I met today’s guest at the She Speaks conference last year. Brandi is a talented writer and lovely soul—inside and out. Read this gripping account of her delivery—both literally and figuratively.
You’ll find Brandi sipping coffee with her feet propped on an overflowing laundry basket. She is a golfer wannabe, shame stomper, and life-loving friend. She blogs at Faith2Shine, and is a writer and community leader with Remade Ministries. Three children and a dreamy husband fill her house with love, laughter and lots of laundry but Jesus is her heart beat. Speaking and writing about authentic faith is her dance before Him.
Sweet Smell of Surrender
I’ve been here before. This place of submersion in circumstances, this place of uncertainty, this exposed and apprehensive place of surrender. I like control, predictable outcomes, minimized risk.
Four years ago, I waddled my pregnant self into a labor and delivery ward. My husband walked beside me, but I carried all of my own things. I had it all under control. I had a color coordinated day planner tucked right next to my wooly socks. With a plan for everything from delivery, to toddler activities at home. I was not going to need anyone, there would be no vulnerability leaking out.
None. Or so I planned.
Less than twelve hours later I found myself bleeding vulnerability all over the place and sinking in the probability of death. I had absolutely no control. Doctors poked, prodded, and assessed. Nurses busied themselves with every tube and every machine button. I was overcome with unknowns, the world spinning and me powerless to stop it.
Out of the fear-filled chaos and stinging pain, I felt a soft touch unlike all the others. She gently slipped her hand into mine and didn’t let go, standing calm. While I allowed myself to notice her, I realized I needed her. She stood there with no other purpose than to hold my hand, but she held so much more than that, she held my vulnerabilities – the emotional ones I was ignoring. She watched them bleed all over the floor and make a colossal mess. I was exposed and she held on.
I whispered to her that I was scared and she whispered back, “I know. That’s why I’m here.” In her quiet steady I found strength in my moment of utter vulnerability to surrender my fears and my hopes. As I did, a new peace began transfusing my soul, one I hadn’t realized I’d been missing for decades.
I learned something in that hospital room: surrendering takes an uncomfortable level of vulnerability (<===Click to Tweet).
Today I find myself submersed in a sea of dreams and hopes that haven’t yet found wings. I’m apprehensive and uncertain, wondering if taking that leap of faith was the right thing to do. I wonder if God really wanted me to take that opportunity or if I missed it. I know the passion deep in my soul, and I know the written promises of His word, but my circumstances have not aligned and I wonder, I doubt. I want to make it happen.
Maybe you are facing an unanswered hope, or promise, or desire too. Maybe you struggle, like me, to surrender them.
In our attempt to validate the desire or hope we strive to control all of the outcomes, manage all of the steps.
But those aren’t ours to plan. They are only ours to follow.
The definition of surrender is to agree to stop fighting, hiding or resisting; to yield, to give back. To Give Back.
And Sacrifice means the act of giving up something you want to keep, offering something precious. This is a form of worship to the Lord.
Your surrender is worship.
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
Surrendering all before the Lord means exposing all of you. Your fears, your hurts, your motivations, your pride, your joy. All of them. And it will take obedience.
Sometimes we take our brokenness and want to fix it before we offer it, and we try to hold on to our accomplishments as evidence that we are worthy of His love. God is asking us to offer up both. Surrendering them to the Lord is not leaving them behind, but offering them as sacrifices of praise to Him.
My unplanned hemorrhage of vulnerability taught me to choose surrender, yielding it all in worship to the Lord.
Our brokenness and our praise hovers before His throne as a sweet fragrance of surrender.
I will accept you as a pleasant aroma. I will put My holiness on display by the way you live as all the world watches! Ezekiel 20:41b
Learning to Yield,
P.S. Get caught up on the #UnravelingGrace series here:
January: Hurts, Hope and Healing by Jennifer Watson
February: For the One Who Doubts God’s Sovereignty by Abby McDonald
March: Beating Inflating Fears by Kelly Balarie
April: When Life Unravels and You’re Barely Hanging On by Bethany Huff and Function in Chaos by Renee Griffin
May: Not that “Be Still” Thing Again! by Amy Dalke and Getting A Grip By Loosening It by Celeste Barnard
June: Choosing Stillness by Courtney Stanford and Facing Mountains of Fear by Jenni DeWitt
July: Pinning Control to the Carpet by Molly Dragert and Fears for Kids by Betsy DeCruz
August: The Gentle Rock of Grace by Jennifer Frisbie
P.P.S. Don’t miss a post, subscribe by email, at the top of my blog. Join the community as we find grace in the unraveling together.