How do we surrender ourselves?

I spent the first thirty years of my life seeking something, looking for love in all the wrong places, and wanting to be accepted.

What I did know for certain, was that I was looking for something but, like so many others, I really didn’t know what it was I was searching for. I tried to find it in a lot of ways and a lot of places, but I never discovered that sense of peace I desperately desired.

Wanting to surrender ourselves to God’s control is a lot easier said than done. We may want to follow God’s will for our lives more than anything else in the world, but if we don’t understand how that’s done, it doesn’t happen.

I wasn’t raised in a church-going family. I don’t even remember if there was a Bible in our home. Moreover, I certainly never knew much more about Jesus than the fact that he was born on Christmas and he died on Easter.

The awesome thing about God is that He truly does pursue us. And even though I didn’t know what I was looking for, I found it when I was thirty-one years old. I heard a loving voice inviting me to make a choice.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. New American Standard Version, Matthew 11:28-30.

I’d tried living my way and I knew it never completely satisfied and it never lasted. I was weary and so tired of hurting.

The Message puts it a little differently:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That was what I wanted.

In the last days of his ministry, Jesus said, “… the Father is in me, and I in the Father,” Then during the night before Jesus was crucified, he told Peter, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” John 10:38, 14:6, New American Standard Version.

That was the beginning. Giving up control and surrendering to God isn’t easy. And, for me, it wasn’t a one-time thing. Like I said earlier, wanting something and actually doing it are two different things.

But, God had my heart.

Then, I spent another ten years desperately seeking to know God through other people’s words and experiences. That doesn’t work either.

During those years, I lost a career I loved, health, material possessions, income, independence, loved ones, and even my memory at times. I lost the security of everything most people place their security in. I was so tired of losing things.

That’s when I learned about control. Losing things taught me I wasn’t in control at all. The wondrous thing is that it also taught me that if the most precious thing in my life is my intimate relationship with God, I‘d never lose that. Regardless of what happens, He is with me, helping me to live above the circumstances of my life.

Because of God’s love and grace, I found the things money can’t buy – peace of mind, a hope for the future, the knowledge that I am deeply loved by my Creator, and eternal life.

I’m no stronger or more faithful than anyone else is. In fact, I’m probably weaker.

The difference is that I chose to seek the Truth. And, that is what I hope the words from my heart convey.

You see, surrendering is the beginning of a journey to discovering God’s love and purpose for our lives.

The idea of trying to know God may seem insurmountable. It did for me until I realized that by focusing on Jesus, I would come to know the Father. By inviting Christ into my heart and asking Him to work in me and change me, I opened the door.

In all honesty, there have been times when I’ve closed that door. I did that when I decided that I knew what was best for me. Things usually were fine – for a while. But eventually, whatever I had chased after, fought for, or believed in ultimately disappointed. It’s extremely hard to try and orchestrate perfection. In fact, I don’t know anyone who can. There is always something that comes along to change things.

By seeking God’s will and acknowledging His control, I’ve discovered the freedom of knowing that He is the one true thing. And so I began with one simple prayer – to focus on Jesus. You see, like everyone else, there were so many things going on in my life, so many heartaches, disappointments, and so much sadness that I knew the only way to survive was to begin with that simple prayer. God, help me focus on Jesus – nothing else.

The only way to focus on Jesus is by reading the Word of God and spending time in prayer. Neither was elaborate. I opened the Bible and began reading and I simply talked to God, pouring out all my heartaches and my desire to know Him.

That was when I began to understand God’s will in my life. It’s an ongoing process and it requires sacrifice. Unfortunately, too many people shy away from sacrifice, thinking it’s going to be painful. Sometimes it is. Yet, sacrifice borne out of love becomes almost cleansing, healing, and energizing. After all, what we are called to sacrifice are those things that prevent us from being all God has designed for us.

And, it brings a peace that is almost impossible to describe. I want to give up the things that keep me weighed down and hurting.

Knowing and believing that nothing happens in this world without God’s knowledge can give us an unshakeable comfort in relinquishing control to the Creator of the universe.

If you would like to know just how much the Father loves you, please visit this site called Father’s Love Letter at http://www.fathersloveletter.com


My prayer is that you will come to know His love for you.

Blessings, Francine

3 comments:

    On 5:01 AM Cami said...

    These ARE words from the heart, Francine. As long as you're here, I'll be here, too; happy to find in what you share a testimony of God's love and faithfulness.

     
    On 9:27 AM Magdaleine said...

    Now that was GOOD, Francine!

     
    On 7:47 AM Francine said...

    Cami and Maggie ... thank you. Your comments strengthen my desire to share my heart and God's love with others.

    Francine

     
 
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