Anxiety lurked beneath her beautiful makeup. Fear swam in the blue of her eyes. The what if’s of what could go wrong floated like word bubbles above her head. Yes, she had prayed. But she still couldn’t let go. I know this feeling. We pray but still worry. We trust but still wonder. We just can’t let go and let God have complete control.
A few years ago, I dreamt of writing a book. It began for a different reason and with a different focus. To learn more I went to a conference, pitched the book and grew in the process. I continued to write, encourage and connect. Going to the same conference again last weekend, I felt at peace, yet it wasn’t because of anything I did. It only came with total surrender.
Trying to follow God’s plan with this book has always taken me out of my comfort zone. I’ve worked hard and tried to learn all I could to make it happen. But I realized I can do everything and it still may never happen. The end result isn’t as important as the process itself. When I finally gave up control, I gained peace. While I had found peace this year, I also know how easily I can slip back into patterns of fear and doubt. Additionally, I recognize it on the faces of others.
It wasn’t only at the conference. Anxiety was etched in many faces and in many places last weekend. I’ve been there and still am sometimes. But I’m learning to completely give my fears to God because frankly, He is the only One who has control in this world. If I submit my worry in prayer but don’t truly surrender, it’s like I don’t trust God. I cannot offer my worries in prayer then take them up again at Amen. I either surrender them at the feet of my Savior or I don’t. Halfway surrender never works.
Surrender became my word for the conference weekend. Once again I learned, connected, pitched and grew. But surrendering also meant offering an encouraging word or prayer to those with anxious faces. Or it meant going out of my comfort zone to talk to others I didn’t know. This wasn’t always easy. I found encouragement and also discouragement. But I kept seeking His will and surrendering. In it, I found God’s love and hand in it all. Even a no from God can provide direction.
Surrendering our hopes, dreams, worries and lives at the foot of the cross is following His footprints. When we let go of control and grab onto our Redeemer, it can be uncomfortable. Yet in total surrender, peace overcomes. It’s a leap of faith, but try it and see how it makes a radical difference in your life!