Thursday, October 27, 2011

freedom in submission.

Did you cringe a little at that title? It's ok if you did. I'll admit it's a scary word.
Inclined or ready to submit; unresistant or humbly obedient. 
I often resist.
My heart rarely holds the humility it should.
I ignore and disobey and fight for my way almost daily. 
I'm far from submissive. Let's make that perfectly clear. 
I am learning, though, that submission doesn't mean subjecting myself to chains. Oh no. Quite the opposite. 
When I submit, I'm free. 
When I release control of my life, I'm liberated to live life with open hands, equally grateful for what the Lord brings and what He takes away.
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21 
When I come humbly before the Lord, I can trust that He will provide for me in His time and according to His goodness.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." I Peter 5:6
When my desire is to be obedient, He will make the way clear to me.
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
And there is an overwhelming and invariable joy in obedience. This I've come to know well.
But there are two big places in my life where obedience has been lacking...and I can't fight God on them anymore. 
My hands are open.
I want to obey.
I long to submit.     

I'm writing a book.
I want to write. Many of you are aware of that. Hence...a blog. It wouldn't appear that I'm necessarily being disobedient in this area. However, I'm fully cognizant of the stories God has put in my heart that I've been refusing to tell.   
Because of insecurity. 
Because of doubt.
Because of fear. 
None of which have any place in my life if I'm hidden in the Lord. And I am. Make no mistake.
I've resisted because it's scary, and choosing to be obedient doesn't scatter that fear. It's intimidating to walk through a bookstore and feel like my name doesn't belong on those shelves. It's discouraging to think that a story I pour my heart into may never be anything more than a manuscript--a stack of copy paper that's never read or understood or experienced. It's just as horrifying to think that people may actually read it. Autobiographical or not, my heart will be all over those pages. It's nerve-wracking.
But, I'll write it. And I'll trust that the God who authored salvation is the same God who was gracious to put these stories in my heart...and He'll be faithful to carry them where He wills.
I'm embracing the gifts God's given me to work with children in ministry.  
(I'm bragging on the Lord here, y'all. Not myself by any means.)
I've been passively saying "no" in this area for years. Long years, mind you. 
But I love little hearts, and it's about time I owned up to it. Life is better and faith is sweeter when you sit in a circle on the floor and listen, wide-eyed, to the stories of Christ. Seeing a little girl begin to develop a gentle, but valiant faith or a little man learn early that he has infinite strength and courage in the Lord challenges me like nothing else. 
No one is more receptive to the beauty of the Gospel. 
No one teaches me more about having full, joy-filled faith. 
I want to love and serve little hearts...however and wherever God will have me do it. 
I'm grateful for what He's placed in my hands.
I want to humbly please the Lord.
I pray that I submit to Him well.
"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

Have you experienced stepping out in obedience? How did you trust? 
Are there areas where you need to make that choice to submit?


Sarah Martin said...

seriously love this post. A)because I needed to hear that submission equals freedom. B)I love meeting fellow writers. KEEP WRITING, girlfriend!

Ashley Bell said...

Loved this post and the passion behind it....not that I don't love all of them. Mainly because I wish I could be 1/4 as expressive with words as you are and be able to do it as beautifully as you do. It defenitely is your gift and the hearts of little ones currently and in the future are lucky to have you as a light! Blessed by you and excited for what is to come with your writing, God has something great planned!

Laken said...

This is a beautiful post!