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Surrender. I hear God Whispering this word to me a lot. Maybe it’s because I’m stubborn. Maybe it’s because I want what I want when I want it. But when I’m feeling anxious and uptight, when I’m wanting answers and solutions to my questions now, in my timing, I often hear Christ whispering to me, “Let it go and surrender.”

Being the humble, peace-filled soul that I am, one day in a moment of frustration I finally answered back (not too politely, I might add), “God, what does that even mean? Am I supposed to just let it go and never think about it again? I’m I supposed to do nothing directive in my life? I’m tired of hearing this! I don’t understand!”

Now God, being a patient, gracious and loving Dad, didn’t smack me down with shame, guilt, or any other negative emotion. Instead, I felt this sense of love wrap around me, almost like a parent comforting a frustrated child. He reminded me that surrender isn’t always about giving up my hopes and dreams, or about no longer caring if something does or doesn’t happen; it’s about making sure my dreams are truly God’s dreams for me, and handing over the timing of those dreams firmly into His hands. It’s also about listening for God’s guidance on what next step to take instead of running ahead in whatever way seems best to me. It especially means surrendering the outcome to Him on a day-to-day basis.

Since that pivotal moment, God has continued to instruct me in what it means to surrender in many, many ways. In relationships, surrendering and letting go hasn’t meant to not care, not invest, not trust or even not love. It doesn’t mean not being a true friend or walking away. It has meant knowing I have no power over the outcome, and allowing God to hold onto that outcome for me, and to let go of the emotional energy I try to spend to guarantee an outcome. It has meant for me to be open, to embrace life, and to be my genuine self, without working an agenda for a prescribed outcome.

At the end of the day, surrender is about trust. I hear God saying to me, “Trust is paramount to receive. Without it, I can’t work. I can always work around your mistakes, but when you choose to trust, we can bypass those and walk in joy together consistently. Aren’t you tired of the pain? I am for you! Lean into Me by journaling, reading, singing, being in nature-–whatever it takes for you to love Me and know I love you. I will protect you.”

God has protected me so many times I have lost count. Now, in those moments of frustration and doubt, when my self-worth is low and my faith is flat lining, I take out my journals. I re-read the many victories He has blessed me with. I mentally try to walk through as many of them as I can, both big and small. I remind myself of this powerful, incredible, transformative love He has for me, and I allow Him to settle my soul. And then I once again hand Him over the keys, ready to let Him do the driving in my life again.

For Further Thought: When you’re in a storm, what area of your life do you most want to take control back from God in? This week, look for ways to keep handing Him back the keys. Remember: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one that will keep you on track,” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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