On Surrender


This space has been quiet this week.  Life has been very hectic.  My husband is in the middle of his busy season.  His friend is staying with us to help with the work load.  I have cooked up a storm to feed my two hungry, hard workers.  I am thankful that I am able to serve my husband in this way.

Just one year ago, I was so ill that I could barely manage to brush my teeth We prayed for God’s healing.  I asked the elders at church to pray over me and anoint me with oil, and two brothers stood with me, laid hands on me, and lifted their hearts to God for me in faith.

Two weeks later, I learned that one of those godly men had discovered he had Leukemia.

Today, I am whole.  I am walking, laughing, cooking, reading.  I am living.

Today, in a hospital room just fifteen minutes from my home, my brother in Christ is fighting for his life.  He has a beautiful wife and a three-year-old son.  My heart breaks for them.

I have learned not to take today for granted.  Today is a gift.  Today is not to be squandered.  Today, I must live and laugh and love with passion.  Today is precious.

Why God?  How am I supposed to process the pain and loss that this sweet family is experiencing?  They love you so much and have served you so faithfully.

Last night, I read a story about Lysa TerKeurst in What Happens When Women Say Yes to God that provided some answers:

“We can settle in our hearts that we will choose God’s love and the pursuit of a love relationship with Him above all else, no matter what comes our way.  The day my husband and I made this decision we were in the hospital with our middle daughter, who was six weeks old.  She had seemed a perfectly healthy baby until an allergic reaction to the protein in my breast milk landed us in the intensive care unit.  The doctors told us on the fourth day of our visit that Ashley needed emergency surgery, and they did not expect her to survive.  They gave us five minutes to tell our baby goodbye.

My heart was shattered.  I so desperately wanted to scoop her up and run out of the hospital.  I wanted to somehow breathe my life into hers.  I wanted to take her place.  I could handle my own death so much easier than the death of my child.  Art prayed over Ashley, we both said our goodbyes, and then with tears streaming down our faces, we let her go.

Art took me outside to the hospital parking lot, where I collapsed into his arms.  He gently cupped my face in his hands and reminded me that Ashley was God’s child to give and His to take back.  ‘Lysa, God loves Ashley even more than we do,’ he gently told me.  ‘We must trust His plan.’

Art then asked me to do something, and it changed my whole perspective on my relationship with God: ‘We have to get it settled in our hearts that we will love God no matter the outcome of Ashley’s surgery,’ he said.”

Lysa’s precious bundle lived.  But, if she had not, Lysa had surrendered her to God.

I don’t know what tomorrow will hold.  Will my friend be miraculously healed and restored to his family?  This is my prayer.  But, my heart will remain lifted to God in surrender no matter what the outcome.  God holds my tomorrow.  He holds my friends.  He holds my very life.

I will trust God with my yesterday, my today, and my tomorrow.

“There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ.

There’s also suffering for Him.

And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.”

Philippians 1:29, MSG

Q4U:  Do you ever question “why God?”  What have you learned about surrender on your journey with Him? How do you stay wholly committed and say “yes” to God?

When you lift your heart to Him today, would you please pray for God to be near to the Gordon family as they wait and hope and surrender.

If you have a prayer need, feel free to share it in the comments or e-mail me at 3dlessons4life at gmail dot com.  It would be my honor to pray for you.

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Proverbs 31 Ministries,  Thought-Provoking Thursday,  Thriving Thursdays, Tell His Story Soli Deo GloriaHear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday and Playdates with God.

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Photo Credit:  Kelsey Johnson

44 responses

  1. Dear Lyli
    Our Pappa takes us to the end of ourselves before I think we are truly in a place where we can truly surrender! I am so grateful that He healed you and my prayers go up with yours for the elder of your church and his family. I agree that suffering is such a gift to allow our Lord to display His marvelous glory.
    Blessings XX

  2. Good Morning Lyli –
    Before I could even leave a comment, I had to pray for Gordon. May God be with this family and strengthen them & give each of them exactly what they need today & in the days ahead.
    And may we each be settled in our hearts.
    Beautiful post & thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

  3. It is such a hard thing to do-to accept whatever God gives us. I am still learning this. I am glad you are well, and I pray for the elder at your church. I pray that my eyes will stay opened to Gods ways.

  4. Oy vey yes. I don’t know why but I’ve been in the grasp of fear about my kids lately.

    The more I can focus on God loving my kids even more than I do, that His plan is perfect, and that Heaven is our home, the more I feel peace.

  5. Praying for your friend. So tragic. Yes, I do still ask God why. I don’t have to hear or understand his answer, but I appreciate that he lets me continue to ask in times like that. In those times I have to remind myself of what I do know: he is faithful, he is good, and he is loving. Thanks for sharing this, Lyli. Trusting AND suffering—yes.

  6. Wow, what a beautiful story of God’s divine appointments and how He grows us in our faith, especially in those dark and scary times. I also love the message version of that verse you used, Lyli. This is a subject that God has been pressing upon my heart lately, so I really resonate with every word you’ve shared. Thanks so much!

  7. Hi Lyli! Oh course, I question God. and what an amazing turn of events for you! I thank God for your healing, and will pray for your brother in Christ. Only God knows his meanings, I just have to hold on and trust.

    It’s usually quite a ride!
    Good to see you today!

  8. I’m sure I “Why, God?” more often than I’d like. But even in the questioning, there is the talking, the communicating with God, the offering up what I have, real and true. But I must stand back and wait, for answers or silence, and for my soul to give way to trust and faith that yes, He holds all of our tomorrows. Lifting up your friend tonight.

  9. “…my heart will remain lifted to God in surrender no matter what the outcome. God holds my tomorrow. He holds my friends. He holds my very life.” Oh, yes, Lyli. A powerful reminder for me tonight. May I surrender and be His in all ways. You have blessed me this night. I hold your brother in Christ in my prayers as well.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  10. This is beautiful Lyli. I have a dear friend who is also fighting for her life so this really spoke to me today. I will keep you all in my prayers. Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. Hi Lyli
    I ask God why whenever I hear of tragedy. I pray for complete healing for your friend. I pray God gives his family strength and peace to face whatever comes. Life is hard nearly everyday in some way. But God is always good. Sometimes I have to say it out loud repetitively. God is always good. ❤

  12. That section of the book spoke so deeply to me as well. Especially the two words, “no matter.” I hold so tightly to those I love, terrified of losing them, but I have to trust that they are in the best hands they can possibly be in and that God is taking care of them. “No matter”- I choose to believe. Thank you for your beautiful post and prayers for your friend!

  13. Lyli,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am new to the bible and bible study. I was raised going to church weekly but not until this year at 53 am I starting to understand how much God truly loves me and how miraculous this relationship is. I am trying daily to turn my life over to him and follow his word. You touched me that you asked to know ifs gone needed to be prayed for. A small voice told me to write you. I have been struggling to stay connected to God. I have been divorced for 10 years, a single parent of adult children and am in the midst of selling my home of 23 years. I asm also a teacher who starts school in 2 weeks. I am having to move for financial reasons. I have an older sister who has also lived with me for the pass two years. This move is displacing everyone. My daughter and sister are struggling to find places to live. I am overwhelmed with guilt. My relationship with my sister is crumbling. Please prayer for me and my family. Help me to release them into The Lord”s hands. I ask for prayers to Help me to move forward with this move, to take the action that needs to be done.
    Thank you,

  14. I too thought this story from Lysa’s book was awe-inspiring. I want to live in total surrender to God so that in good or bad times I will remain faithful in Him!

  15. I was just thinking about you today, Lyli, and came over to see if you had posted today. I’m so sorry to hear of your friend. I do think that in each of our lives, we come to the point that we must surrender to His plan, be it easy or painful. We forget that we are called to fellowship with Him in suffering. Heaven is where everything good is. Our lives here may or may not be easy – but it doesn’t last long! Heaven is our goal.

  16. Oh, Lyli! I ask God this question all the time. A dear friend sat with me recently and reminded me that I am asking God for reasons–and He will never fit within my ability to reason. So I bet everything on His goodness and, yes, and grateful for every today.

    So thankful for where He has brought you in this past year. Grace and peace.

  17. It’s not easy to surrender our children to God when death comes. I still yearn for my sweet Sarah these 25 years later. But just think…HEAVEN! We don’t love our children any less, but the hope of heaven certainly is a blessing. Praying for your friend.

    • Oh, Pamela! What a glorious reunion it will be one day when you see Sarah whole and free! We lost a little one early on in my pregnancy, and I comfort myself by saying that our precious bundle woke up in the arms of Jesus and never had to know sin and death. One day soon, Baby Dunbar is going to show me around all the coolest spots in heaven. 🙂

  18. It’s human to question but I hold on to hope as His ways are higher and succumb to surrender. Praying for you and your friends during this time of trial, praying that God grant you peace and His love overflow.

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