Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Surrender

UPDATED BELOW!


Midway through writing my comment this morning reality struck like a lightening bolt and stopped my hands from typing. My breath caught in my throat. My heart, for only an instant, stopped beating while I came face-to-face with a truth that was requiring my honest response. How I wanted to answer the right way. How I wanted to be pleasing to God. How may head and my heart wanted to agree on this one. But it wasn’t that easy…at least not for me.

When God’s possible best contradicts my hopes and plans, surrender isn’t easy. What if “Your will be done” is a hard doing? Not for God…but the surrender required of me.

This morning as God began a journey in me through the writing of four friends, Sita, Elaine, Lysa and Tracie, He gently prepared me and moved me for a sweet yet difficult abandoning. With each step He was drawing me closer. With each word He was positioning my heart to kneel. Kneeling isn’t always easy… not willing kneeling. At least not for me. At least not both knees. I like to keep a little control.

Oh, this surrender is easy when nothing is being asked of me, but when an appointment at the hospital looms in less than 3 hours because of questionable findings at a previous exam, that’s when hard questions come and a decision must be made. Can I pray “Not my will, but Thine be done”? Can I pray it from a heart that truly means it regardless of the cost?

Why is this letting go so hard? Does God’s Word not tell me that His plans for me are to prosper me and give me a hope and a future? God’s prosperity is not for my contentment, but for my character. Character development needs pruning. Pruning hurts. His good plans are to create His good in me. I think my friend Elaine has found the answer. Not always a peaceful journey, but peace for the journey.

My heart longs to say, Lord, if a difficult travelling on this particular path is the only way I’m going to know even just one aspect of Your character, then I will walk it for You and with You. If the end result is knowing You more, then give me grace to walk with courage. May my walking be testimony of Your love, grace and mercy.

I know a pilgrim’s progress is challenging. I know the way is not always to the swift or the battle to the strong. I’ve visited the valley’s and had companions that make the way weary. Little Much Afraid too often rises up within and chooses my path.

This morning my desire to know God is trumping my desire for ease. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t want the hard way, but I want God. I’m still praying that nothing of concern will be found this afternoon. I’m believing in a God who can do more than we ask or imagine.

God has drawn my attention to the greatest gift of the season. The Giver. I don’t long for more from Him, but more of Him. Join with me in saying, “Your will be mine in 2009”.

"To the ends of the earth I will follow
There's nothing that I will not do
You alone are my reason for living
Jesus my passion is You."
Travis Cottrell


UPDATE: Just wanted to let you know that I'm just home from my tests this afternoon...and...good news!!! After what seemed like an eternity while the technician went to get the Dr. to see the ultrasound pictures, all is well. Although there are new cysts, there is nothing that is causing further alarm. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your prayers. God answered. This morning as I wrote the post above the Lord brought me to a place of peace and acceptance. I knew that whatever lay ahead, I was going to experience Him. So thankful to know Him as Deliverer today!

20 comments:

heartreflections said...

I love your thought of your will be mine in 2009! Thank you for sharing your heart and struggles.

Melinda said...

As Jan Karon so eloquently penned through the character of Father Tim (Mitford Series), "Your Will Be Done" is the prayer that never fails. I long to not just say it, but live it this year.

Believing with you for a positive outcome to your tests this day, and KNOWING that, no matter the outcome, our God will see you through.

Hugs,
Melinda

Leah said...

Joy,

I am praying for you. Please let us know how your appointment goes. It is often so hard to bend the knees to the Father's will when it seems so contrary to what we desire.

Leah

Tracy said...

Joy,
Once again, I'm humbled and challenged by your yielded example. I long to make Christ's will my own, more than ever before in the year to come.

Praying for you today and trusting the One who loves you most and has planned the outcome that will draw you nearest to Him. Please keep us posted.

Blessings,
Tracy

Catherine said...

Praying for you even now. Love you friend. Raising you before the Throne of Grace. Praising Him for calling you to Himself and for your surrender to know more of Him and in turn remind each of us of our need to daily surrender to Him.

Love you friend. xo

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Hey my friend. I'm checking to see how things went. You have been on my heart today. Love you!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've been praying ever since you sent word this morning. I can't tell you how relieved I am for the good news! Darn those cysts.

Joy, you are a steady in the storm. Don't let the enemy tell you otherwise. God has strengthened you through this and will continue to do so in days ahead when the "next" uncertain rears its questionable head.

I've lived long enough to know there almost always is a next. But it's the now that grows us for the next. Alica Chole talks about this in her book. Our response to situations that arise says little about where we're headed and more about where we've been. Let this be yet another Ebenezar for your life; how precious that the peace came before the diagnosis.

That's strength in the storm, my friend. Might try calling you later.

peace~elaine

Japhia said...

As you know, dear Joy, it takes much for me to visit the "blog" world, because it is not mine .... but, spending today with you .. praying as I sat holding your purse and coat in rooms filled with people going through similar uncertainties and "waiting rooms" in their lives, I wondered what in the world I would ever do without you! You are my dearest of dearest friends, in a connection place that even words do not need to express, but felt tenderly all the time. Your testimony of our Great God in your life is evident in your writing .... but how blessed I am to know the face-to-face reality in the simple, common moments of our days. Sometimes I lack admitting how often I long to be more like you, as you become more like Christ. I watch your life and am blown away by your steady, unwavering committment to Him. Rejoicing with you today, dear sis, for His great moments in and through you. May you continue to be His Joy .... I know you are!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is a wonderful post and not because of the good news update. As you said, that is great, but that's not the goal. The goal is not for a good report. You said it all so perfectly. He's not after contentment (or comfort) but character.

If I said I loved this or that thing you said, I'd be copying and pasting your whole piece. Everything you said is so true...so hard to come to that place of accepting and desiring His will in the midst of discomfort and discontentment. It's easy to pray for release of those things. It's hard to get past those desires and pray for more of Him.

Beautiful piece...just like the author.
Love,
Paula

Yolanda said...

Let's give GOD some praise!!!

Oh thank YOU Father, Praise Your Holy Name, YOU ARE WORTHY! You are our Defender, Our Rock, our Hope, our ALL.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Sita said...

Joy, just came back to check...so glad God gave you that 'peace' before the 'good news'...although suspect that in the life of a surrendered heart..any news He allows is 'good news' for us...it is something I'm beginning to grasp...it is a hard lesson...
the comments from other ladies here speak of your testimony...thank you...
Have a great week..
Love, Sita

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Praise the Lord you got a good report! I'm so glad!

Marilyn

Laura said...

I am praising Him with you, my new friend! So thankful for this good news. What a way to enter into a new year.

Letting go has always been hard for me...I think I may go visit the friends you mention and see if it helps.

Thank you for sharing your happy news.

Sending New Year Hugs!

Beth E. said...

Praising God for your great report! :o)

Leah said...

Joy,

I have tears in my eyes as I read your comment on my '2008 Reflections' post. Thank you for your prayer for me. I love that passage so much and it tenders my heart in ways you can't even imagine to have it prayed over me. Thank you for your frienship and support!!

Happy New Year and God bless you, friend.

Leah

Julie said...

I have SO been in your shoes.... Back in 2002 I found another cyst in my breast. As I waited for the results I was in a wrestling match internally. "What if"???
As I sat with Papa God His words came to me and before I walked in that ultra sound room... I had peace... that no matter what.... He was there....

My results too were negative....

Rejoicing with you as you have wrestled and been overcome by HIM!

Hugs,
Julie

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Joy: Praising God for your excellent health report! Oh praise the Lord for this truly good news. Rejoicing with you friend!

Love your heart for the Lord! May HE bountifully bless you and yours continually with His perfect love and truth!

On Purpose said...

Praising Him for you today Joy for all things you let shine through, commitment to Him above all circumstance! Praising Him for a good report..and praising Him that I get to see Him work in you! Love to you my Canada friend...may this New Year continue to bring you closer to your GREAT Creator!

Runner Mom said...

We simply praise His Holy name! Joy, your email with the results was such a testimony to your faith! This post is just beautiful..as are you! Many blessings to you and your family in 2009.
Love you!
Susan

Renee Swope said...

So very thankful for your great news!!! What a beautiful picture you are of a woman, with heart surrendered to our sweet Savior whom you love and trust. A God on Whom you lean instead of your own understanding. You bless me so much my friend. I am so glad God timed my visit to your blog this morning to pause and praise HIM with you. For today I feel Him calling me to kneel, on both knees, and seek His direction for this coming year with complete surrender!

Love you Joy!
Renee