Well hello friends…it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a blog. More life has happened than I can even begin to tell you in one post, but I’ve missed you and I’ve missed writing. I’ve only just recently began writing again and honestly while typing this there is a lump in my throat because it’s like jumping off into the very deep end without a life preserver. It’s allowing vulnerability to creep in where comfort has resided. But the truth is, this is more for me than anyone, however I do hope it encourages you and spurs you on.
During the time I stopped writing, so much has happened…so many lessons have been learned and so much self-discovery has taken place. It certainly hasn’t been an easy process…grueling in fact…but it has been so very healing. See, in just a year we had our first grandchild, our son was sent out on his first deployment, my mom underwent major heart surgery, our daughter has become a full blown teenager, we’ve navigated a major transition within the organization for which I work, watched friends and family walk through some of the most difficult challenges and so much more. All brought different levels of joy along with great challenges and heartache.
Through all of it God continues to teach me more about myself and what it truly means to surrender everything to Him. Sometimes surrender seems almost effortless while other times it gut punches you, knocks the breath out of your lungs and leaves you on your knees face-to-face with the reality that everything rests in His hands.
Surrender literally means to abandon oneself entirely. I thought I had this concept mastered. But today, texting with our son who is currently deployed in the Middle East, I became acutely aware that I had some work to do. See when he first deployed a few months back tensions were somewhat low. As you well know, over the past few weeks that has changed. I was flooded with pictures in my mind and emotions that gripped me and fear started to flood my soul. I immediately texted my husband and as usual he had all the right words. Then I paused and prayed…I know, I should have prayed first but my husband is pretty close to Jesus so I texted him first 🙂 As I prayed, the emotions didn’t cease because my arms literally ached to hug my son, but peace began to enter my heart and mind. I was reminded of when I was praying for our son before he deployed and the Lord whispered to my heart, “I need to do this FOR him…” it wasn’t that the Lord needed to do this TO him or TO us…it’s FOR him, for his good…for our good and the good of all those involved.
I texted friends to pray, I texted my daughter-in-law to check on her and comfort came in many forms. Bottom line is that our son is safe and is doing well, but there is a lot that we, on this side, can and should be praying for. I had to once again, lay my 23 year old baby boy on the altar to say God, he was yours first…only entrusted to us…have your way. So we wrapped up our text conversation, I cried a few more tears and found solitude in the word. The scripture my friend sent to me was exactly what I was praying…
“God will be your bodyguard to protect you when trouble is near. Not one bone will be broken.” Psalm 34:20 (TPT)
Surrender, it isn’t a one and done, it’s a daily choice and almost never easy. Without it we wrestle and fight battles that don’t belong to us. We become ensnared and tempted to manipulate and control to find comfort when actually peace is found in the releasing act of surrender. It’s in the laying down of what we desperately want to grasp ahold of that allows us to slip into that place of intimacy where God resides. It’s where He reaches down and wraps us into Him as he moves and shifts our lives to fulfill the purposes for which He has created us. Our son…he was created to be a soldier…I never knew it or even wanted it, but it’s who he is and I could not be more proud.
Son, set your face like flint and be steadfast in the Lord, He is your shield and refuge! To all our troops, Godspeed and thank you for your service.
“You are all around me, behind me and in front of me. You hold me safe in your hand.” Psalm 139:5 (NIRV)
Be encouraged today that God can be trusted with the most precious things in your life. He is faithful and just and His desires and plans are good for you…you can let them go and place them into His hands whereby peace can become your strength.