I am finding freedom and peace in surrender. That is a hard-earned statement. I am a detailed, goal-setting planner from way back who liked (as much as it was possible) to be in control, to be in the driver’s seat in every area of my life.
After much struggle, I have finally come to a place of total surrender to God. Surrender of myself and my plans, my children, my job and my house. They are not mine to begin with and I lost sight of that somewhere along the way. All that I am (my time, my talents, my uniqueness) and all that I have (a husband, children, a home) are gifts from God to be used for his purposes and for his glory.
The book Anything by Jennie Allen was a game-changer for me when I read it in March. It challenged me to a live a life framed by the following prayer, “I will do anything God. Anything - to serve you, to draw closer to you, to glorify you, to be used by you.”
60 days after praying that prayer I was retired from an 18-year career. 60 days after that a career opportunity opened for my husband in another city after 3 years of no new job opportunities in the company where he is currently employed. Some might call it coincidence. I call it the Almighty God at work in our lives.
Whether my husband interviews and gets the job or not, whether we move or stay here is not the point anymore. I think shining a light on an attachment too deep to my house and my things is more God’s purpose. As is pointing out the deep desire I have to stay in my comfort zone at all costs. Comfort does not give God much room to work and can keep me from all that God has planned for me.
I consider some of these realizations a God-given gift of aging. They are also a by-product of being an empty-nester with more time on my hands to slow down, read and reflect. At the ripe old age of 50 I have realized with startling clarity how much time I have wasted chasing after things that carry no weight for eternity – the approval of others, increased income, a beautiful home.
As I clean out the house we have lived in for 23 years I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff we have accumulated. Stuff we no longer use but which will now be a blessing to others. The oppressive weight of our stuff is lifting week by week as I deliver carloads of items to a local charity. What a burden these things are to us and when we are gone, to our children. What an incredible relief there is in letting go – of our stuff, my plans and my control!
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you. Forgive me Father for wrong priorities and wasted years. Thank you for opening my eyes Lord. Less of me and more of you is my heart’s cry (John 3:30). Amen