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surrender

Surrender

I hate the word surrender. Maybe it’s the American rebel in me that never was, but that word just rubs me the wrong way. As a Christian I am called to surrender myself to the lord, but unfortunately, with my limited understanding as a human, all I see are white flags and weakness in surrender. I am just now finding that yes, there is weakness in surrender, but not the bad kind that stems from fear. It’s the kind of weakness that allows divine provenance to move you where you need to be, and draws you nearer to Jesus.

 
I have limited control, and I struggle with that. The more I try to control every little thing in my life, the harder it gets. But when I try to surrender that control, this overwhelming fear takes over. Doubt starts eating away because I don’t see the next step ( and the Good Lord knows how much I love to outline steps). It’s my comfort zone to research something to death. To plan every step to its daily endeavors ( no, I have not resorted to creating a minuet by minuet list yet.)

 
Right now I am going through a Refining fire ( at least I hope that’s what it is). Just like a forest or field needs to burn away the old grass, or destroy an invasive species that will destroy its foundation, my old thoughts and actions are being replaced with new ones. I do not have a clear direction ( that’s probably the way God intends it, and for good reason. You know, the insatiable list thing ), and I still tend to cringe at the word surrender, but I look back on all the dark moments of my life and see His grace in all of them.

 
That grace is what reminds me I have no need to fear or dislike surrendering to God. He is not of this world, and has no sin in him. He only wants the best for me, and I am not walking through the trials I face now alone. He will never lead me astray ( I’m great at doing that all by myself though), or let me face something I cannot handle.

 
I am learning to surrender my plans for my future ( those dreams are a tempting mistress), and I would never claim that it is easy or without bouts of tears. However, I am finding there IS freedom in surrender. Not shackles or shattered dreams, but true freedom and liberty.
At this point in my life I just want to be where He wants me, and hopefully in that place I can find my tribe.

 
Do you feel that you are walking through the fire right now?
I know millions of people are, and I think sometimes we hold so tight to what we dreamed about, that we do not listen to that still small voice saying “Follow me, I have better things to come for you”.

 
Create quite space and listen. I know what you’re thinking “pot, meet kettle”, but I am trying too. Who knows, maybe we will hear the call of clarity at the same time. Isn’t that a nice thought.

 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. … “
John 15:1-7 ESV

 
Gosh I love metaphors, but till the day the vine bears fruit, here’s a song from my high school days that I am just now coming to understand.

The Consummate Amateur

I am a consummate amateur. Good at many things and master of few. I can paint and sculpted, but I’m no Michelangelo. I draw and cook, but I am no Mary Blair or Michael Simon. I’m a lyricist, but I’m not Bob Dylan ( a little side note here, Dylan is a GREAT song writer, but he is no singer. Go ahead and crucify me now folks, but he can’t sing.[ Another side not: my dad disagrees with me.] ). I can sing, but I not a performer ( I am a bit better than Dylan though. Even my dad agrees with that). What’s a girl ( or boy for that matter) to do when they are good at many things, but never the best?

 
I don’t know. I was hoping you had the answer. You don’t! Emoji sad face 🙁

 
I recently sat down with my mom and read some of my future blog posts to her. She thought I was being too hard on myself. I know what you’re thinking, I’m her precious little snowflake, but if you knew my mom you would know that is not the case. The conversation did make me evaluate my articles though, and here’s the conclusion I came to:
Most of us are consummate amateurs.

 
Admittedly, I am an odd mix of right and left brain which makes defining myself ( in work and life ) a bit hard. I am excellent at reading a room, and have the ability to smell BS from a mile away. A great communicator and conceptualizer who can interpret almost anything in a visual way. Also, I have the ability to taste something and figure out the recipe ( it probably helps that I am the daughter of a chocolatier). I hem and haw a bit ( at least in my mind), but I attempt to overcome my fears (except for spiders, there is no way I will make peace with spiders – they all must die). These are just a few of the things that make me who I am; a pessimistic optimist with a vivid imagination. The problem with this dichotomy of abilities is finding my place in this world.

 
I was thinking about talents lately, and if I write all mine down they look like an equation without an answer. Maybe all this mediocre greatness adds up to something that hasn’t been invented yet, or maybe I’ll build a-better-mouse-trap. Who knows? I sure don’t. But I want to encourage all the consummate amateurs to keep this in mind; even if you are not the best, smartest, or most educated person in the room, no one will have the same perspective as you do, and a different perspective can lead to greatness. Just don’t let the hang-ups you have stop you from trying something new. Learn as much as you can, then act. Don’t let one (or 10) rejections get you down. Walt Disney was rejected by roughly 302 banker before he received the funding for Disneyland. It takes time and effort to build something of value.

Well, are you a consummate amateur too?

 
If so, welcome to this tribe of misfit toys! We have cookies.

 
P.S. Here’s a quick shout out to the consummate armatures and the people who love them. I will never be the best at everything ( which is completely annoying), but I have the best support system in the world – my parents. They challenge me to be better, and love me even when I’m not.