I gather the year in my hands, my head hanging in shame. This was supposed to be my year of surrender. Hadn’t the Father asked that of me? I can’t see surrender in the messy pile before me. He will be so disappointed.
I bring the year before Him, my heart pounding in my chest. He’ll see. He’ll know that I’ve failed Him. I can’t take His disappointment, so I stare at my shoes. It comes as no shock that they are as unimpressive as the mess I’ve brought God. Will I ever be the right things?
“Courtney.” His voice is warm and kind and loving. I can’t bare to think about how it will change once He knows I’ve let Him down. My anxious heart breaks at the thought.
Through sniffles and tears, I hurriedly explain, “God, I know You asked me to surrender. But You won’t find surrender here and I’m so sorry. I meant to. I really did. Please,” my voice breaks on a sob. “Please know that I meant to do this for You–“
“Courtney,” He interrupts, saying my name again with such love that I’m afraid He hasn’t listened. “You’ve surrendered so much to Me this year. It’s all right here.”
His hands gently hold my year, as if this messy pile is precious to Him, and I don’t understand. My face contorts in confusion as I stutter,” B-but God, I let anxiety paralyze me this summer.”
He nods and smiles. “Yes. And then you learned to come to Me and let Me have your anxiety each time you felt trapped.”
I’m shaking my head. This can’t be right. “But it’s not gone. I still get so scared, God.”
“And You’ve learned that the fear doesn’t mean I’m gone. You’ve learned that you can’t control everything. That’s surrender, My girl.”
My mind swims. Could it be? “No,” I mutter, still too ashamed to accept His mercy now. “What about my people-pleasing heart? What about when I’ve wanted to tell my side? What about–“
“What about when losses devastated you and you came to Me instead of running from Me? What about when decisions needed to be made and you decided to seek Me first? What about when you trusted your heart to Me instead of giving it to the first available man? All surrender.”
I can’t wrap my mind around this. “I thought surrender looked different.”
“Surrender looks like giving Me everything, even when it hurts and even when it is messy. You didn’t fail Me, child. You chose Me no matter the circumstances. You were broken and scared and you gave it all to Me. That’s what this year was about: learning to give it all to Me.”
The tears fall freely again and I can’t help but ask Him to verify. “So You still love me?
His arms wrap around me and I close my eyes against His embrace. “You will learn surrender everyday and I will love you everyday, even the days you get it wrong.”
After a moment, the crying ceases and I reluctantly pull away. Wiping stray tears from my chin, I quietly ask, “So what now, God?”
“Now, My girl?” He takes my hand in His and turns me toward tomorrow. “Now it is time for obedience.”