Last month I wrote about embracing adventure. I even placed an exciting picture of a roller coaster at the top of the page. Surprisingly to me, this month feels more like I’m on a roller coaster, except it’s not by choice. I have no control over when the ride speeds up, slows down, loops, or drops! Have you ever been in a season when your days feel a little out of control? When you’re trying to be diligent and intentional with your time, but other things pop up that trump everything else. Do you spend days with your mind racing, over day-to-day concerns, anxious thoughts, and things that aren’t even true? I am able to surrender to my own thoughts and ideas, which can be harmful to myself and others, OR I choose to surrender unhealthy ideas and thoughts and replace the lies with the truth in God’s Word.
I have to choose to surrender….
I sometimes have to surrender my time and energy to care for a sick family member. I often times have to surrender to changes, at work, church, or in our family that are out of my control. I must surrender to new seasons with friends as moves happen, jobs change, and kids are born or leave the nest. I must surrender to others’ schedules, kid’s activities, church calendar, friends in need, work demands, family plans, and the list goes on and on. I’m sure there are times when you must surrender to plans and ideas that aren’t your own. For me, this can lead to questioning, doubting, or complaining. This is one reason it’s so important to surrender unhealthy thoughts and embrace TRUTH.
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:6 NLT
When I choose to surrender my expectations and embrace: the season, plan, difficulty, forgiveness, my life is calmer. I have to decide to embrace surrender over and over. I’m not talking about the wave your white flag, give up, accept defeat kind of surrender. My preferred definition of the word surrender is; “agree to forgo especially in favor of another.” This definition of surrender is a verb, an action word. I must agree to forgo getting my own way, my plans, ideas, dreams, and schedule.
When I embrace surrender, I’m saying I will do this without complaining, not angrily, or bitterly. It shifts my perspective. Although these “things” life throws at me are out of my control, I am in my control of how I react to them. I’m still trying to embrace this lesson, while teaching it to my kids. We are responsible for our reactions, even if it’s not your fault, it’s your siblings fault, or your friend was mean, or because life isn’t fair. You’re right, life isn’t fair!
One of the hardest things for me about embracing surrender, is surrendering to the unknown.
If I could understand the direction I’m supposed to go, the easiest way to get there, and the instructions to follow along the way that’d be great!
Navigating life doesn’t always come with the Waze app. I use the Waze app almost every morning on my way to work. We have multiple ways to get to school and I want to know the quickest route based on the circumstances of traffic each day. I know in this day and age I can’t use my Waze app mentality in my relationships. Relationships don’t usually work that way; they take time, grace, forgiveness, and love; and they aren’t predictable.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8
I’m learning to share things in a more loving way. I’m learning to surrender my ideas for how and when difficult conversations are necessary. I’m trying to forgo my own feelings and share things that are difficult in a healthy way. I’m a fixer, I want to fix the problem and move on as quickly as possible! However, I can unintentionally end up doing the exact opposite, making the situation worse instead of better. I don’t always take time to think through conversations and how it might affect the other person. I desire to share truth, that needs to be heard, but with love and grace. I absolutely have to surrender my feelings, my timing, and “fixing it” ideas to accomplish that. Although I still speak without thinking and say things harshly, I am becoming more aware of these times. I’m working on surrendering the need to say things right away with-out avoiding them so much nothing changes. I’m working to surrender my need to say things immediately, instead saying them in love and grace after prayer. Hopefully then issues are not ignored but actually improved.
I’m recognizing I choose surrender, it’s just a matter of who and/or what I’m surrendering to. I unmistakably embrace surrendering to fear, insecurity, and unhealthy thoughts. Do you have something negative in your life that you’ve been surrendering to, maybe even unintentionally?
It’s a challenge to continually embrace surrender and I will never be perfect!
You will never be perfect, isn’t that freeing!
Thankfully we don’t have to be perfect. Jesus is the ultimate example of surrender. Because of His surrender I can walk in freedom. I’m grateful for the grace and mercy I receive daily, whether I blow it by saying too much or shut down and avoid communicating at all. I’m loved by my Heavenly Father whether I embrace healthy surrender or fail to and instead throw my hands in the air. BUT I want to keep embracing surrender, adventure, growth, strength, heartache, and whatever else the Lord is showing me in this season. It makes my life fuller and allows me to show the love of Jesus to others.
As we step closer to the end of 2018 and enjoy the fall season, may we take time to be thankful for what we have. Embracing the fall season is difficult where I live, it’s basically summer all year with a few cooler days. I’ve had to surrender the idea of crisp autumn air and sweaters coming out in Fall. I am however, embracing Fall in my neck of the woods, a season filled with iced pumpkin spice lattes and autumn decor while we still enjoy the pool.
May we embrace surrendering things that didn’t go as planned this year. I’m praying you’re able to surrender those things which weigh you down and keep you from embracing God’s best for you. Happy Fall!