Surrendering My (Inaccurate) View of God to Embrace Life

{By Laurie Wallin}

 

“I need to refer you to a specialist,” the doctor said. “There’s something not quite right and I just want to be sure.”

 

She’d lost me at “specialist.” That word launched me into a different plane of thinking—the “what if?” plane. The “I have four kids and two of them have significant special needs, and it’s summer, and our family doesn’t have time or resources to add anything to anyone’s plate… let alone mine!” plane.

 

Two months and half-dozen ultrasounds, MRIs, and x-rays later, I found myself in a surgical gown at 5:30 a.m., the darkness outside the surgical check in worker’s window matching the fear in my own heart. My uterus and I were parting ways that day, because it had been nurturing a growth that, in a single year, had grown to the size of a 20 week fetus.

 

I thought the darkness in me was the prospect of cancer, or losing an organ that defines me as a woman. I’d pushed that darkness back in order to arrange things at home for my family before the surgery. There were trained people waiting and ready to care for me, the kids, their special needs, our house and meals. My life insurance policy was in order, bills paid, kids’ medications filled, documents organized―all that I’ve been responsible for as a mom in a forty page document, in an unassuming envelope on my kitchen counter at home.

 

A friend had prepped me for the process of going under anesthesia. It would be my first time and, being a girl who likes her independence, the idea of succumbing to unconsciousness felt like ripping off my right arm. She’d said, “Have some peaceful thoughts―places, Scripture verses, worship music―and stay focused on those as you go under. It will help.”

 

They called my name in the waiting room, prepped me for surgery. I counted tiles on the ceiling as they rolled my gurney to the operating room. The surgeon―also the doctor who’d helped me birth my two biological daughters―smiled and made jokes to lighten the mood. She helped me onto the operating table, I adjusted my gown in place, and as the anesthesia coursed through my body and heaviness crept upon me, I laid back and from my heart poured my most peaceful thought:

 

Jesus, please take me home today. I don’t want to wake up.

 

Yes, a life coach―who’s written books, coached hundreds, spoken encouragement to thousands of men and women―wanted to die that day. She practically begged God to show her mercy and let her go from what had been―what she thought had to be―her normal.

 

Laurie Wallins photo

 

That day, when I awoke in the recovery room, I lost an organ with a growth (which was NOT cancer, Hallelujah!) and gained something else. Something I couldn’t put a finger on just then. Something that would take a few weeks to form in my mind and was just about the last thing this sold-out believer, who champions the power of people to pursue God’s best, would ever have seen as a gift: the will to surrender. Not surrender as in resignation or despair or even relenting to what’s best for us, even if it feels horrible. But surrender to hope, trust, relationship . . . the possibility of good in a life that had become, in many ways, like having to eat my vegetables: it tasted bad a lot of the time, but it was good for me, so I dutifully choked it down.

 

No, this idea of surrender wasn’t like any I’d considered before in my life. It was surrendering to life and love again. Learning to not just bear down and get through the hard stuff but to experience vitality and goodness. To ask for better in some circumstances and relationships I’d resigned myself to believing were there for my maturing process and otherwise were beyond health, wholeness, or the reach of God’s tender love. Areas I’d prayed and fought and sought counsel and sought God and felt unheard, unhelped . . . unhinged.

 

Perhaps you’ve landed in that moment too. If you’re reading this, I suspect you’ve been there, maybe even are there right now. Your circumstances are likely different than mine―you’ve traveled your own road to the unraveling―yet they leave you at the same place. The “I’m done” place. The “please, God, end this” place. The place at the intersection of exhaustion and despair.

 

Wherever you are, what if it’s time to stop fighting? To stop panicking. To stop drowning, stop running, stop aching in silence and instead fall into the arms of the one true God, who loves you and desires the absolute best for you in every area of your life, spirit and soul. Can you hear God whisper to the deep, weary places inside? “Let me love you. Stop pushing away. Stop running away. Run with me instead. Breathe that safety in. Let go. ‘Throw off the weight and what so easily ensnares [you], and . . . run with endurance the race set before [you]’” (Hebrews 12:1).

 

It took me having an unexpected growth in my body and facing the prospect of cancer for me to realize how damaging my inaccurate view of God and His desires for me had become. Let’s not be there, friend. Perhaps today is the day for you to surrender not to hopelessness or to God as distant and demanding, but to surrender to the One who wants us to live goodness—true, deep, life-giving goodness—beginning right now.

 

 

::photo credit of sunlight behind leaf- Laurie Wallin::

_________________________________________________

 

Laurie Wallin headshotLaurie Wallin strives every day to live out her message to people: that no matter the challenge, in Jesus they can find joy and confidence. She is mom to four girls, two of them foster/adopted with medical, developmental and mental health special needs. Laurie is also a speaker, Certified Life Coach and, in an unexpected twist of God’s design, the Director of Growth and Impact Ministries at Carmel Mountain Church in San Diego. Her books, Why Your Weirdness Is Wonderful and Get Your Joy Back, help readers find their way back to joy in their own inner landscape, and in families like hers with special needs children. You can find Laurie at her website (LaurieWallin.com) and on Facebook (Living Power Life Coaching) and Twitter (@mylivingpower). Laurie, her husband and their four daughters make their home in San Diego, California.

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3 Comments on “Surrendering My (Inaccurate) View of God to Embrace Life

  1. Pingback: Soft Rain For A Thirsty Heart

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