Surrender

Surrender  What if God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you wanted Him to?  Where do you go with the struggle between His will and yours?  The struggle creates a battle in your heart that is profoundly crushing to your soul.  Something you’ve never quite felt before. Not like this. It’s exhausting. It breaks you. Where do you take that broken heart, that crushed soul?  Does it mean He isn’t real? He isn’t love? He isn’t good?  The days are often busy with responsibilities, people, tasks. Then come the nights. All those moments that would have been filled with “your person” are now empty. The laughter he would have brought. The words of encouragement he would have given. The presence, the person who had become part of you, knit together over the years of joys and sorrows lived side by side. And then you think to yourself, God could have done something about this. This is not how I would have answered my prayer. I wanted something different.  I have come to realize that I must be honest with myself and admit my true feelings about how God chose to answer our diligent prayers. The “good girl” in me is tempted to simply say, “It’s okay, God. I know you can’t answer everyone’s prayers the way they want. I’ll be okay with this. I understand.” But that wouldn’t be completely honest. It wouldn’t be authentic. It would eventually destroy my relationship with God. He wants the real me, not the “good girl” me. He wants my honesty, my authentic feelings and doubts and hurts and disappointments. But more than that — it’s for my sanity, my wholeness. If my heart isn’t completely raw and bare with my God, the One who created me, the One who lives each moment with me, the One who answers my prayers, it will destroy me. A little bit at a time, more distant from Him. Little by little dying a slow death of bitterness.  Sitting here with a broken heart filled with continual questions, I have a choice. I can turn toward bitterness. Or I can turn toward surrender. Daily surrender. My choice. My daily choice. Every morning brings the temptation to turn toward bitterness. Every day a sliver of comfort felt when I turn toward surrender, the faint hope of wholeness in my future.  I choose surrender. Because in surrender there is freedom. In surrender there is wholeness. In surrender there is hope and goodness and mercy. And eternity.  So much freedom found in allowing yourself to fully feel and embrace your true and honest feelings of grief, sorrow, hurt, anger, doubt, disappointment, Scary, yes. Terrifying. I am just now learning what those things feel like because I never knew how to let them in. They seemed ugly so I told myself I wasn’t supposed to feel them. Keep them out of your heart. Good girls don’t feel those ugly things.  Where do you go with the struggle between His will and yours? I have found that the only safe place to go is to the feet of Jesus. Kneeling before Him. Curled up on the ground in brokenness. That’s where He meets me. That’s where He heals my heart. He can’t even begin the healing if I’m clinching onto my sad heart so tight that He can’t even touch it. I take my hurting heart to the foot of the cross over and over again. Every morning in daily surrender. He meets me there with the comfort embrace that can only come from Him.  That’s where He is teaching me. At the foot of the cross. It’s going to take a while. But I trust Him. I do.  Trusting completely and learning daily,  Carol Stoecklein

Surrender

What if God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you wanted Him to?
Where do you go with the struggle between His will and yours?
The struggle creates a battle in your heart that is profoundly crushing to your soul.
Something you’ve never quite felt before. Not like this.
It’s exhausting.
It breaks you.
Where do you take that broken heart, that crushed soul?
Does it mean He isn’t real? He isn’t love? He isn’t good?

The days are often busy with responsibilities, people, tasks. Then come the nights. All those moments that would have been filled with “your person” are now empty. The laughter he would have brought. The words of encouragement he would have given. The presence, the person who had become part of you, knit together over the years of joys and sorrows lived side by side. And then you think to yourself, God could have done something about this. This is not how I would have answered my prayer. I wanted something different.

I have come to realize that I must be honest with myself and admit my true feelings about how God chose to answer our diligent prayers. The “good girl” in me is tempted to simply say, “It’s okay, God. I know you can’t answer everyone’s prayers the way they want. I’ll be okay with this. I understand.” But that wouldn’t be completely honest. It wouldn’t be authentic. It would eventually destroy my relationship with God. He wants the real me, not the “good girl” me. He wants my honesty, my authentic feelings and doubts and hurts and disappointments. But more than that — it’s for my sanity, my wholeness. If my heart isn’t completely raw and bare with my God, the One who created me, the One who lives each moment with me, the One who answers my prayers, it will destroy me. A little bit at a time, more distant from Him. Little by little dying a slow death of bitterness.

Sitting here with a broken heart filled with continual questions, I have a choice. I can turn toward bitterness. Or I can turn toward surrender. Daily surrender. My choice. My daily choice. Every morning brings the temptation to turn toward bitterness. Every day a sliver of comfort felt when I turn toward surrender, the faint hope of wholeness in my future.

I choose surrender. Because in surrender there is freedom. In surrender there is wholeness. In surrender there is hope and goodness and mercy. And eternity.

So much freedom found in allowing yourself to fully feel and embrace your true and honest feelings of grief, sorrow, hurt, anger, doubt, disappointment, Scary, yes. Terrifying. I am just now learning what those things feel like because I never knew how to let them in. They seemed ugly so I told myself I wasn’t supposed to feel them. Keep them out of your heart. Good girls don’t feel those ugly things.

Where do you go with the struggle between His will and yours? I have found that the only safe place to go is to the feet of Jesus. Kneeling before Him. Curled up on the ground in brokenness. That’s where He meets me. That’s where He heals my heart. He can’t even begin the healing if I’m clinching onto my sad heart so tight that He can’t even touch it. I take my hurting heart to the foot of the cross over and over again. Every morning in daily surrender. He meets me there with the comfort embrace that can only come from Him.

That’s where He is teaching me. At the foot of the cross. It’s going to take a while. But I trust Him. I do.

Trusting completely and learning daily,

Carol Stoecklein

God's Got This