“I surrender all, I surrender all. All to you, my precious Savior, I surrender all.”
If you grew up in church like I did, you’ve probably sang the hymn countless times. But has the word surrender ever sank in?
It didn’t become completely real to me until about two months ago as I drove home from my boyfriend’s house in tears.
I’ve been dating an amazing guy for the past two years. We met at church, our parents are really close friends, and our little sisters are inseparable. As a seventh grade girl, I prayed that if it was God’s will for us to date, He would allow it to happen on His timing. Sure enough, three years down the road, when I was a sophomore in high school, Daniel asked me to be his girlfriend.
I was so thankful for what God had done. He had heard my prayer and answered! See, I had big plans to steward this relationship to the best of my ability, because after all, it was ultimately His.
Over the course of two years we were so careful to do everything right. The Lord used Daniel and I to teach pre-teen Discipleship-Nows, we served on the youth leadership team together, and for a long time, we spent more time participating in church activities than anything else. Also, purity was something we held in mutual regard. If temptation ever crept in, we nipped it in the bud. We gained trust from our parents and other authorities in our lives. We were equally yoked, pursuing Jesus, and the best of friends. All of this to tell you that something was very, very wrong. And I didn’t notice it until it had snowballed into something seemingly irrevocable.
Daniel was getting ready to leave for college a couple of months ago and I was having a rough time with it. No. Scratch that. I was terrified! My fear of the unknown consumed me and it was all I thought about for weeks leading up to his move. I spent every day of two years with him; I couldn’t fathom my life any different! It hurt me to think that he would have another life that didn’t involve me. What if he met someone else and forgot about me all together? What’s worse- hang with me- is that I was scared of how scared I was.
Have you ever faced something so daunting that every time it crosses your mind you suddenly lose the ability to swallow? That’s the feeling I had. Sure, Daniel tried his best to reassure me that everything would be okay, but his human words were useless against the magnitude of this problem.
I left his family’s house the night before he officially moved encompassed by fear and angst. By the time I reached the end of the driveway, I was already an emotional mess. The Holy Spirit came over me all at once and convicted me of how wrong I had been. We had what I thought was the ideal relationship rooted in Christ. However, somewhere along the way, it became rooted in my ambitions. I wanted so badly to be high school sweethearts. I wanted Daniel to be the end all be all. I wanted to grow old together and enjoy an easy peasy life.
The problem was not desiring to spend the rest of my life with him. The problem that gave birth to my anxiety and sin was my reluctance to let God control my relationship.
I was like a child on Christmas Day who receives a gift from their father and refuses to let him touch it. I was so guilty of praying time and time again: “I surrender all to you, God. Your will, not mine.” But it was becoming clear to me that my dating relationship was that one thing I had not given to the Lord. I was in such a dark place, I had no energy to fight anymore. That’s when I raised my white flag and surrendered all to Jesus.
I can’t explain the burden that was lifted after that. The peace that overcame me was only something that could’ve come from the Lord. Two months later, I am still relying on His perfect peace that surpasses all understanding. Daniel and I are still together and our relationship is great. It is a bit harder now that he lives an hour and a half away, but God is using it to grow both of us spiritually.
The thing is, now I have confidence that God’s best is far better than my good.
Although I believe it is God’s will that Daniel and I date now, He could have other plans for us in the future. And guess what! I’m okay with that! That is the power of the Holy Spirit! Yeah, it would really stink if something happened and we broke up. But my life is in my Heavenly Father’s hands and He is going to take care of me. Now I can truly pray “Your will, not mine” and mean it.
Romans 12:2 says it like this: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We must renew our minds to find God’s will for our lives. We must surrender our worldly desires. We must turn control completely over to Him because all authority is already His. It is a long, exhausting road putting our dream worlds into effect. I want to encourage you to give up the fight. Pursue His plans because they are perfect!
Surrender your will and allow your dreams to be crushed- you’ll become more alive in Christ than ever before.
Annsley Bundy is a senior at North Caddo Magnet High School in the small town of Vivian, Louisiana. Annsley is an active member of her youth group, which is made up of some of the oddest people you’ll ever meet; however, they’re family all the same. She is expecting the Lord to make her college plan and career path straight in the next half a year before graduation. Right now, Annsley is interested in being a dietitian/counselor so she can help people live a healthy physical and mental lifestyle. She enjoys playing for the Lady Rebels soccer team, doing anything crafty, admiring sunsets/sunrises, drinking coffee at a snail’s pace, laughing until it hurts, and cooking scrumptious food. Above all, Annsley is passionate about encouraging others and becoming the woman God would have her be. Follow her on Instagram, friend her on Facebook, or check out her dream world on Pinterest!