On Vulnerability and Surrendering the Hard Things

Sometimes I walk wide circles around writing here because it forces me to be vulnerable. I view writing as an art form and I think that as an artist creates, they pour something of themselves into their work. Each piece of art is a tiny slice of the soul that has been scraped back and offered to allow others to engage in something deeper. I have scraps of half-finished thoughts scrawled all over the place, sandwiched in my school notes or on scraps of paper in my Bible, that have never been developed because they pull me open too far and it is my natural human instinct to avoid that place at all costs.

I’ll share something with you now, though, because I think it is important. This past month has been an endurance test for me. It has been a rich time of growth and learning and deepening many valuable relationships in my life, but it has also been weighted by heavy questions, inner wrestling and many sharp disappointments. This is one of the “scraps” I wrote when I was in the centre of it all. The rug of certainty had been pulled out from under me multiple times and I was re-evaluating my future plans for writing, school, and where I thought God wanted me to be. I wrote this in the middle of it all in an attempt to ground myself and find the thread of truth running through all of my chaos:

Some of my dreams have been shaken up, splayed, and washed out lately. Intensity has rolled over me heavily in the past few weeks, extracting everything strong within me and replacing it with a humbled sense of what now? I’m starting to realize again, in very real ways, that nothing is certain except God. My sense of control is being wrenched from my tightly closed fists along with my dreams and I’m at the point of full surrender.

I’m wondering if I’ve been trying to package God into my goals; looking ahead with starry ambition and good intentions and trying to fit God in, justifying it all because it seems so good. I built my dreams with God alongside, but now they are breaking apart and God is rebuilding it all. I think He’s reclaiming His rightful position in my life. He isn’t only at the centre of my dreams but within, permeating, encompassing them entirely. I am reduced, yet elevated, to a vessel for His use. He has a larger vision for me than I have for myself.

Sometimes I have to die to my dreams before they can be realized. I must pray the prayer of relinquishment and sincerely surrender my own wishes in order to keep God and His plan as my focus. As much as I want my own dreams to be realized, I want to live for God above all else because I know that He is good, and His plans for me are better than anything I could come up with.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

*Side note: This doesn’t happen in every situation of surrender, but almost all of my dreams and goals that were obscured or taken away from me for a short time were given back shortly after I released my control of them to God. In my situation, this has been a continuing pattern of God showing his power to me through seemingly impossible situations and leading me to a deeper trust in Him through a long process of healing. Sometimes what you surrender will be given back to you when the time is right, but some dreams will not be returned. When this happens, it is so important to be praying, listening, and paying attention to God and where He may be directing you. Keep an open mind and heart to the vision God has for you. He is good.

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