Saturday, July 04, 2009

Surrender Isn't Easy...

(Just so you know, today's blog is very much faith-focussed.)

It's funny how music can affect us on such a strong level. Last Sunday at church, during the worship time, I had some powerful epiphanies about learning to surrender, and though I intended to reflect and blog about them, they slipped past my mind by the time I was driving out of the parking lot. Today, though, I found myself singing in the shower and found I was belting out the words from a song committing to surrender.

There's nothing more I need than to give you all of me.
There's nothing more I seek than to lay my all at your feet.
Everything I hold dear, I would trade it all for you.
My Lord, my life, I give it all to You.

My everything, my everything.
There's nothing I won't bring to you my King,
I give it all to You.

(Note: This song was written by someone in the worship band at my church, and if you want to hear it, try this site.)

To be honest, I can't say that I fully embrace the words of that song. My journey of surrender goes much more like a micro-manager handing out assignments. "Hmmm, let's see here, God, you can have this area of my life and that area of my life, but this one... no, I don't quite trust you to handle it."

I struggle with what surrender is supposed to look like for the 21st century North American Christian. I've heard stories from around the world about people who have been persecuted for their faith. People have given up their lives, watched their families tortured, been imprisoned, lost businesses... All for taking that step of commitment and surrender for their faith. Me? Well, here in North America, I may get snickered at when I say I'm trusting God for something, but that's about it. Or perhaps you may have been reading my blog all along thinking I've got a good head on my shoulders (actually, no, not my blog), and now you read about me talking about learning to surrender to a God that you don't believe exists and you may think I'm crazy, but that really doesn't have the same impact on me as if you were to murder my family in front of me.

So what DOES surrender mean? It's easy to say that I would give it all up if called to do so, but what does that look like in my everyday life?

One step I am starting with is learning to mentally give over control to God. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of areas of my life that I still hold quite tightly. It's definitely a daily struggle, but surrender starts with opening up and letting God's grace wash over those areas. Practically, this looks like being open to new ideas. I am one of those people who really likes to plan and know what is happening. I DO have a five year and ten year plan for my life. But learning to surrender means holding those plans loosely. It means learning to trust that God may open other doors besides management consulting and that maybe those other doors could lead to something better than what I have for myself.

And the second practical part of learning to surrender is learning to take myself out of that "#1 position" and putting others there. Jesus continually called his followers to LOVE. And if I am going to live a life of surrender, I need to learn to love, day in and day out. Fortunately, the Apostle Paul provided a manual on how to love. You've probably heard it quoted a few times at weddings... Love is patient... kind... not envious... not boastful... not rude... not self-seeking... not easily angered... (1 Corinthians 13) I can't say I have any of those mastered yet.

Why surrender? Ultimately I believe God has an amazing plan for my life. And when I fight his leading, it only creates anxiety and uncertainty for me. More importantly, the crux of my faith is that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for me. So how can I possibly fathom holding back?

Surrender isn't easy. But the easy thing is never worthwhile anyway.


I am His Beloved said...

Awesome...praying for you during this huge transition.

Jackie said...

I'm still at work, Ms. Julie but I was browsing through your blog and came across this post (and your category of "faith" posts). First, amazing! This post was a blessing to me because this too is an area in which I've struggled in my walk--totally giving ALL to God. In the past, I've been known to pick and choose what I'll "allow" God to help me with. Ha. We know how those things turned out. :) Secondly, I just wanted to acknowledge your faith-related posts (I look forward to reading them when time allows). Again, please feel free to use me as a resource for anything as you prepare to transition. Do you have access to my Darden (or personal) email?