We’ve all been there… the moment when we receive news that shakes us to the very core.
A lost job.
All of these circumstances differ, but seem to contain a common theme: they are all unexpected, and we have very little control over their outcome. Over the past few months, I have been challenged by circumstances that I did not prepare for and definitely did not see coming. They were situations I had little control over, but seemed to be directly affected by. In these situations, God has challenged me by teaching me what it means to surrender.
Here’s the truth: I am a fixer. I like to fix things, especially people. I don’t like watching people hurt, watching people struggle, or watching relationships crumble. I will do anything I can to fix situations in order to keep the peace between people. However, this summer, I learned that it is extremely difficult to fix relationships that are not yours, and it is impossible to change people with absolutely no desire to change.
Watching relationships crumble is heartbreaking, especially when the people involved mean the world to you. It is hard to stand by, watching hearts break and lives fall apart, and being able to do nothing. In fact, the concept completely goes against my savior complex. If I can’t help you or do anything to fix the situation, I feel like I’ve failed.
In this, God has been teaching me surrender. Immediately after my life seemed to be falling apart, I read the following in Jesus Calling:
“You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control. Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know me in greater depth and breadth. I long to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways. I am always doing something new within my beloved ones. Be on the lookout for all I have prepared for you.”
After reading this and dwelling on it for a long time, I have come to this realization:
Sometimes circumstances have to fall apart in order for your life to fall together.
This is where the concept of surrendering comes in. Sometimes, we have to surrender our circumstances to God to allow Him to create beauty from our brokenness. We have to be okay with knowing we cannot fix things. Some things are not meant to be fixed, because God is transforming the old into something new.
When we cling to old ways, trying to adjust them to become compatible with our new lifestyle, we are not trusting God.
We have to have hard things happen to shape us and prepare us for what God is doing in our hearts. Having a relationship with Jesus is equivalent to going on an adventure, one that is unpredictable, exciting, and full of purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 promises us that “I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jesus loves you, and He wants you to prosper.
When we surrender ourselves: our plans, our pride, and our perception of perfect, we are able to best perceive our purpose.
Don’t try to fight everyone’s battles, including your own. Instead, hand the sword to Jesus, and stand behind His shield in perfect surrender.