I don't usually post this sort of thing. This goes way beyond my comfort zone. I like to be funny, to make people laugh. I like to be upbeat and be that someone who can lift someone up when they are down. I am usually terrible in expressing my feelings, so I just don't.
God has shown his face to me quite a bit here lately though and I just cannot not write about it. (English majors, back off. I'm doing my best here ;)
I've always been one of these people who thinks that if you've had a hard life or something terrible has happened in your past, just get over it. Start today with yourself and make it different. Don't be a victim. That's what I thought I was doing. I was over it. I was strong, independent. I could take care of myself and I didn't need anyone.
I became a Christian when I was a teenager during a rough period of my life. I went to church regularly with a friend and became reliant on God to change the things that were happening in my life. It wasn't in His plan to do so. I realize now that this is where I turned my back on Him. In my mind I hadn't done so but this is when I became self-reliant. I had to take care of me. I had to be in control.
Fast forward to the present and I am still fighting to keep my life in my control. This became apparent to me for the first time last year when we were on our women's retreat with the church.
Lisa spoke of Moses and about God asking him what was in his hand when He knew all along. Lisa asked us what we were holding and was it affecting our lives? God knows what it is, He just wants us to let go of it. (It's also here if you would like to read her Bible study)
I still think of that to this day, yet my hand is clenched ever so tightly. If He asked me what He asked Moses I would probably go as far as hiding it behind my back and answering, "Nothing, Lord. There is nothing there. I'm fine."
And it's not that I haven't tried giving it to Him, it's just the letting go part that I'm having trouble with. Will He really make things ok? My 13 year old self is telling me no.
Recently I have been having some problems with my almost-10-going-on-17 daughter. It has made me look at myself to see if I am to blame. That thing in my hand, the thing that was nothing. Apparently it is affecting the ones I love most. I have come to realize I am angry. I'm angry with my mother, with myself, Madeline's father, and maybe even God. That's scary to me to admit it. I often wonder though why, why didn't He answer my prayers? Why didn't He make it better?
I found myself walking on my route the other day and the chorus of "I surrender all" began to play in my head. I felt that He was telling me that before I can let Him be first in my life I had to surrender it all to Him. I wasn't sure how, (because still in my mind this is my life to control, right?) but I prayed that He would help me.
He showed up to me again last night as I was blogging. I'm not sure how I even found this blog but I do know that it wasn't an accident. I found Bring the Rain, the story of Angie and Todd Smith's daughter Audrey Caroline. (He sings with Selah) I sat here for hours reading and crying over the loss of their child. I knew it was God who sent me this blog when I came upon one of her posts that was titled I surrender all. Angie has an audio link of Todd singing this song which is to be on their next album. (To hear it you will first have to pause the song that starts when you first log on to her blog. Scroll down and on the left hand side click the pause button)
I hope if you don't know their story that you would start from the beginning and read through their journey. It was a blessing to read and has changed my outlook on trusting God and knowing that He will be there right beside me no matter what the road looks like ahead or even behind me. Angie said that even though they prayed for a miracle, they had a Plan B in case it wasn't in God's will to save her. She said though that there never was a Plan B. God had a plan all along. (Audrey's life has ministered to thousands!)
Sorry this was so long. Maybe I need a journal :)) Please pray for me that I will wash my hands of this "thing" and surrender it all to God. Pray that I will do away with my plans and let them be His plans for my life.