I do not, I repeat, do not like thunderstorms. They terrify me. I revert back to being a scared, shaking little girl with hands cupped over her ears praying for it to just stop already. Remember the scene in "The Sound Of Music" where all the kids pile onto their governess's bed during the storm while she sings to them about her favorite things? I'd be the one you never see that refuses to come out from under the covers, the one not caring a single bit about "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens". Just close those windows and hold me tight, Maria, thank you very much.
When this last storm hit, prior to Dana's imminent arrival into our bedroom clutching her pillow and blankie (a girl after my own heart), I found myself laying in bed, praying over and over to God, "Protect this house, and everyone in it. Protect this house, and everyone in it. Protect this house, and everyone in it", all the while waiting for the inevitable tree to come crashing through the roof.
I have no idea where this paranoia comes from. It doesn't stem from any specific childhood trauma, I was never left out in a storm, I've never been trapped in a flood, I've never had my house hit by lightening (a special thank you goes out to my good friend, Rhonda, by the way, for the petrifying imagery she left me with yesterday. Now I not only have to think about my house being done in by an old toppley tree, but exploding sky high into flames as well). No, the fear has just always been in me, for as long as I can remember.
But this last storm really got me thinking about a concept that the Lord has placed on my heart and in my mind over the last months. A concept that sounds so sweet, yet can be so bitter.
I have felt Him nudging me repeatedly over this last year to surrender my worries, surrender my fears, surrender my sin, and (the most difficult) surrender my husband and children to Him. He wants me to act on the faith I proclaim when I say that He is a God who is in control, and He wants me to prove to Him that I love Him and trust Him as much as I declare I do.
I am not very good at this. Don't get me wrong, I love to give everything I have to Him. I trust implicitly when I do so that I am doing the right thing. I can very easily and very willingly let go of anything in my life that I am holding dear.
That is, until the moment I feel it is being threatened, and then I snatch it right back.
Where's the trust in that?
"Here God, take my life, take my concerns, take my marriage, take my kids, take it all!!! But wait! There's a problem? Oh, don't worry about it, God, I've got it under control. This is all my stuff anyway, nothing here You need to bother Yourself with."
In other words, "I don't trust You to handle this the way I think it should be handled, and am deathly afraid that the outcome is going to hurt me or those around me, so I'll take care of it".
This is a sin of mine that has really started to plague me lately. If I can only trust Him with part of me, part of the time, am I really trusting Him at all?
He's telling me no.
Which brings me back to the night before last, when in the midst of my pleading for protection, I heard Him asking me if I was willing to surrender the fate of my family to Him, trusting that whatever happens will be done for their good, and His glory.
And while it was hard for me to imagine how all of us getting smushed when my house caves in would be for our good, I had to make a decision in that second to trust Him, or to not. And to not trust Him seemed even scarier than anything the weather could ever do to us. So I trusted Him. And it felt good. And I felt calm. And He left all my trees standing, and He kept us all safe.
Will I have to surrender this fear to Him again the next time a storm hits? I wish I could say it won't be necessary, that I've done it once, and I won't ever need to do it again. But I know myself too well to claim that victory. I know that I will probably always be a "serial surrender-er", having to hand myself and my family over to Him again, and again, and again, everyday for the rest of my life. But I'm going to keep trying, and with His ability to change my heart, maybe there will come a day when I can fully accept and rely on the truth that He understands my fears, He will fulfill His purpose for me (whatever that may be), and He loves my husband and children more than I ever could.
Dear Lord in heaven,
I pray this day for the ability to once and for all surrender it all to You. I'm tired of taking it back, when I know that once I leave it in Your hands it is in the best place it can be.
You are our powerful, Almighty King, and nothing happens to any of us, Lord, that You do not see, and You do not allow. Please help my desire to honor and glorify You in all I do become more than just words, but the way I live my life everyday, in every circumstance, during every storm.
You have shown Yourself to be worthy, over and over again in my life. You have been faithful, You have been good, You have provided for my needs, You have guided me, You have showed me what it means to be able to serve the God of the Universe, and also to call Him my friend.
Help me to surrender to all of these things I know to be true of You, and to trust that You cannot change.
I'm not there yet, Lord, but with Your help I can get to where I need to and want to be... resting easy in You with empty hands, and a contented heart.
In Your Holy Name I pray,