I like to be in control. I like to know what's going on. I like to prepare myself for situations that may or may not occur... just because I don't want to be caught off guard or shocked. I like to prepare myself for the worst, because for many times in my life, the other shoe does eventually drop. I guess you say I like to build up my walls... I like walls. Walls are safe, walls are comfort, walls are supposed to be strong.
Around this time last year was the first time I really felt like I had to surrender someone I loved. I felt the Lord telling me to trust Him, so I obeyed. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but there was something about knowing that God was in control that brought some peace amongst the chaos in my mind and heart. A few months later, my Granny went Home. And I had to surrender to the Lord for that as well. She was a woman of deep faith, a woman that I would share my heart with and the Lord spoke to me through her. So, when we lost her, I was a little lost too.
Winter/Spring of 09 was chaotic. I've told many people that I had too many toes in too many pools. I was stretching myself in so many different ways, just trying to fill voids and hurts, when all I was doing was avoiding "the surrender". Finally, this Summer, when things kind of came to a stand-still for a bit, the Lord led me out of my comfort zone... and this is where I started putting it all together :)
I truly believe my mission field is in the college ministry... specifically UT. (I know, funny that this Aggie has a heart for the Horns! But I firmly believe that God has one heck of a sense of humor!) I also have a heart for discipleship. So, I had this desire to do this with college women. I was asked to co-develop a college womens class at the Stone (my Church)... so I eagerly accepted. But, then they asked me to take a Teaching Lab to learn teaching styles, the different areas that need to be addressed while teaching, etc. I was a Speech Communications major at A&M, but only had to take one public speaking class. It was the one class I hated. I can talk about things I'm passionate about until I blue in the face, but don't ask me to come up with talking points, write them out and then make an outline, thesis statement and all that jazz... that's just not my style. So, I knew this about myself, but I also knew that this class is something I really felt like I was supposed to do. The class took me out of my comfort zone. The class challenged me to do something totally different. The class made me face some personal fears. But the most important lesson I learned was that I had to surrender. I had to surrender to the Lord... because I felt like it was Him urging me to do it. It was extremely difficult. I had a lot of spiritual warfare going on in my life during this class... oddly on the weeks that I had to prepare my lessons. But it was because I felt this battle that the Enemy was waging against me that I knew God had me right where He wanted me. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about the Sovereignty of God. I learned a lot about truly surrendering... letting go and letting God do His thing.
Since the end of my class, I'm constantly seeing how God is calling me, even in the small, daily struggles, to surrender to Him. The first few weeks of September were difficult weeks to face for my family and our close friends. And no matter how much I wanted to "do" something, I just felt like I was supposed to surrender my fears and worries. So, I've been praying... and trusting...
So often I feel like we ask God for strength, because we want to get through something. I kind of feel like in my case, it's because I didn't ever want to surrender everything to Him. But, someone recently pointed out to me that the Bible doesn't say "Lord, give me strength"... it says "The Lord IS my strength". To me, surrendering is just saying, "God, I trust You. I trust Your plan. I'm just going to lean on You so you can show me my next step. I know You'll hold me up." He always does. He never fails. Even when we don't get what we want, He doesn't fail.
If you are still reading, I hope that you are encouraged to surrender. It's totally scary not to know what's next, to keep from building up the walls in my heart... but I know that the trials I face, whether large or small, are all for the glory of God. And I know that His love is steadfast and merciful... and that's an awesome thing :)
And it's so fitting and very much a God-thing that the "verse of the day" is Romans 5:3-5. I read this verse literally on Saturday and I feel like it totally applies to this whole surrender - let go - let God thing I have going on now :) ...
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."