The Day I Made the Worst Decision of My Life (Part One – The Surrender Series)
Many years ago I made the worst decision of my life.
No, it wasn’t when I chose German as my college major. I found it wonderfully helpful thirty years later when when I traveled through Germany.
My worst decision came as I sat on a vinyl covered bar stool and walked away from God.
God and I had come to an impasse.
The life I wanted for myself didn’t match the life He seemed to want for me, so I told Him the time had come for us to go our separate ways . . . for now.
I told Him I wouldn’t be gone forever.
I hadn’t stopped feeling love for Him, but He wanted me to surrender to Him, and I wanted Him to surrender to me.
Since we both refused to give in, I made the worst decision of my life.
I refused to surrender to the only one worth surrendering to — the only one who can be trusted to truly know what’s best for me.
Two years and many scars later, I found my way back to God, ready to surrender.
At least I thought I’d surrendered. I’d learn later that God still had much to teach me.
Refreshed in my new-found relationship with God, I experienced many years of happiness and inner joy. These years erased much of the pain from the wounds I’d received during my wanderings, however, a roller coaster life of victories and failures continued to characterize my life.
Before long, I found myself digging my heels in again, on the verge of another impasse with God. My heart once again had set itself on something He seemed to be withholding from me.
Constant failure began to be my norm, and my heart cried out to God, “You always get to have your way, God. Please, let me have my way and just do what I’m asking You to do.”
Ever-patient, God spoke to me through His Word and into my aching heart and clouded mind.
“No,” He said. “Your way leads to destruction because your way is paved with lies. Believe Me when I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
A friend of mine told me that she wasn’t afraid of being dead. She was only afraid of the process of dying.
In the spiritual realm, I was afraid of both.
But I couldn’t avoid either.
I was already dying inside by fighting a battle I couldn’t win — and would’ve deeply regretted winning, if I had.
Little did I know that God was actually in the process of answering the true prayer of my heart.
I’d begged for relief. He knew what I really wanted was resurrection, and resurrection only comes after death.
Finally, on a warm Spring day, I sat on the cool, soft grass in the shade of my Vitex tree and died.
I told God, “You win. I can’t fight anymore. I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want You. I don’t care about anything else that I’ve ever wanted. Just give me You. I’ll do whatever You want me to do no matter what it costs me, and I don’t even care if You never bless me again. Just give me You.”
I died that day as I’d never died before — and I didn’t even have to wait three days for my resurrection. I stood up and walked into my house more free than I’d ever felt before.
God had won the battle, and I became the victor after all.
I had finally, fully surrendered to God.
Apart from the moment I trusted Christ for my salvation, surrendering was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. (Marrying Larry was another moment of brilliance.)
Since that Spring day in my garden, I’ve learned that with God surrender is definitely surrender, but it’s also sweet because…
When we surrender to the God of Heaven,
we’re surrendering to:
• the One who is worthy. (“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” ~ Psalm 145:3),
• the One who loves us supremely, (“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children,” ~ Psalm 103:17),
• the One who controls everything that touches ours lives, (“Can anything happen without the Lord’s permission?” ~ Lamentations 3:37),
• the One who has our absolute best interest in mind, (“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.’” ~ Jeremiah 29:11),
• the One who longs to shower us with goodness, (“For the Lord is a sun and shield; He gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” ~ Psalm 84:11),
• the One who is more than able to perform all that He purposes to do, (“For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” ~ Isaiah 14:27)
When we really think about it, it shouldn’t be hard to surrender to someone like that.
What can possibly go wrong?
So then why do so few of us make the decision to hold nothing back and fully surrender to the One who is more than worthy to receive it all?
That’s a question we simply must answer.
And that’s why our next journey together into the Word of God is going to be spent looking at what God says about surrender.
In my next post, we’ll look at different reasons why we may be resistant to a life of being fully surrendered to God. You’ve already gotten a glimpse into one of my reasons. (Yes, I have more.)
Have you struggled with surrendering in the past? Are you struggling with it now?
What questions do you want us to answer as we look at surrendering?
I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me.
And then Join the Journey as we head into a life of daily, all-out, hold-nothing-back surrender to a God who’s worthy.
I’m personally working on building up frequent flier miles.
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