Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Moments of Surrender

I was going through a bunch of emails last night that had gotten pushed further down on the list and deleting ones that I had already read or responded to (I'm a little anal about trying to keep things organized). I came across this question from one of you blog-folk: Vicky wrote, "Can I ask you... was there a "moment" of surrender for you or were there "moments?"

I kind of liked the idea of getting to write about things you all want to talk about. So here's an idea: whenever you have a specific question you want to ask or a topic you'd like to talk about, click that "Email Me" link off to the right and type "Blog Question" in the subject line. It can be something nosy, something serious, or something ridiculous -- as long as it doesn't involve Math I'll probably try to take a stab at it. You know, within reason. Now that we're getting to know each other a little better it's nice to have your input, too.

As for Vicky's question, I think it's a daily process. I have to say I think I have the advantage of growing up in a home that encouraged my faith. There was never a moment when I first learned about God... He was just always a part of my world, always a part of a discussion, always a part of the routine. When I was little, Mom would wake us up by coming in the room and singing, "Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory..." We prayed at mealtime, before going to bed, observed the rules during Lent and prayed during Advent while lighting the candles on the Advent wreath that Dad made on our fireplace mantel. No one was beating on a bible. It was just a part of our everyday life.

But I think when you're a kid, believing and trusting go hand-in-hand more easily. As I got older, believing was never a problem. Trusting was a whole other story. I knew God could do anything, but as I started to be able to question and rationalize, the question of why He would spend time on little old me was perplexing. The idea that my seemingly huge junior high problems of mean girls could be fixed by someone who wasn't in the room when they were spreading rumors seemed ludicrous.

But then I got older still and started realizing that God could fix all those things. But He doesn't fix them by sealing shut the mouth of the girl spreading lies. He fixes the problem when I ask Him to fix ME. I believe He can do anything. I think He can physically heal me, I think He can stop a tornado and halt a flood. But I think what is most powerful is when He lets natural things happen and lets people use their free will, and at the same time fixes my heart and spirit to handle them.

That's kind of what my Peace post was all about. Over the course of the last 15 years I have had progressive stages of getting sicker and developing more pain. And I had many moments of surrender to walk through them. Just when I thought I had a handle on things something else would happen and I would start learning to accept it all over again. Only each time, I didn't start over... I had a little more head start from the time before. Each time it took less time to get to the point where I could take a deep breath and say, "Ok. There is nothing that You and I together cannot handle."

Charles Caleb Colton said, "It is good to act as if. It is even better to grow to the point where it is no longer an act." That is how I feel this process has been for me. I acted as God wanted me to even when I didn't want to. There would be times when I would lay down and think... when do I get to have my nervous breakdown? When do I get to just lose it? But I knew deep down that if I trusted Him to handle it, even when I didn't feel like He was handling it, that it would be ok. And so step by step I acted as I knew I should... and now it's not an act or an effort.

When I have moments of frustration, be it with my health, with another person, with a situation... I remember that junior high lesson and stop asking God to change the other person, change the situation, change my health. I ask Him to change my heart and steady my soul... to see what He needs me to see and be who He needs me to be. Those are my moments of surrender, and I think as long as I'm breathing I'll have to keep repeating that process.


  1. That was great Sara. I really like that quote. I am going to have to write that one down.

    I love the way you share your faith and strength. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for your reflection, Sara. YOU GO, Girl! God has enlightened you and loves you sooo much. What a gift that you are happy and willing to share your life of faith and your continued journey. Keep growing!

  3. Now I have a quote that I'm going to print out and post on my bulletin board and read every day:

    "...stop asking God to change the other person, change the situation, change my health. I ask Him to change my heart and steady my soul... to see what He needs me to see and be who He needs me to be. Those are my moments of surrender, and I think as long as I'm breathing I'll have to keep repeating that process." -Sara

    Thanks for another great lesson, and a great message to start my day. You have no idea how much I needed those words this morning : )

  4. Sara, you are such an encouragement to me. This is an amazing post and I'm forwarding it on to friends and family. I think everyone should read this...

  5. Sara, What a gift you have given your readers! We all need to stop and think about how we live our lives for the glory of God and you are a beautiful example for us all. Thank you!

  6. You just know what to say to inspire me. You are truly gifted with your words and when I'm feeling down I have turned to your blog to help restore my faith. God bless you.

  7. Oh Sara, I am so honored! The minute I saw the title I had to wonder. I've been sitting here trying to summarize what to say exactly. My first thought is I feel so "lucky" to have stumbled upon your blog and so blessed to be getting to know you. As a former mental health professional you epitomize the message I tried so hard to help people understand. But I know my words can't resonate with people in the same way as yours do because I haven't been there and won't ever pretend to know what true suffering is. My struggles are of the "every day" variety and I feel so very blessed because of this and I try to live with a grateful and compassionate heart.

    You have a POWERFUL voice, an undeniable PRESENCE. I know you can write and have a story to tell and others will benefit because of it. I would now add to the Gitz list of talents... spiritual teacher. Thank you for sharing as always and for taking the risk of answering a personal question from a reader/stranger who now feels more like a friend! Vicky

  8. Thank you Sara, for reminding me that it's a process...

  9. Thank you so much Sara for your thought-provoking and amazing posts. I too have pain issues on a daily basis. My feet hurt so badly today that it was a struggle to get to the restroom and safely back to my desk at my workplace. But I did. Some days are more of a struggle than others, but I know what I need to do. And I can surrender without losing my joy in life. And I am so glad that I have found your blog. You are an inspiration.

  10. I came over from Without Wax; I'm so glad I did. Terrific post, terrific message! Blessings, Whitney

  11. As long as we're living the process continues. You teach me so much, Sara. It's almost like having a support group, to be able to learn of struggles and understand how people with similar lives deal with it all.

    Thank you for being so open and for helping me to become aware of many things.

    Love you.