Surrender

This morning I woke up with a deep sense that my heart needed to do some surrendering. I couldn’t sleep. My mind was busy processing my day, my week, my month, my new season of life. Things to think about. Decisions to make. Changes to process.

As much as I wanted to rest, I needed to run. As much as I wanted to run away, I needed to run into my sanctuary. A place of bittersweet surrender – a room without walls. A floor of hot pavement that winds through neighboring streets. Running is my physical response to my spiritual need, where I release my thoughts and plans; my concerns and commitments; my questions and answers to Jesus through the ache of my legs and the groans of my prayers.

Surrender~ when I empty my hands and my heart of all that I am carrying, all I want and need.

Why is surrender so hard? Is it because we’re afraid to let go? Yet, why do we wrestle to hold onto, and fight for, what we cannot change or control?

Today, I had to let go. My prayer of surrender sounded something like this…”God, I can’t do this thing you call my life. Why are you allowing so many things to happen all at once? I want to know when we are going to Ethiopia. Have you seen my schedule this fall Lord? Uh. Yes, I remember. I prayed about it and You arranged it this way. But a baby? A new school? A book? Speaking in far, far away places. Late night flights home. Trying to decide whether to take Aster.

It’s too much for me to figure out. I need you to give me peace. I need your wisdom and direction. Some supernatural time management would be good. Getting all the things I want to get done so I have a jump start and will be ready when Aster gets home. I need you to show me what to do first and then next.

I know God. I need to surrender. So I’m gonna stop asking You for what I need and start remembering that “You” are already all that I am asking for. You are peace. You are wisdom and direction. You are time – my Alpha and Omega-the beginning and the end. You are the orderer of my day. You are my God. You are life. You are wise. You are completely in control.

And I trust You. I surrender all of me for all of You. Please make room in my day for all that You have planned.”

Soon after, I noticed my heart felt free. By relinquishing my rights to manage my burdens and blessings, a load had been lifted. My hands had been raised. Palms open. Heart willing. Desperately needing to let go of what I cannot hold or handle on my own.

An hour after I got home, the phone rang. God answering my prayers, but not the way I hoped. I was so very glad I had spent the morning in surrender, because it prepared my heart for the way He was about to rearrange my thoughts, my emotions, my day and my perspective.

It was Linda, Kim’s mom, calling. Some of you have prayed for Kim, leaving notes and promises after I posted about her battle with breast cancer this May. It’s been two years since she was diagnosed with stage four. Kim, an adoring mom of 3, has been fighting and praying hard to win the battle.

In just a few hours I would be sitting beside my sweet friend Kim in the hospital looking into her beautiful blue eyes and wondering what she’s thinking behind that tired smile.

The doctors told them this morning that they are out of options. High levels of ammonia in Kim’s blood indicate her liver cannot function. Her spleen is inflamed and hoarding platelets, leaving her with a count of 4 as of this morning. She’s been in the hospital since Friday. Hospice was called today. They are doing their best to grant Kim’s wishes to be home by Wednesday.

After a meeting with JJ at our boys’ new school, I headed to the hospital for the day. Things change so quickly in times like these. Suddenly I didn’t care what I needed to do. As I drove to see my friend, my heart was overwhelmed with a whole new set of questions, burdens and needs.

Why God? School starts tomorrow. Her kids need her!! Why now? Michael’s so scared. He needs her. Her mom is going through so much. They all need time to plan and think this through. It’s not fair. Why are you allowing this? What do you want me to do?

Surrender.

Pour it all out again. Making room for what God has for me and for Kim right now. Remembering Who He is. Remembering the great I Am. The Alpha and Omega, Kim’s beginning and end. Surrender.

And so here I am again. With a heavy heart. Carrying a load I cannot handle or hold. Trying to let go. Trying to remember. Trying to surrender.

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If you’d like to know more about Kim, see photos of her family or leave a note for her, her husband Michael, and their kids Jessica(12), Grace (7) and Matthew(4), please visit her Caring Bridge site at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kimwhisenant Please also pray for her mom and the rest of the family.Also, I’ve asked Leah to choose a winner for my “Beyond the Shadow of Doubt” message on DVD, drawing and we’ll be annoucing that on Wednesday.
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Praying for you my dear friend, thank you for sharing your heart with so many. You are right where you are suppose to be.

    Love you to the sky and back
    Cris

  2. Anonymous says:

    Im so Sorry My Friend i am lost for words.

  3. Oh, my heart is grieved for you friend. And you. I will be praying for the family, Renee… and for you as you stand with your friend through these days.

  4. Renee: Praying for Kim and her family. My heart is aching.

    Looking unto Him,
    Sharon

    I read this verse yesterday:
    Lam. 2:19
    "…pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him…"

  5. I went to a sanctuary yesterday and gave God all the stuff I was trying to figure out. It felt like I lost 5 lbs. To hear about your friend puts things in perspective. I pray for Michael and their children. I pray Kim is not in pain. May God's Presence be felt by them as they walk this road. Bless you Renee for being a friend. B

  6. Oh, Renee. I am so sorry. I am praying for Kim and for her precious family. I am with everyone else…my heart just aches.

    And know that I am praying for you, too, my friend. I am so thankful that eventhough your heart may say to God, "Take care of my friend first, Lord. I can wait"…He is a more than enough God who can wrap up both of you and your families in His great love, provision, and protection…all at the same time. He is so amazing.

    Love to you, sweet Renee, as you surrender and as He supplies.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm soo sorry about your friend! I've been there many times and my heart aches for you.
    Have you ever heard of the Gerson Theory? I urge you to google it or to tell Linda and Kim about it… It could change everyone's lives!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dear Renee,

    Praying that the Lord encircle Kim in His loving arms, and for support and strength for her family. You are so precious to help supply Kim with what she needs at this time. Am praying that the Lord help walk you through this.
    Love, Andrea

  9. Praying for Kim and her family. And thanking God that you whispered that prayer of surrender this morning so that you could be there by her side today.

    ~Alexis

  10. Anonymous says:

    Holding Kim, her family and friends up in prayer. Kim is my age and I cannot fathom going through what she is, especially having children. She is blessed to have your friendship, Renee. Praying blessings and peace on all who know and love Kim.
    Jennifer
    p.s. Hospice are wonderful folk. I know they will get her home and make the situation as peaceful and comfortable as possible. I believe they are ministering angels on earth.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I started a Candle lighting group for Kim, if anyone wants to join in. It comforted me and reminded me to pray for another friend who is fighting cancer.
    Here is the site: http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng.
    Jennifer

  12. Praying for you, Kim and her family. I will simply post the words to the song that I am listening to right now " I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my shame, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord. I'm trading my sickness, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord…"
    God Bless

  13. Renee, so sorry for this heaviness and sadness. I am fairly new to your blog and did not know about your previous post about your friend. Her, You, And her entire family are in my prayers!

  14. Praying right now for Kim, her family, & you Renee. May the peace of our Lord cover you all. Blessing & peace Mary

  15. Beautiful post Renee. Praying for you, your family, and your sweet friend.

  16. Anonymous says:

    My heart breaks as I read this. There has been a lot of sadness lately. I have a family friend whose husband committed suicide yesterday leaaving behind two small boys and another young person who was killed in a car accident. As I read about your friend I just cried as I have been praying for her and was thinking about her the other day wondering how she was doing. As I was praying I got out my Bible and two verses caught my attention- One is **Romans 8:26- In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.**Thank you Lord for the Spirit because sometimes I don't know what to say and I just cry out to You. The other verse is** Isaiah 40:22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth.- No matter what is going on or happening, God is above it all and in Control. I needed to hear that.** I just wanted you to know that I am praying for Kim, her family and friends as well as you. I just wanted to share the verses with you.
    Angela

  17. Just checking in this morning. I am praying for Kim and her family…and for you, as I know your heart is hurting so for your friend.

    Hugs,
    K

  18. You remind me about my sanctuary. Sometimes when you have poured and poured into others, you forget about yourself. Yesterday, I needed my sanctuary. I needed God more than anything at that very moment. I needed Him to pour back into me, so that I can give back to my kids. I want to be there for them always. And as they get older and begin making there own decisions, I can only pray that we raised them right and that they will surrender to their sanctuary.

  19. My heart is with you tonight, dear friend. I lost my dear friend this summer to breast cancer; I know where you're at.

    And yes, Jesus is our Peace. May you know him fully this night…

    ~elaine

  20. Oh Renee, this just spoke to my heart this morning. I love how God penned those words through you of your sanctuary, it's the same for me. I'll be hitting the streets on Sunday for roughly two hours (half-marathon), so I will be spending time praying for Kim as well as for his plans for you. As always, I thank you for your obedience, it inspires.

  21. Oh Renee…again…just recently I asked the very same question on my blog. Why is it so hard to surrender? (http://ponderinginhispresence.blogspot.com/2009/08/struggle-of-surrender.html)

    We are not alone in our thoughts. “‘But I am afraid to surrender…’” Jeremiah 38:19

    Another matter of trust.

    Do I trust the Lord with my life?

    Surrender means relinquishing control and desiring God’s plans above my own. In surrendering I am allowing God to embrace me fully.

    If I really know God, placing my life in His hands should be easy because no-one loves me more. Maybe it's so hard, and I'm so fearful, because in any other relationship with surrender, love and trust have been accompanied with great risk and at times resulted in deep pain.

    Surrender to God is not confining, but defining. It is not debilitating but liberating.

    “We are must fully alive when we are most fully surrendered to God.”

    "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His."

    Longing to be "completely His",
    Joy
    Still praying for Kim's family and for you. So very sorry for your loss. Hugs.

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