Monday, April 18, 2016

Surrendering the will

On most days I don't miss Raleigh. On days that I do, I want Penn Station, Saw Mill, hazelnut ice-cream with chocolate shavings from Goodberry's, and a nice relaxing meal outside with my friends. Why is it that we are always looking to another place in time longingly? I don't long for the days to return to how they used to be because in those days, Jeremy was not with me. We were miles apart trying to make sense of the dating life. Now we are under one roof. Married. And it makes perfect sense.

Last night I laid out in the middle of our office floor with my eyes filled with tears. I was thinking of a year from now and having to leave this place where we are now. What the winter brings down, the sun of spring makes up for in the Hudson Valley. I was dreading leaving this circle of friends the Lord has so graciously provided. Jeremy reminded me of how much I didn't necessarily love this area when we first moved here. It was cold, dirty and foreign. Now it's familiar, cozy and ours. 

And then I'm reminded of this quote by H.E. Manning: Neither go back in fear and misgiving to the past, nor in anxiety and forecasting to the future, but lie quiet under His hand having no will but His. 

The anxiousness that flows from within is from my own attempt to manage my will. The selfish withholding of everything I am from the Lord. When we surrender to His will, there is more freedom than withholding ourselves. I don't know that thought has always tripped me. I've wanted to hold on to the things I've held dear, when all along He has had greater.

A baby gives up the womb and comes a part of the world. A baby gives up crawling to walk. A child goes from childhood to adulthood. We give up singleness for marriage and marriage for parenting. The thought pattern of the person who commented about this means that we are constantly surrendering one thing for another. The next thing is the greater of the two. When we surrender our own selfishly motivated will, we are relinquishing ourselves to the Lord of abundant life who gives every good and perfect gift. I don't claim to do this will. However, I have seen is grace in pushing me to surrender. It is for my best interest that I surrender to His will, as it is far greater. 

Making ourselves available to the will of God brings reward - of that I am certain.  At each change of pattern in my life, God has always been faithful. I can see that. I can tangibly remember His provision of friendships when I moved to Wake Forest, when Amanda moved back home, and when I moved to New York. God has met every need I've had in the most thoughtful of ways- every pairing, every friend has been one that I've treasured. He has always provided the jobs and the opportunities that I needed to live comfortably. And now as I'm living the life of a wife, He has provided the opportunity to serve alongside some wonderful women at our post Bible study. He fits the pieces together when we empty ourself - stand aside - and allow Him to lead.

If anyone should come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Luke 9:23

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