In my last post I wrote about how my year could be summed up in three words, the first of which was listen. The second word, which was also the second word that came out of a ‘word of the year’ type activity, was SURRENDER. Early on in the year I really had no idea what that word was going to mean, other than I always associated the word with a loss of power, often as the result of giving up. And in this light surrendering didn’t really seem like a good thing. I felt like I’d already done some significant surrendering to my life circumstances, giving in to the limitations that nerve damage in my dominant arm was placing on my ability to pursue what I was passionate about. (In late 2014 I ended up with a compressed ulnar nerve in my right arm that caused debilitating pain, until I was left with no other option than to try surgery, which happened in August 2016. That story may end up as a blog post at some point.) So the thought of doing any more surrendering was a scary thought.
But, I was wrong about the act of surrender always being about a loss of power and being a bad thing. Even though I felt like I didn’t have much left, I found myself surrendering to God, to being open to pursue what He wanted me to; I gave up my control over my life (or at least my attempt to) and gave Him the control. The result was unexpected, and showed me the true meaning behind the verse ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). When I surrendered to Him and His plans I gained a confidence that I didn’t think possible, a confidence that allowed me to go on youth camps, to volunteer, to song lead, to preach, to meet new people. I learnt that to surrender means giving up on trying to do things on my own and instead giving God control, and it’s then with that act of surrender that God’s power is able to work, and work its greatest.