I Surrender

I was 20 years young.  I don’t remember the date or the time but I remember the pain just like it was yesterday.  I was lying in bed, ears full of tears as they streamed down my face.  My thoughts raced, “where is he?” “why hasn’t he returned any of my phone calls?” “I hope he’s okay.”  The “he” I’m referring to, was my boyfriend of nearly five years.  He and I were actually living together at the time but he hadn’t been home, nor had I heard from him, in days.  I was calling his phone like a crazy person, leaving messages, but all of my calls went unanswered.  I didn’t know what to do.  Then the phone rang.  I looked and saw his name flash across my cell phone screen.  Hurriedly, I answered the phone.  He said he had been staying at a friend’s home and that he wasn’t returning my calls because he “didn’t feel like being bothered with [me].”  He then proceeded to tell me he didn’t know when he was coming home and hung up the phone…and I cried…

“As we get older, we look for a man who will bestow on us a sense of beauty and belonging, a sense of being chosen and wanted…” (Renee Swope, A Confident Heart) 

I know a lot of people who read this will think I was pretty pathetic…and I was…but before I continue with my story, allow me to give you a little background…As I stated previously, my boyfriend and I had been together for nearly five years (two of which we lived together).  We met my junior year in high school and, although our relationship was full of ups and downs, we had remained pretty much inseparable since that time.  Throughout my adolescence I struggled with low self-esteem and self-worth issues…and you may as well go ahead and add middle child syndrome and Daddy issues to the list!  You see, “he” was the first person who ever made me feel beautiful…“he” was the first man who ever told me he loved me…“he” was my best friend…and, for the longest time, I thought “he” was my soul mate.  However, as time went on, my love story turned into a nightmare and, what was once an enchanting romance, became toxic and tumultuous.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much a realist and I knew my relationship was dying at least two years before it officially ended.  I also knew “he” and I were not compatible anymore.  He was not a bad person, by any means, but he most certainly was not the person I was supposed to end up with…this much I knew.  So, I didn’t stay with him for so many years because I was head over heels in love…I stayed because “he” was all I knew.  Our relationship had become my identity…my false God…and without it I had nothing…I was nothing.  So I stayed…even when the love began to dissipate…because to lose “he” meant to lose “us”…and to lose “us” meant I went back to being that depressed adolescent girl…with no value…curled up in the fetal position, on my canopy bed, in my one bedroom apartment…alone…

“Our hearts leak and we will always end up empty when we find our worth in anything but who we are in Christ.” (Renee Swope, A Confident Heart) 

So I cried…I cried until silent streams of tears turned into gut-wrenching sobs…I cried until it hurt…until dying began to look a lot more attractive then living.  Once I came to the realization I had hit rock bottom, I dropped down to my knees (literally), threw my hands up and cried out to God.  That following Sunday I went to church (something I hadn’t done in years) and I’ll never forget, the theme of the sermon that day was “Get up…Arise!!!”  It was as if the Lord had hand-picked the message just for me!  So, that’s just what I did…I got up….took up my mat (John 5:6-9)…and walked straight into the arms of the Lord!!!

…And then I lived happily ever after…

…Or at least I wish this was how it happened.  In her book “A Confident Heart” author Renee Swope talks about how women desire unfailing love…love that doesn’t fail even when we do…love we can never lose.  This type of love is very much what I longed for.  Yet, even after I surrendered my heart to Christ, I failed to realize Christ was the only source where I could receive this unfailing love.  So, I found myself walking with God, for years, with doubt on one shoulder and faith on the other.  You see, I had no doubt in my mind that God loved me, with an unconditional love.  However, I seriously doubted this love would be enough to fill the gaping holes in my heart.  So, I continued to search the world for something or someone that could “fill my cup.”  I was with…and I was without.  My relentless search for unfailing love led me to one toxic relationship after another until, like the Samaritan woman, I found myself right back at the well…with an empty cup and a scattered heart…Oh, but the goodness of the Lord!!!  Even in my disobedience…even in my rebellion…the Lord didn’t turn his back on me!  In fact, I could hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Return to me and I will return to you,” (Zechariah 1:3)….and when I returned to the well, Jesus was waiting there with open arms…waiting to heal my broken heart and to fill my cup with his all-conquering, everlasting, unfailing love!  Who wouldn’t serve a God like that?!!!!

I Surrender!!!

 

#PerfectLove

So, about six years ago, I found myself in a state of complete isolation, following the death of my grandmother.  It was one of the hardest times of my life…and also one of the loneliest.  I guess it’s true what they say, “You never know God is all you need, until God is all you have.”  It was during that time I realized God has been the only consistency in my life…the only one on whom I can depend.  I found myself in awe of God’s unfailing love for me…so much so that I was inspired to write a poem…well, actually it was more like a love letter to Jesus…which I so appropriately titled “Perfect Love!!!”  It blesses me to be able to share this truth with others…there is no greater love! 

As I lay here in solitude, I’m pondering your love for me…

It’s as if the clouds have parted and now everything is becoming clear to me/ through all of my trials and tribulations it is you that has been here for me…

Sheltering me and protecting me/ when it seemed that everyone else had neglected me…

It was you who was right there…you let me know it was alright and that on you I could cast my cares…

…because it is you who cares for me…

So many nights I remember laying awake, being so sad and lonely/ and then I’d feel your loving arms begin to wrap around me…

…I could hear the wind whispering/ and it let me know that you were listening…

And that you were still here for me/ and that when my heart is troubled it is you who will always be near to me…

You’ve healed every heartache and you’ve dried every tear/ and though so many times I’ve fallen short, you’ve still been right here…

Sometimes I don’t understand your love for me/ when so many times I’ve proven myself to be unworthy…

So many times I’ve searched the world for a love that I thought could match you/ and when I thought I found what I was looking for, so quick was I to turn my back to you/ and once my heart was broken then I’d quickly return right back to you…

But you never turned me away/ you’re still as faithful to me today as you were on yesterday…

Even though I haven’t always been faithful to you…I’ve had a lot of counterfeit love but yours has always been the truth…

…Your love was the key that loosed the chains that kept me bound…

You set me free/ let me know that your love is real and that it’s all I’ll ever need/ the love of man fails in comparison; your love is unmatchable indeed…

People ask me how I could love someone, so much, whose face I cannot see/ however my question is how is it that you could still love me/ when over and over I’ve proven myself to be unworthy/ so many times I have sinned and fallen short of your glory…

Yet, nothing can compare to the love that you have shown/ from the day that I was born to today when I am grown…

Times, seasons, people…all those things they may have changed/ but your love it is consistent, it has always remained the same…

Patient and kind, faithful and true…I found out what real love was the day I fell in love with you/ I know now no one could ever love me quite like you do…

Casting out all of my fears, you took me just as I was/ mended all that was broken and made me perfect in love… 

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”- Psalm 73:25-26

Divine 29

October 6, 2013…this date marks a very special time in my life…my 29th birthday!!!  I know many people will read this and wonder “what’s so special about turning 29…it’s not even a milestone!”  However, for me, it’s just that…Allow me to elaborate…

You see, I have entered every year of my twenties in a state of complete and utter brokenness…and every year I have had the same resolution “nothing broken, nothing broken, nothing broken…”  For the first part of the year, I’ll do okay…I’ll be reading the Word, focused on the Lord and that goal of “nothing broken” doesn’t seem so out of reach…but then, somewhere along the way, life happens…and I find myself right back at start!  So, how do I end up here?  What makes this year so different?  Well, a couple of months before my 29th birthday, life dealt me another painful blow…and I found myself at a crossroads…I could either continue on my same path, which has led to nothing more than brokenness, rejection and heartache…or I could choose a new path…a path less traveled…the path that leads to wholeness and healing.  If you’re guessing I chose the second path…then you, my friend, have guessed correctly!!!

So, October 6, 2013, was not just my 29th birthday…it also marked the beginning of a new life for me…a fresh start…a new season.  This year, I have resolved in my heart to place my total confidence in God and his goal for my life! I’ve surrendered my broken pieces to Him and I trust he will put me back together, better than I’ve ever been before!  What’s more than that, I’m trusting him to bring me peace as I travel down this rocky road, on my journey to wholeness and healing.  I’m so excited and I believe this is going to be a very special year…a year unlike any other…a year of breakthrough…a year of wonder…Hence, the birth of my blog:-)

“Leave the broken, irreversible past in God’s hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.” Oswald Chambers