Surrender Leaves You Speechless
My experience with surrender in the last three years has truly left me “speechless”. In December of 2013, we moved away from ALL of our familiar surroundings, family, and friends in Lancaster County, PA. In many ways, our move to Texas felt like a death of sorts. I know now that to surrender truly is letting go of your dreams and plans.
It all started when we decided it was time to think seriously about downsizing. Not much thought was given about the complexities of downsizing; we just knew we were at a point where it was necessary. At that time, we were approached by a man at our church who said that he was praying for us and, each time he would pray, he heard the word “surrender”. He said he didn’t know what it meant, but that it was big. My husband and I appreciated the prayers of someone we did not know and decided that we were already “surrendered”… after all, as a Christian, isn’t surrender a part of what we do every day?
So we began the soul-searching journey of “surrender”, and I noticed stories in the Bible that I had read since I was a kid and found a “type” of surrender in every story. The story in the Bible that had the most impact on us is the story of Abraham and Isaac, found in Genesis 22. I’d read the story many times but, this time, I saw the gut wrenching, agonizing story of a man that was human in every way, yet willing to surrender his most prized possession — his son.
It appears that God spoke and Abraham replied, “Here I am…”
He was very quick to follow God’s order. Abraham rose up early the next morning and took his son, along with his servants, on a three day journey. The story has only a few details about the journey and leaves me with a lot of questions about what he may have told his wife as he began loading up the mule. As indicated by studies, Isaac was, approximately, in his mid-thirties. I can’t help but wonder what the actual scene was like… did Isaac meekly surrender, or did he resist his father? There’s a lot about the story that we can only imagine but, in the end, we can clearly see that their faith was tested, they surrendered, and God provided.
At one point in our own “journey of surrender” our daughter asked us, “Mom and Dad, what is your most prized possession?” I knew, without hesitation, that my most prized possession was “my family” and “The Family Center of Gap.” The Family Center was what we built from the proceeds of the sale of our company Auntie Anne’s, Inc. We knew God asked us to build the center to meet the needs of the people in our community through counseling, the church, the nutritional center, the daycare, feeding programs, and many other services. To think of selling everything we owned at that moment became reality for us and we asked the question more earnestly… “God… you want EVERYTHING?”
What began as a thought to downsize became a gut-wrenching, life-changing issue of surrender. We had a public auction of all we owned, and packed up our house and my husband’s shop, and headed to Salado, Texas for the next season of our lives.
We downsized. We surrendered. And we took the leap of faith.
As we settled into our new home and surroundings, we spent a lot of time sitting at our breakfast table reading and praying. I remember saying to Jonas one morning, “Surrender leaves me speechless”. For a very long time our prayer was as simple as “God, we need you”. Each morning, as we wake up, we surrender again. It has become our journey and the “peace that passes ALL understanding” has become our daily bread.
We have more to learn about surrender, but one thing we know is that when “God speaks”, it leaves us speechless. When God speaks and we say, “Here I am,” the journey may take us to a desert place, an unfamiliar path, or a place of deep soul searching, and when we are speechless, God’s presence is “very near” and He will provide.
– Anne Beiler