Friday, April 26, 2013

Confession #45 - Surrender All????

When I first "officially" got saved, I attended a Southern Baptist Church and one of the staple hymns was "I Surrender All"  The chorus goes, "I surrender all, I surrender all.  All to thee my Blessed Savior I surrender all.  Click here to hear the lyrics.  I've found myself humming the song as of late and I think it's God reminding me that I need to surrender all my problems to Him.

Now if you're a faithful reader of my blog you know that on more than one occasion I've labeled myself a control freak.  I'm not so much a "cast your care" (1 Peter 5:7) kind of gal.  I'm more like, let me take matters into my hands until I screw things up so bad I have no other choice than to rely on the God of the Universe to straighten them out.  Funny thing is even though I know I don't have any control, I still believe that I can control things.  The bible says, "apart from me (Jesus) you cannot do anything." John 15:5.  Since everything the Bible says is true then that means I don't have control over anything, period.  On my own, I'm likely to fail.

For instance, I can say things like well if I just don't eat carbs I'll loose weight, and yes I may for a while but if I don't let God take control those changes aren't going to last.  I can say well if I just volunteer to lead the group then I can make things go my way, but if I'm not following God's plan for the group then my way will flop.  I can say well if I just find the right motivation my daughter's behavior will change but if I'm not trusting her behavior to God change will be short lived. 

We can't control anything, most of all our husbands, family, children, friends, jobs, economic situations, eating, ect... But by letting God in on it we can expect real lasting and promising change (in God's timing of course).  God is in control of the entire universe so what makes us think for even a second that we can make things happen apart from Him?


 For the last few years my biggest struggle with surrender has been with my daughter's behavior issues.  She has ADHD.  She also has a seizure disorder, a result of being a carrier of Fragile X Syndrome, which causes her to have broken sleep patterns leading further to the behavior issues.  Additionally she had a period in the first two years of her life before we had custody where she was exposed to abuse.  To add to that she struggles with abandonment issues because of the experience with her bio mom.  All of the above coupled with having a very strong willed nature has made for major challenges with my daughter's ability to behave in school and to socialize positively with other children.  This has been a tremendous source of frustration for myself and my husband.  We have tried almost everything, believe me only to have been met with roadblocks from the schools, received judgements from other parents about how I'm raising my daughter, and even some parents who have told their children not to associate with my daughter (in front of my child!)  I've cried so many nights, fought severely with my husband and nearly have ruined a relationship with some family members over it.  Nothing seems to work....
Then one night I found myself lying in bed crying out to God asking, no begging, Him to take it. God's word says in Matthew 11:28-30 , “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light".  Remembering His words gave me the desire to take God up on His amazing offer and I finally said, God, Lexi is yours these behavior issues are now yours. I'm gonna take your burden which is simply to love her and I'm gonna let you deal with the rest. Send us help.

And help came.  Now things are beginning to change.  I'm not going to say that's it's all gone away miraculously or that it hasn't required a lot of work but by letting God guide my steps and allowing Him to put the people in place to help us, the situation has been looking up.  After praying, we were able to get the help of an advocate who is arranging a behavior modification for us in the school and working with us to help better socialize Lexi.  As well as providing us the resources we need to parent her in ways that she needs.  I can tell you that this has brought so much peace to my life.

By this one small example I'm now coming to the realization that I can give Him all the rest of my burdens, and He will not only take it, but He will happily take my junk and return to me peace and help.  Phil 4:6-7 reminds us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  The peace of God which transcends (which means, to outdo or exceed in excellence, elevation, extent, surpass; excels) all understanding.  It's a bigger peace than we can even imagine.  You can't get it anywhere else but from God and you can't get it any other way but by prayer.

What are you trying to control today?  What do you need to surrender?  Let me encourage you to surrender it ALL.  Let go and Let God.  Remembering that this is the God of the entire universe who will take care of it.  He will never disappoint you.  "So do not fear for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you Lord for teaching me to surrender to you all my cares, and my burdens.  Lord I know it isn't always easy for control freaks like myself but above all I know that I can trust you because you prove to me everyday that I can.  Lord I pray from my fellow control freaks reading this post that whatever they are struggling with no at this very moment they would utterly and completely surrender it all to you Dear Lord.  That they would be granted the peace that transcends all understanding and you would be their strength in their time of need.  In Jesus' precious name I pray AMEN.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Confession #44 - Just What Do You Say?

A very dear friend of mine is going through a painful divorce and is struggling with finding strength to carry on.  A cousin's 14 year old daughter has been suffering through painful chemo treatments.  A very close personal friend has recently discovered she has breast cancer.  And there are so many more I know that are hurting.  The question is just what do you say?

Dear Sisters I have wrestled with knowing just what to say to those who are hurting.  I've tossed and turned trying to think of a better response than simply, I'll pray for you.  Offering up the I'm praying for you response is good but without follow-up it's an empty promise that so many of us tend to make.  I've made a committment that I will pray.  Right there and then, either over the phone, through a text or email or in person.  Because I believe that we need not offer that statement alone, we need to pray, with them, for them and every time they cross our minds. 

Their hurts have become my hurts, their sorrows are my sorrows, and their struggles are my struggles.  I love these people.  Not just because they are my friends or family, or sisters-in-Christ, but because God has commissioned me to love them.  I truly Love them, and if I am to show that love they need to hear my heart cry out to God on their behalf. 

I encourage you that as these hurting people cross your mind, send them a quick email, text or facebook message with your sincere prayer for them.  Let them know that you are really praying and that you really do care. 

Sisters love is more than words it's an action and most time it seems that the only thing we can do for those that are hurting is to pray.  But make no mistake prayer is a powerful weapon against this evil dark world, against disease, against Satan's influence.  It is a weapon to be used mightily as we are warriors for Christ.  Next time your asked or prompted to pray, pick up this weapon and use it to destroy the foes of our faith.  Use it to demolish Satan's attacked, use it to build each other up and use it to annihilate disease and sickness. (Click here for all the verses on the power of prayer)

Friends you can become a powerful prayer warrior.  Simply pray by the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus for God to _________.  And more than anything that His good, perfect, and pleasing will be accomplished overall.

Mark 24:11 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Dear Heavenly Father I pray for my sisters tonight who's desire it is to lift up their hurting friends, family and acquaintances to you.  Lord I pray that they can understand that indeed they can be powerful warriors for the faith through even the most simple heartfelt prayer.  I pray that they don't worry about fumbling with words but to just allow you to give them the peace to know that you understand their hearts and what their desire is.  I pray that you would give them the resolve to not just say, "I'll pray for you", but to actually do it right away demonstrating that they really are women of their words.  Thank you that you have given me a heart for others that you have asked me to love beyond measure and bring to action my heartfelt sorrows for them through the amazing and awesome power of prayer.  May all the glory go to you Dear Lord.  In Jesus' name I pray.  AMEN