Today I’m continuing to share about the five biggest lessons I learned in the last five years. As a quick recap, my husband and I made the hard but necessary decision five years ago to move to Texas, leaving the family, friends, and businesses we loved so much.
Last time, I spoke about change. Today, we’re talking about surrender.
Years ago, I thought I understood what surrender meant. After all, I grew up hearing about and singing about surrender in church. I believed I was already surrendered in life.
Deep in my heart, however, I knew the path of surrender we were about to walk years ago was different than anything we were familiar with.
We were in a season of questioning and confusion. It seemed the odds were stacked against us and little by little we had to make hard decisions about our businesses, our home, and our life in Pennsylvania. Within a year, we ultimately surrendered everything.
I still don’t have a clear answer on why we ultimately had to walk away from everything we loved dearly, but looking back I can see it was necessary. As we’ve gone through and continue our journey of surrender we find it difficult to adequately describe.
What we know is God’s path for our life was not a neatly wrapped package with a fancy bow, handed to us to enjoy. It’s more like a faith walk of daily surrender without understanding the “whys” of it all.
During that time, I’ve learned that surrender is not the same as everything being taken from you by way of a disaster or calamity.
Surrender is an act of the will – giving up what you hold dear to another. It requires something of you. Surrender is basically saying…..OK, I will give up everything I love.
Surrender will leave you speechless.
Surrender is gut-wrenching.
Surrender is an agony of soul.
Surrender is a hard task.
Surrender is looking deep within.
You can either embrace surrender or fight it. Embracing surrender gave us the courage to push through and release the things we loved so much.
One thing is certain – true surrender changes your entire future. It is life-altering.
As we were facing the realities of surrender we were asked the question by our daughter, “What is your most prized possession?”
The answer to that question was instantly clear to me. I did not waste a second to answer but I could hardly speak it out through my crying:
“My family and The Family Center of Gap.”
It was our dream to be living close to our daughters and their families. Watching our grandchildren grow up and seeing them on a daily basis brought more happiness than I had known.
Our life’s mission was to build a center where people could find hope, health, spiritual, and emotional healing. We had realized that dream in 2008 when we opened The Family Center of Gap.
These were my most prized possessions. To walk away from it all – to surrender our vision? How could we ever do that?
It was good for us to have our daughter ask that question because there was instant clarity about what was most important to us. It put everything in perspective for us and gave us the ability to surrender even though it could mean releasing everything dear to us. (Which is in fact what happened.)
Surrender has a way of bringing ultimate clarity about what matters most.
It’s a good question to ask yourself too. What is your most prized possession? What would be the hardest thing for you to surrender? Simply acknowledging what it is doesn’t mean you must surrender it, but it will help clarify what is most important. It could be:
- Your family
- Your child
- Your business
- Your vision
- Your dream
- Your talent
- Your friendship
- Your fame
- Your bank account
When you ask yourself that question, you will know what your most prized possession is.
There are stories of surrender in the scriptures that remind me how important it is to embrace surrender for a greater good – one we may not always see or understand.
Jesus surrendered His own life to the power of death. He surrendered His power, influence, reputation, ministry and all He wished for to a greater good.
Abraham surrendered his son Isaac to the power of death as well. He was asked for his most prized possession – His son. His only son. The son he loved. The son of promise. All for a greater good.
These two examples of surrender are the ultimate examples which few will ever understand. I will be quick to say this kind of surrender is more than I can imagine. However, these examples give me a very clear picture of what surrender looks like.
When you allow it, surrender can be an incredible teacher.
It will take you to the highest good.
It can help you perceive life’s greatest meaning.
It can give you the most needed service.
It can help you be conscious of Gods presence.
It can help you be deeply content and live life fully.
The “deeply content” did not happen as we made our exodus from Gap. I wish I could tell you I was a spiritual giant through it all but I was not. I was an emotional wreck but I knew my emotions were not the facts.
The only fact I knew was that I had to surrender my will. Ultimately, the truth would conquer my emotions and feelings all for a greater plan.
We now enjoy our life in Texas. We’ve discovered the beauty of surrender and peace and contentment have replaced our struggle. I’m grateful.
You may not always know why you have to surrender the things you love in life, but I can testify to the truth that embracing surrender will teach you more about life than you thought possible.
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