Surrender is my word for this year.
Surrender has been my lifetime word.
From the beginning of my relationship with God, surrender has been the word.. From birth I have always wanted my own way. At age 15, God challenged me: “If you surrender to Jesus, I will forgive your sins and will begin to show you, day by day, that My way is best.”
I said yes, and “signed the contract”: I choose Your way, not mine. (Read more here.)
I thought it was done. But the next morning I found I had a choice to make. Circumstances were not what I wanted. God said: ”My way or your way?”
I began to realize this was a lifelong journey of choosing to surrender.
Some calls to surrender were significant. Such as the boyfriend I was secretly seeing for nine months after my parents forbade me to see him. It took awhile, but I surrendered him to God.
When I was graduating college and felt God calling me to ministry. It required big surrender—breaking my engagement to the man I loved who did not feel called to ministry, and giving up my dream to become a magazine writer and editor. (Read more here.)
When I thought I had a job promotion, they brought in a young man who was less qualified than I was to take that position and be my boss. I was ready to object, but God said, “This is from Me.” So I surrendered.(Read more here.)
The man I dated for five years and fell in love with wasn’t sure he would ever get married. I was sadly ready to break if off and move on. God said, “Stay.” I stayed. (Read more here.)
My first baby had terrible colic, slept very little and cried for most of four months. I felt like a total failure as a mother. God said, “ You are just right for her—and she is just right for you.” I believed Him.
God sent a young boy to our family as a foster child. He was not easy and brought significant stress into our family. Three years later he was up for adoption. Did we want to make him a permanent part of our family? We weren’t sure. God said “yes.“ We said “yes.” (Read more here.)
These are some of the major surrenders of my life. Many more small choices to surrender or not occurred day by day. Would I choose my way or God’s way?
Did I always surrender? Of course not. Though usually I got there eventually.
Did all of these “surrenders” turn out happy? Yes and no. Each one had challenges and difficult choices to make. Sometimes I felt abandoned by God, or the path felt too difficult. I have grown in many ways as I have waited to see the good outcomes.
But I can look back now and see how God has worked in each situation. Surrender was hard, but now I can see it was good and God’s way proved, over and over, to be best.
But I confess., it still feels a little risky to accept this as my word for the year. God may ask for some scary surrenders as He works on my growth in Christlikeness.
I’ve resisted surrender many times, but eventually I knew it was right. God can be trusted.
What about you? Where might you need to surrender?
C2019 Judy Douglass
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