Surrender, for many, can be a bad word, and to some, it feels a lot like failure, and failure is something NO one wants to experience, especially in today’s world. A world where being busy and having control means being successful, and being successful leads to worldly riches, and worldly riches provides happiness. For so long, surrender to me meant giving up or even giving in to an opponent—it meant I failed. All of which, I was raised to never do—to never give in and to certainly never give up.
But what if we begin to think of surrender as not giving in or giving up, but rather giving way…
Giving way for the one “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Several months ago, I left a job without any idea of what was next. And while I began with feelings of great excitement and zeal about starting something new, those feelings began to turn into worry and fear as each month passed and still no clarity. I began to question [it all]. I went into the depths of some of life’s hard questions like, “what is my purpose and calling in this life?” “Do I have a specific vocation, and will that vocation be income producing?” I wanted to have it all figured out. In fact, I convinced myself that I needed to have all my questions answered, and not just eventually, but I needed them answered NOW. Day after day, I pleaded with God to show me what was next, where was
But the more I questioned, the more fog I created. And the more I held on tight with a relentless grip to my need for control, the less I gave Him an opportunity to take my hand and lead me to where He was wanting me to go.
Waiting is never easy, but it is necessary. And we always have a choice in the waiting, to doubt Him and try to control, or give way and trust in His way.
In the early months of this season of waiting, I somehow convinced myself that if I was able to control my schedule, my tasks, my home, my future, I was running the show. That what I was doing would lead me to my destination. The destination of having it all figured out, the destination of having all the questions answered. But what I quickly realized was that it was just all a false sense of control, and that I’d continue chasing my tail if I continue chasing control. In fact, the more I sought out control, the more out of control I felt–and the grip that I held so tightly, the one I thought was keeping it all together, was actually keeping me from being open to what He had in store for me.
One morning as I sat there once again, asking the questions, worried if I will ever know exactly what my next step was, I prayed. I then opened up to my daily reading, and there it was in Genesis 12, His response to my question. Clear as day.
“The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)
In the midst of Abraham’s uncertainty and questioning, the Lord said one simple word to Abraham, the same word I needed to hear that morning too: GO.
Though what I read did not answer the question of what my next job would be or where I was headed, but what it did do was remind me to surrender, to stop trying to control, to stop trying to have it all figured out, to stop trying to put it all in a box. but to “just go…and I will show you.” To keep moving forward, without fear, without doubt, but with trust and hope that He will show me.
There is this false idea that the more we control, the better off we will be, and as someone who loves her some control, I am realizing, that with less control and more surrender, the more space we can create for God to make us into the people He designed us to be, and to do the work He desires us to do.
So in this season of waiting, uncertainty, and one hell of a death grip, I learned to surrender.
A transforming surrender.