by Sarah Conaway
Do you know what it means to truly surrender? It brings to mind lyrics from one of my favorite hymns as a child:
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior
I surrender all
I didn’t understand until later in life what it meant to truly surrender. Surrendering to God is difficult because it means relinquishing control. It means realizing that Someone greater than ourselves is sovereign.
In 2005 I almost lost my life to a catastrophic health event. I was given a 50% chance of living. Only God knew the outcome. The only reason I am here today to write this is because of God.
I remember sitting in my hospital bed and being hooked up to various machines. I was in intense pain and having liters of fluid drained from my abdomen. I remember the look of desperation on my parents’ faces and the doctors’ bewilderment at my deteriorating condition. They decided to transfer me to the Medical College of Virginia. I knew it wasn’t good.
Tears began flowing down my cheeks and I looked up to God and verbally said “I surrender.”
Even though I had sung those words in my youth, I had no idea what they meant until then. On that day, in my mid-20s, I understood. I truly surrendered.
A particular passage from Psalm revealed itself to me during this time. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV). It wasn’t easy to surrender control and let the great “I Am” fill my soul. Fill my heart. Fill my “bucket” as my 5 year old daughter recently taught me.
My life hasn’t been the same since that event. I no longer measure my self-worth by the way others perceive me. I no longer live for myself. I live for God. I can’t tell you that I don’t struggle with relinquishing control, because I do. However, I always think back to that time in the hospital and it puts things into perspective. It allows me to “be still” and “surrender.”
Let’s talk about this: What keeps you from surrendering? Is there one area in your life that you’re holding on to? Make a list and pray about it daily. I do. Share the list with your spouse, life group, or friends, if you feel called to do so. I do. God is waiting for you to say, “I surrender Lord,” and He will give you the strength to do so.
Surrender, releasing our grip on how we think things should go, can be terrifying. But this becomes easier when we recognize we are deeply loved. That God is working all things out for our good and His glory. That He is for us. There is such freedom, peace, and joy in living fully loved! Join us for our next conference hosted by Bethany Lutheran Church in Elkhorn to learn how you can take tangible steps toward living and resting in Christ’s unyielding love for you, because when we live fully loved, everything changes. We go from fear to faith, from stress to peace, and from striving to surrender.
We also invite you to our Bold and Brave Conference. Join us on February 10th, 2018 at St. Paul’s United Methodistin Papillion, NE or on June 24th, 2018 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian in Lincoln, NE to learn how, through Christ, you can throw off the shackles of faith and live as the bold, brave, woman of impact Christ created you to be! Find out more
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