The Most Painful Part...
I've been thinking a lot about surrender and what it means as a believer... as a daughter of the Living God.
I used to think of surrender as pious act that I MUST do in order to appease an angry God... as if my surrender would somehow convince Him to do what I felt I needed or wanted at the time.
Now, I would have never said these things out loud... I'm not even sure I knew I believed them, so when our oldest daughter got sick with autoimmune encephalitis (PANDAS) and we entered the fight of our and her life, I was in fight and contending mode- not surrender mode. We were going to beat this thing and she was going to heal no matter what.
And soon, as the days grew long and we became weary of watching her suffer to regain her faculties, her cognitive function, her sleep, and her mood, we couldn't fight anymore. We had done all the fighting, all the contending, all the therapies and all the praying, and it was all causing her to heal but we were utterly exhausted.
At a certain point- I had to surrender to the process that was taking so much longer and causing so much more pain than I thought God would ever allow in my life.
And I fought it hard. Im not a lay-down-and-take-it kind of person- I'm a fight-until-I-win kind of person and this was not a fight I could win by praying harder or doing more things.
I didn't want to surrender because to me surrender meant giving up hope that she would ever get better or that our family would ever heal from the trauma and pain of it all.
Surrender, to me, meant having to lay down in the hand of an indifferent God who I wasn't convinced would come through for me if I did nothing but hide in Him.
Did he even care anymore?
Why was this being allowed in my life?
What was I to do with the judgements and criticisms that this was all spiritual and she wouldn't be suffering if we could just figure out the right prayer formula?
The pain that this belief brought up was indescribable and the tension grew as I continued to fight when God was asking me to surrender and I couldn't bring myself to do it.
I began to have to look at my belief about who God is… is he kind? Is he for me even in this? Where is he when I’m being crushed? Does he even see how much this is costing us emotionally, spiritually and financially?
As I began to ask these questions, the wall that I had built out of pain and survival began to crack and the power of His love began to flood in. He began to show me where the lie crept in that taught me surrender meant giving up, or that I had to do it all myself.
I would wake up feeling the presence of Jesus just holding me- and if I'm totally honest- I didn't want Him to hold me, I just wanted him to fix it.
In His kindness, He began to minister to me about surrender and what that means to Him. As I wept, I could feel Him weeping with me, and over several weeks, I could hear him saying "I am so moved by your surrender...your heart is so beautiful to me. Your surrender is not in vain. I know the cost of it and it is not without consequence."
Slowly, I was no longer surrendering my circumstances, my needs, my hurt, or the pain we had all experienced because of this to a God that I had to appease or work harder to move on my behalf- I was surrounding to one who understood what it felt like to be crushed and bruised beyond recognition.
I was surrendering to the One knew what it felt like to just need someone to be with you in suffering (Matthew 26:40).
I was surrendering to His infinite ability to bring the promises He has for my (and my family's) life to pass.
I was surrendering to His goodness that knows no boundary.
I was surrounding to His kindness that would carry me on hard days.
It is His presence in our circumstances that changes everything.
Are you in a process of surrender with the Lord? I encourage you to press into the fears and beliefs that are keeping you from trusting because THAT is where the freedom and breakthrough is!
To your freedom,