Monday, January 21, 2013

Surrender

I've had to do quite a bit of surrendering this past week. Yes, yes, yes... I do remember, surrender *is* my One Word for 2013 after all!

I just really didn't think it would be this difficult, this heart-wrenching, this much outside of my comfort zone... this much trusting! There you go, I said it... I've quickly discovered that surrendering requires loosening my grip and letting God take control, and trusting Him to work things out even though I so desperately want to micro-manage the situation or the circumstance I find myself in.

After all, if surrendering requires surrendering only those things which I am already willing to let go... it's not considered surrendering at all, right? It is, of course, going to require me surrendering those things that I have a tight grip on...

Such as parenting my children. Such as the direction of my career. Such as how smoothly ministry at church should run. Such as... I could go on... 

Very. Hard. Stuff. Especially for this woman with a Type A personality.

This morning, I read this tweet by Ann Voskamp...    


Ah, yes! Surrendering is very much a sacrifice of thanks, isn't it? It is a laying down of my perspective and raising my hands in praise, in all things, always! A beautiful picture... one I clearly need to embrace and practice some more.
The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of wondrous now, joy might be -unbelievably- possible! The only place we need see before we die, is this place of seeing God, here and now.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
Many times this past week... during the messy, piercing ache moments, I've glanced over at this photo and verse on the wall of my home office... and it brought me the perspective I desperately needed to frame the difficult circumstance which I found myself in with.

Instantly, I would feel the ease of just letting go... of surrendering... then the JOY wonder would come!


As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One who invites me to walk with Him and work with Him, learning the unforced rhythms of grace... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #2824 - #2833:
:: He hears my cries.
:: Lunch with a girlfriend, an encouraging conversation!
:: God's grace, so amazing... ever present, especially in the ugliest and hardest of times.
:: Our Lead Pastor's listening ear and encouraging words.
:: Productive meeting regarding upcoming church ministry stuff.
:: Hundreds of fellow leaders from our church gathering for a day of worship, vision and looking to the future! Greater things are yet to come.
:: Our whole family volunteering at Ephraim's Place score-keeping for their Upward Basketball games! Looking forward to doing it again this weekend.
:: Saying goodbye to my parents, as they end another visit.
:: God's peace, surpassing all understanding.
:: This new week, another chance to start fresh. That He makes all things new!
A new week, with this fueling me...
Praise the Lord, O my soul. And forget none of His acts of kindness. He forgives all my sins. He heals all my diseases. He saves my life from the grave. He crowns me with loving-kindness and pity. He fills my years with good things and I am made young again like the eagle.
~ Psalm 103:2-5, NLV.
Choosing to live a surrendered life... because Christ's love compels me... and giving thanks for everything that my good God so freely bestows, so lavishly gives and so extravagantly showers!

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Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

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