Tag Archives: Surrender to God

Surrender for My Valentine

Surrender and Valentine’s Day?,  some might ask, incredulously.  Seriously?

Well, surrender is a funny thing.

Were I to surrender myself to the wrong thing, say sexuality, or drugs or alcohol, or the false gods of materialism and wealth, it would consume me totally. Ultimately, it would change the person I am, change my goals, change my loves, change my relationships.  It would become difficult for me to maintain relationships on more than a superficial level.

In some ways, I suppose, surrender to God is similar.  Surrender to the Lord changes me.  It changes the person I am, changes my goals, my loves, and my relationships.  Yet, our surrender to the Lord will never consume us, not in the “All used up and good for nothing else way.”  It’s an amazing thing.  Rather than being consumed – used up –  we are given more.

In fact, it is only through our total giving of ourselves to the Lord that we can totally selflessly give to others.

I’ve witnessed this first hand in these past few weeks, as my husband has grieved the tragic loss of his best friend.  I knew he needed time to grieve.  I knew that, in his grief, he needed loving arms to come home to, and caring ears to listen.  He needed the security of knowing that I was there, no matter what.

For the first few days, I was completely immersed in prayer, knowing that I could not possibly give him everything he needed without much needed support.  And, for those first few days, I must say, I was pretty spot-on.

But then I began to slip a bit.  Quite frankly, that whole self-donation thing isn’t easy, especially when the person that you’re giving, and giving, and giving to is in no shape to give anything back.  And my husband wasn’t.  In that first week, all he could do was take, and take some more, and then a bit more.  And that got hard.

We had received the news Saturday afternoon, and already, by the time I was in adoration early Tuesday, I was begging Jesus to help me overcome the anger and resentment that I was beginning to feel.  I was disappointed in myself, but I knew that I never could have gotten through the previous three days without clinging to Christ, and that I would never get through the days and weeks to come without continuing to do so, humbly aware of my own inadequacies.

And that’s when it hit me: Surrender.  I had already taken it for my “One Word 2014” two weeks prior.  At the time, I didn’t know how soon it would come into play in my life, or that my surrender would be so important to others around me.

That morning in adoration, I realized that, only by my total surrender to Christ, could I give my husband the support he needed.  Only by giving myself utterly and totally – every shred, every desire, every need- over to Christ, could I allow Him to use me as His servant in support of His precious son, Ray.  Only then could I be the hands and feet of Christ – His loving arms, His caring words, His supportive presence.

Our God is pretty awesome, isn’t He?  He’s a jealous God (Ex 34:14; Deut 6:15; et al), yet His jealousy is not like that of humans.  He doesn’t attempt to keep us for Himself, like a jealous husband or boyfriend.  Instead,  when we give ourselves to Him, He essentially multiplies us, making us more for others, and giving us back to those around us in a fullness that we can never achieve on our own.

Love and marriage are all about self-donation.  And self-donation is hard.  But we can do it, when we are surrendered to Christ.

Last Saint Valentine’s Day, I was Meek but not Milquetoast.   This Saint Valentine’s Day, I’m Surrendering to the Lord.  Perhaps not the box of chocolates or lacy lingerie that my Valentine had in mind, but I think it will serve us well in the end.

And maybe I’ll throw in some chocolate and lace just to keep him happy tomorrow as well. 🙂

Belgium Chocolates

 

Surrender: A New One Word

Tuesday three weeks ago, we were snowed in and the adoration chapel was closed, leaving me to do my Tuesday scripture and prayer time in the cozy chair in the loft.  Seemingly on a whim, I decided to switch things up.  Rather than reading the daily Mass readings, and perhaps Morning Prayer from the Divine Office, I decided to read the Office of Readings.

It wasn’t long before I realized that this wasn’t just me randomly deciding to do things a bit differently.  This was a prompting by the Holy Spirit to read words that I needed to read.

The first antiphon:

“Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you.”

Surrender.

That word stood out like a beacon to me.  I let it play over and over again in my head, and with each iteration, I felt an overwhelming peace and calm.

Surrender.

Once I finally moved on from the antiphon, Psalm 37 spoke volumes to me.

“If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant you your heart’s desire.”

 

“Trust in the Lord.”  Surrender myself to him.  Surrender my need for control.  Surrender my need for things to go my way, how I think they ought to go.  Surrender my desire to be pleasing to the world.

Surrender.

Really, the list of things I need to surrender is endless, because I need to surrender it all to Him.

“Commit your life to the Lord,
trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light,
your cause like the noon-day sun.”

Surrender.

For so long, I’ve prayed, “Lord, make me yours.  Let me die to myself and live only for you.”

Surrender.  I must, in order to allow God to answer that prayer.

In that time, Tuesday morning three weeks ago, I knew that I had my One Word for 2014 wrong.

Not that intention is a bad One Word, it’s just not the One Word for me this year.

I’m actually going to keep it as a secondary word, which is totally against the whole concept of One Word, but I like to break the rules.  I do believe that I am being called to intention as well, since living with intention will be instrumental in my surrender.

Surrender took on a new meaning last week, as we mourned the loss of our friend and I strove to have the grace to be a constant loving and supportive presence for Ray as he grieved.  That’s a post for another day, but suffice to say that intention would not have helped me through that in any meaningful way.

SURRENDER. 

Three weeks in, my new “One Word” has been an unimaginable blessing, and has already brought me to new heights in my relationship with Christ. 

“Surrender yourself to God, and he will do everything for you.”

OneWord2014SURRENDER

Take, O Lord, and receive
my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me:
I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace;
with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more. Amen.

-Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola

(Thanks, Maria, for sharing that prayer.  Love it!)