Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Shades of Surrender

on February 7, 2014

I distinctly recall the first time I hit my knees in a moment of absolute surrender to the Lord.  The interesting thing to me was and still is, that at the time of that authentic moment of surrender, I really had no idea what I was doing.  I didn’t realize that in that very moment, the moment I laid down my own efforts and asked the Lord to help me, there was a massive celebration in heaven!  I didn’t understand that I,  Dawn Kiraly, was the Prodigal returning home.  I did not realize that Angels were released on my behalf.  I had no clue that I was about to embark on the most amazing and wonderful adventure of my entire LIFE!!

All I knew was that my current choice of lifestyle had defeated me, and I could no longer fight on my own.  Basically, I realized that I couldn’t….He could…..so I decided to let Him!

That moment of surrender happened about 3 1/2 years ago.  That was the first of the many layers of surrender that I have experienced since.  Like any first in life, this particular moment of surrender will forever remain in my heart.  Reflecting on it now, I believe that it was in this moment that God became more than the God who “lives in the sky and sits on His throne wearing a long white robe”.  God became real.  He became personal.  And I began to seek Him with all of my heart.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I was doing it.  At this point, I still wasn’t sure who I was surrendering to.  I only knew that there was a God, and He wasn’t me.  It took some further seeking to discover the true treasure of my Faith, thus leading to my second moment of true surrender.  This time, in the spring of 2011, I was surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ.  I was asking Him to come into my life as my personal Lord and Savior.  This, too, was an amazing moment of true surrender.

You might be a little like me.  I thought that once I surrendered to the Lord, that I had surrendered to the Lord. Period. Done.  It wasn’t something that I looked at as ever having to do again.  God and I, we were “good” now.  I had surrendered.

I have a very close friend in the Faith, Nancy.  She said something to me not so long ago, that opened a whole new ballgame for me and this concept of surrender.  She said, “I have to die daily”.  At first, I didn’t really understand what she meant.  How could I die daily??  After pondering on this thought for a while, and reading the Bible about things like dying to my flesh, my selfishness, my sinful nature….did I start to understand what she meant.  She was saying that if I wanted to live life “freely”, I was going to have to make a daily decision to surrender to the Lord.

The concept of “dying daily” goes a little bit deeper in my heart and mind.  For me, to die daily means to lay it ALL down.  Everything.  All of my relationships (including my children), my job, my security, my comfort, my home, my provisions…everything.  I had to make a conscious choice to lay each of these things at the foot of His cross daily if I expected to be able to live the abundant life that Christ died for me to live!!  I found, through experience, that the tighter I held on to any of these things, the more shackled I became.

This type of daily surrender didn’t happen overnight, and I don’t do it anywhere near perfectly.  I still struggle to lay certain things down.  I like my control….ok, I actually love my control.  I love my children.  I love my fiance.  I love my job.  I love my security.  I love my comfort.  I love my home, and my provisions!  It is hard to hand over something you love….without the secure knowledge of what is going to happen to them once you do.  I have wrestled with God over and over about certain areas in my life.  There are some things that I just have a difficult time releasing.  But one thing I do know; God is Faithful.  If He calls me to it, He will enable me to do it!  Eventually, when I am done kicking and screaming like a toddler, and give way to the beauty of surrender, I am left feeling full and satisfied.  In each area that I have practiced this intentional daily act of dying to myself, I truly am able to live in freedom.

Thank the LORD, He is not done with me yet.  I am a beautiful work in progress.  He has slowly but surely been working on each area of my life.  He is such a loving and compassionate God!  He is long-suffering and full of Mercy and Grace!  He does not demand that I perfectly surrender to Him each and every day.  He works with my heart, drawing me to my knees gently, where I find myself yearning, even LONGING for a new level of surrender.  He does it little by little, in a way that feels just uncomfortable enough to make me aware of the next shade of surrender that He is coloring on the pages of my life.  I must remember…it is not something I can do on my own strength.  No….authentic heart-level surrender comes from the Lord Himself.  As I stated earlier….if He calls me to do something, He will always enable me to do it.  For it is His Power in me that allows me to do anything!!!

Each day, it is my desire to hand my will and life over to the care of Christ the minute I open my eyes.  Each day, I experience a different level of that surrender.  Thankfully, there is no such thing as perfection, aside from the Lord Himself.  That is a breath of fresh air for me.  It’s perfectly wonderful to be a work in progress.  As long as it is God doing the work!!!

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