Sweet Surrender, Sweet Relief

Yesterday my heart was longing to talk with Jesus about the many thoughts and emotions that were tumbling through my mind, creating a few knots in my heart. I felt like I needed to write it all out so I asked mom to watch Aster, and I went to a friends house. She works so it’s just me and her dog, Cody.

Today as I prepared to post on my blog the results of my biopsy, I felt the Lord nudging me to share some of what I wrote in my journal before I got the call:

Lord, what will I do if I have cancer? How will I respond? What changes will it bring? What treatment will we be facing?

You know my mind is also wondering if the results are negative, will I trust You with that? Will I believe that You answered my prayer when I begged You to reveal ANY cancer if there was some, asking that You not let the Dr. miss anything.

Father, my heart is in wobbly place – teetering between hope and fear.

Please infuse my soul with faith to believe and confidence to trust Your ways and Your timing. Jesus, I don’t want cancer. I don’t want to settle for believing that it’s my destiny just because it’s in my history. The past doesn’t define my future – You do.

You are the One Who knows the plans YOU have for me: plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. Oh, Jesus. This is my hope – that You are good. That You are loving. That You are ABLE and willing to heal and restore. To redeem and remake.

Father, I stand at the altar like Abraham, offering my body to You. I know I must lay it down before You and be willing to become a vessel that You can use for Your glory. Through whatever circumstances You allow. Like so many other times before, it’s in my suffering that I see and share in Your glory. Resurrection power only comes after life surrendered.

And isn’t that what I was made for? To lay down my life for You, like You laid down Your life for me. Jesus, make me a willing vessel to surrender and rest in YOU no matter what. Whether it be a yes or no – I pray that You will keep my heart in perfect peace because my mind is steadfast as I trust in You.

No matter what this biopsy brings, may You find me faithfully available to lay it all down before you as a sacrificial offering of PRAISE!

Then, as soon as I typed that exclamation point, my cell phone rang. I knew by the number on my caller ID it was the hospital. My heart stopped beating. And then I answered.

“How are you?” The Dr. asked.

“I’m good.” I said. (I’d just been to the altar with GOD, and I really meant it!)

“Yes, you are. You are really good, Renee – all of your results were negative. Your biopsy is benign!”

Tears filled my eyes. Thankfulness. Praise. Excitement. Peace and joy filled my heart. And then God gave me the gift of an already planned evening surrounded by family and new friends.

This morning I woke up with such a sense of RELIEF!! The weight of my world had been lifted off my shoulders. I laid in bed thanking God for all the decisions we don’t have to make now. All the plans we don’t have to rearrange and all the sadness we don’t have to endure.

Then I thought about those I know, and don’t know, who have prayed for another test or diagnosis and didn’t get results they hoped and prayed for. Those who are living with pain and wrestling with surrender.

That’s when I sensed that God wanted me to share this part of my heart’s journey, too. Yes, I am so thankful for the test results, but even more so I am forever grateful that God moved my heart to a place of trust before I knew what the answer would be. You see, if I hadn’t surrendered, I might still be afraid that cancer was still hidden that they didn’t find.

But I couldn’t get to this place of surrender on my own. I had to talk with my Father and my Savior about how I was feeling. He knew where my heart had to go first before it could get to the place of confident trust. He bent down to listen and then He took my hand and led my heart to the altar.

I don’t know why God wanted me to invite you to stand with me here in the place of sweet surrender. But I know He did, and I am praying that somehow it’s helps you trust Him more with all of your own doubts, fears, disapponitments, pain, hopes and dreams.

Happy New Year friend! The best is yet to be ~ I’m counting on it!!!

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Ps. 116:2
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. I can't begin to tell you how God has used this whole ordeal you've been through with your biopsy. I've been battling something very similar and NEEDED your words to challenge me to lay it down…no matter what! Thank you and Praise God that you were so transparent before all of us! We may never meet on earth, but your gift of writing has made such a difference in so many peoples lives. 🙂 I'm so very happy for you!!
    Love in Him,
    Debbie

  2. I love you my sweet friend. I know how hard it is to wait for the unknown. Your news had made my day…I've been praying for you. God will use this to help others.Love ya, Kesha

  3. Good news… been waiting to hear. As I shared with you on facebook, I went through a similar struggle not long ago; my response can be found with this blog post…

    http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/2009/10/sacred-preservation.html

    Rejoicing with you Renee; may God's continuing mercy, grace, and peace follow you and your family as we begin to unfold the hope of a new year of LIVING!

    peace~elaine

  4. What a wonderful, sweet answer to prayer – and a time of spiritual growth as well. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  5. Praise God!!!! I am so happy for you!!!!!!

  6. Renee this is wonderful news! Thank you for sharing your heart – it is a blessing to read about your journey. I appreciate your honesty so much! You are loved. Have a wonderful 2010, my friend. xo

  7. Praise God! So thankful for the good news you received. And how
    beautifully you wrote in your journal. Thank you for sharing that with us.

  8. Oh Renee, I'm so so SO glad to hear the good news! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

    And I loved your journal entry. Thank you for sharing. I had a similar experience when I was waiting on the amnio results when I was pregnant with my girl. . . coming to the place where we knew everything would be fine because of God's presence. Even if the results weren't so fine.

    And I appreciate the reminder as I have a "fun" gastrointestinal procedure on Tuesday!

    Love you, my friend! Big hugs to you!

  9. Utterly speechless. A MOST beautiful post!!!

  10. New year, new you…there's no way you could be the same gal you were a week ago.

    Happy New Year has a whole new meaning this year…hope it's the best ever!

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thank you for sharing your good news with us. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  12. Thank you for sharing your process as well as your results. The process is rich and the results wonderful.

    So happy!!! Love you friend~!

  13. I am so grateful to God for the news of your biopsy. Renee you have helped me tremendously in sharing your story with all of us. Each day before I begin my work I go to the Proverbs 31 web site and check to see how all of you are. you have blessed me in ways that you will never know by sharing you story. I have been away from the Lord for a few years due to alot of personal chaos and you have brought me back. Even though you were the one going through this journey of unknown you showed me you trust in the Lord and that has blessed in ways that I can even tell you. I have recommitted my life this New Years Day and in many ways it is thanks to you for your sharing, gentleness, extreme unwaivering faith and the love that you give you each of us each day even though your own life has been on a roller coaster. Thank you for blessing me and thank you for all that you do each day for all of us women. God Bless you with a peaceful, healthy prosperous and richly blessed New year. I love you Renee,.

  14. Renee, I am just crying tears of joy and happiness for you and your family!! Thank you so much for sharing this sweet, intimate journey of fear and faith with us. I have been checking your blog all week to see if you have heard…I'm so glad you did. What perfect timing that was. A happy new year, indeed!

  15. Renee,
    GREAT NEWS! I know your eyes are on the Lord no matter what happens in life. I'm thankful you are not facing personal health challenges. I pray your race in 2010 is filled with adventure and daily sightings of the Lord's Presence in it. Thank you Lord for the blessing of Renee. May she hear your voice and walk confidently every day knowing you are ordering her steps. B

  16. PRAISE THE LORD!

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us, Renee. It truly is a beautiful and precious thing to see.

  17. Janet in Arizona says:

    This is wonderful news and a great way to start 2010! Blessings to you and your family!

  18. Praise the Lord!

  19. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It was beautiful of how just laying it at Jesus' feet can help us climb the mountain. Your honesty is a treasure. I am praising the Lord your results came back negative. May your new year be blessed with His joy and peace.

  20. Oh girl, I dont even know what to say! I'm SOOOOO thankful. Just so thankful – that your test results came back so good! Wow!

    I'm also thankful for you and your blog. Really, I am 🙂

    Enjoy the new year! I'm excited about 2010!

    Hugs,
    Kate 🙂

  21. Anonymous says:

    It is certainly interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  23. Beautiful prayers come from beautiful hearts.

    I'm happy for you that the Lord's plan doesn't include cancer at this time.

    Jean
    http://www.jeanmatthewhall.com

  24. Great Word Renee! God is good isn't He. I am looking forward to seeing Him at work in your life and ministry next year! It will be a crazy ride huh?!!
    xoxo
    pat

  25. Anonymous says:

    Such good news and such a good lesson on surrendering all to God. My sister has been diagnosed with ocular melanoma and is having surgery this coming Friday. I am trying to surrender this one to God. I lost another sister to liver failure two years ago and can't even imagine going through that again. You have given me hope and I know that God is in control whatever happens.

  26. Wow, now that is amazing 😉

    My youth pastor said he has something on his forehead and doesn't know if it's skin cancer or something else. Please pray for him. he said he'll get the results in like two weeks.

  27. Renee,
    Those that love you are experiencing sweet relief, too!

    I hope that you enjoyed The Blind Side. I thought so often of my friends who have adopted children of their hearts who don't resembled the children of their bodies.:) Your giving spirit inspires me!

    Love you!
    Amy

  28. Renee! I am so happy for you. I am thankful that God gave you this answer and that He lead you on the journey He did! He loves us so much! Blessings, Kelly

  29. Praise God for the good results! I have been away for the holiday break and have not read emails so I came be back to all of your posts. I am sorry I didn't know about it to pray for you but now I can pray for the good news you received. : )

    Nanci

  30. Serenity Now! says:

    YAY!! What wonderful news!

  31. Anonymous says:

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our God is AWESOME! Thank you for all you do, you have definitely pulled me up when I was way down… you have no idea just how much God has used you! You are here for a purpose and God isn’t done with you yet!!!!!!!!!!!

    Loretta A. Gibbs

  32. Anonymous says:

    TO GOD BE THE GLORY IN JESUS NAME!!!

    Gloria Jones

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dear Renee
    Praise God!
    Thank you for inviting me to stand with you in the place of sweet surrender. The tears of joy
    are rolling down my cheeks. I have learned to be stronger through your journey, I have learned to really trust My Lord more.
    Thank you, thank you.

    Your Friend
    Winsome
    (Jamaica W.I.)

  34. Renee, this is so beautiful. I have written a very similar surrender in the past. It wasn't easy…the letting go…the abandoning of the road I wanted to travel for the one the Lord may have prepared. God stood at the point of crossroads and held the outcome back as I wrestled with which way my heart was going to go. I too, through many tears, chose His path, whatever that would involve, knowing He would never leave me or forsake me on the journey. Before the results came, I too struggled with believing their accuracy, wondering if the Dr's might miss something. I had to remind myself that I had prayed that if anything at all needed to be found, that the tests would reveal and detect.

    I have been rejoicing with you Renee. I pray that as I surrender to each uncertainty and each trial, that the Lord is having His way in me.

    Love ya my friend,
    Joy

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