Life begins at conception, but how often have we heard when our lives "really" begin? Some people have heard that "life begins after college", while many singles have heard or get the impression that "life begins after marriage". I remember being a little girl of 10, and thinking that surely life begins after I turn 13, because the grass is always greener on the "teen" side of the fence when you are 10.
I'd like to throw a new (or maybe old) "life begins" statement your way. "Life begins after surrender". Over the last couple of years, I have written quite a bit about the concept of surrender. This is a truth and an experience that has been slowly and seriously changing my life, perspective and ability to live in peace, no matter what circumstances I encounter. However, today as I was doing dishes and thinking about the finger prints of God on my life, I realized that my life truly and really "began" after I surrendered my every move, breath, thought and desire to Him.
When we surrender and let go of the tight grip of our will, our desires and our timing, we in turn enter into a place that is unknown. Many of us have only known what it means to hold on with all our might that when we let go, we aren't sure what to do with ourselves. It is kind of like falling off a cliff with nothing to hold onto, but falling because you know you need to in order for someone to catch you.
This has been my life. From a little age I knew that I loved God, I knew that He gifted me with a voice to sing, the ability to confidently speak truth, a sensitive spirit towards others, a compassion and a passion and a love for people. Later on He showed me very clearly that I also have a love and an anointing for the elderly population. He also has given me a heart and a desire to be a wife and a mother.
Throughout the years, I have done a great many things. In all of those life experiences, I continued to fumble. I kept searching for my "purpose" and a way to keep the bills paid, but throughout that entire time, I kept feeling like something was missing. There were times where I thought what was missing was more education, work experience, a spouse, money and sanity. In a lot of ways, I felt like my life hadn't really "began". In my relationship with Christ, I sought Him out on this, pleading for understanding and direction. In the mean time, my dear mother would more then on one occasion say "Sarah, just be still. Be still.".
It wasn't until April of last year that I truly learned what it meant to surrender my life to His will. After losing a relationship with a man that I loved, living in an area where I knew no one, and working at a job that I hated and made it nearly impossible to meet people, I completely surrendered. I knew what my strengths, talents and desires were, but I literally had no idea as to what to do with them, and literally no money to start a new chapter of life. It was a helpless feeling. A feeling that developed into surrender, and the result of that surrender has been a peace that surpasses all understanding.
I have always struggled with the concept of being "happy". Our culture has conditioned people to think that their pursuit in life is to be happy, where as Christians God desires us to pursue holiness. However, I do know that God desires His children to be happy, but it wasn't until recently that God has shown me where that line really is.
Happiness is surrender. When we surrender, our lives literally fall into place. We stop looking for that puzzle piece, because God has had it under His thumb since the time He knit you together in your mothers womb. In serenity, there is humility, realizing that there is in no way, shape or form any possibility that you can have sanity, understanding and peace without surrendering yourself to Christ. It is admitting that apart from Him, you can do NO good thing. (John 15:5)
Friends, let go. Loosen the grip of your fingers on the familiar and let go. May you experience this peace, this freedom and this joy in the shadow of His wings.