say less… if at all.
So here we are.
120 days into my year of SURRENDER and I don’t have a lot to say about it yet. But here’s what I can tell you…
When we think of SURRENDER we most often think about something bad happening in our lives that we need to accept. We surrender to death, disruption, and defeat. We often surrender to sadness, fear, and feelings of inadequacy. Those are all important moments for which to surrender. However, SURRENDER also means acceptance of blessings and abundance. Just as we learn to SURRENDER to unfortunate circumstances, we must also learn to SURRENDER to greatness, to blessings, to growth, and to the light that shines from within us.
Surrender doesn’t mean to give up. You can be afraid and surrender to the courage to move forward. You can experience grief and surrender to the patience to move through the stages. You can experience a set back and surrender to the tenacity that won’t let you give up. Surrender in battle means waving a white flag to end the fight. Surrender in life means trusting God for the fight in you.
I surrender. I trust God that what’s behind me was needed for what’s ahead of me. I surrender to the light within and to the consequences of shining that light. I also surrender to the dark places that still exist, and trust that God will shine his light to guide my way. I surrender to my power. I surrender to my purpose. I surrender to my beauty, my influence, my humor, my wealth, my joy, and my peace. Amen!
I surrender to my year of SURRENDER and the magnificence that may grow from it. I surrender.
Have you surrendered to YOU? Or are you still trying to change what God meant for his glory?