I feel like I need to write a disclaimer on this week's post. After spending a wonderful, yet busy week with my mom visiting, I now have a miserable summer cold. So, I'm not sure if my writing is Spirit inspired or cold medicine inspired, but here goes anyway...
I mentioned my mom. We have a great relationship even though we are very different people. As a little girl, I sometimes wondered whose child I was? Both of my parents were very stoic - rarely showing emotion. I, on the other hand, wore my heart and my emotions on my sleeve. It didn't take a genius to figure out what I was feeling.
I was also raised on the premise of self-sufficiency. One did not admit they needed help and rarely, if ever, asked for it. And as for quitting or giving up...well let's just say my dad, a vet himself, often quoted Winston Churchill's famous, "Never, never, never give up!" Surrendering was not an option.
And so, I, armed with this knowledge, embarked upon this journey we call life.
I did fairly well through high school and college. It wasn't until marriage and my first child being born that I encountered trials that rocked my battle cry of self-sufficiency and never giving up. I won't go into all the details here, but suffice it to say that I quickly began to realize that life was not exactly a bowl of cherries.
I was said to be suffering with post-partum depression (later to be diagnosed as severe OCD). I was depressed and anxious. I quickly got to the end of my rope - my self sufficiency. Still fighting the urge to ask for help, I fell deeper into despair and perpetual anxiousness. I remember exactly the day that I had to get real with God!
I had been holding back turning things over to Him because not giving up or quitting had been so ingrained in me.
God taught me, however, that there is a difference between quitting and surrendering.
I was not "giving up" I was giving over...giving over to God and letting go of self.
Perhaps you've heard the saying that if God is your co-pilot, then you need to get up and change seats. God wants to be the pilot of our lives, but He will not force His way in...we need to willingly turn over the steering wheel.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16: 24-25)
In order to survive, I quickly realized that I would have to deny self and then, of my own free will, I needed to surrender to God.
In life we have a choice: surrender to self, surrender to the enemy or surrender to the Lord.
I had tried self; I certainly didn't want to surrender to the enemy (who by the way can whisper some awful lies); so the Lord was my last resort.
I'm not proud that it took me to the end of my rope to finally surrender to the Lord, but that's often the point we need to get to until we will finally take hold of his strong and mighty hand.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3)
I had taken the path of Self sufficiency------> Surrender
Once we pry our fingers off our pride, our merciful and loving God does not just stop there. He takes it a step further...
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. (Psalm 32:10)
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore. (Psalm 125:2)
Once we surrender, the Lord surrounds us with His unfailing love. Like the little helpless lamb, the Lord lifted me into His strong and loving arms and surrounded me with His love. He didn't leave me alone and unguarded.
Again, the Lord does not stop there:
His heart (the man who loves the Lord) is secure, he will have no fear...(Psalm 112:8)
[Now] We have this hope (oath/promise) as and anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
I love this imagery...the Lord as an anchor for our soul; holding us firm and secure when the rough and turbulent seas swirl around us. My friend, if you are dealing with something you can no longer handle yourself...you are not a failure! It is okay to say I surrender! In fact the Lord is waiting patiently for you to do so. It is only in our weakness that He can then be strong. I am, as always, praying for you!
What do you need to surrender to the Lord today? If you have a prayer request, leave it in the comments or contact me directly. I am a vigilant prayer warrior - I've witnessed first hand the power of prayer. I pray that you will let Him take you from self sufficiency all the way to security! Be blessed...
In His love,
ps. If you suffer from depression or anxiety...I am a strong supporter of seeking medical help as well as Christian counseling. Depression and anxiety are treatable illnesses.