I longed to hold onto and remain in control of my life. But the truth was, the control that I longed to hold onto was actually controlling me. It had its grip around my chest and would not let me breathe with all of the fear and panic it created inside of me. Once I learned to surrender my self to Jesus – that is when I was able to enjoy His gift of peace.
Realizing this was glorious, and then I lived happily ever after.
Oh how I wish that happily ever after was the end of the story. I wish that recognizing the need to surrender fully to the Savior, letting go of self, and embracing His peace would keep me always and forever where I needed to be in my relationship with our Creator. But here’s what I am learning:
- We are to take up our cross daily.
- We live in a world that fights for our flesh and against all that is good and right.
- Our journey will never be over – until we meet Jesus face to face.
Learning to surrender myself and my sin to Jesus was a huge breaking point. It was one Satan didn’t like. It was one I was quite inexperienced with. After all, I’d had a solid three dozen years of practice holding on very tightly to control and selfishness. Surrender? I just learned this. Peace? I like it. Now, how do I hold on to this feeling?
Ah, the feeling of peace. It’s great, isn’t it? But what if I told you that my time studying the Word has taught me that peace isn’t a feeling? I always thought it was. “I just don’t feel peace about this,” we say. “Ah, I love how peaceful it feels here.”
God has taught me that peace is not a feeling. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Peace is a gift (Psalm 29:11).
When we surrender our sin, our selfishness, our fear, our anxiety to Jesus – He replaces them with His peace. But only if we choose to accept this gift.
See, once we let go of something we’ve been holding onto for a very long time, there is a sin-sized hole in that place in our hearts. This is what I found in myself – a huge hole that had been overflowing with anxiety and fear. God was helping me to recognize this and to rid it from my life, but then what? God said, “Here, now accept this gift of peace that I’ve been longing to give you. Let my peace fill that hole.”
I then had to reach out and accept it. The Spirit fills that hole, and the fruit that bubbles forth out of that space is all that He has been longing to become in our lives.
I loved this. I found myself experiencing the beauty of the Father and the work of the Spirit in my life in ways I had never experienced. It was glorious. But only if I continued to recognize that I could never take my self back. That the hole Jesus had filled left no room for anxiety. That peace and fear can not co-exist. If I chose to grab hold of fear again, my clumsy arms could not also hold onto peace.
I began to struggle with how to juggle. How to hold onto this blessed gift of peace I was beginning to experience. How to continue to surrender myself and not take my self back.
The difficulty then turned to this: Thanks to God, I was learning, growing, and healing. But now I didn’t know who I was anymore. All my life I’ve been the Go!Go!Go! girl and the anxious person, and the drop-everything-for-friends friend. I understood that I was becoming a new person. But what exactly was that supposed to look like? And how was I supposed to act? And who was I supposed to serve? I found myself crying, “Who am I, Lord?!”