It was COLD in our old house this morning!! The first thing I did when I went downstairs was check the thermostat (a nippy 62!). The second thing I did was turn on the gas fireplace. Last, but not least, I gathered my books and journal and sat down as close as I could possibly get to the fireplace without actually climbing inside! In my reading this morning, one word leapt off the page at me. That word was SURRENDER. It seemed I had somehow forgotten about the concept of surrender!
I am quite a fan of my early morning quiet time. I brew coffee & gather my books and journals around me. My bookshelves are lined with every genre of self-help book known to man, especially as it pertains to spirituality or addiction. I can’t look at my bookshelf without remembering the years I spent poring over my recovery books. Underlining passages, highlighting sentences as if they could be burned into my brain, journaling, crying, & praying. And while I don’t pull them out as much, their presence is a great reminder to me of how far I’ve come.
Chaos & Unmanageability, anyone?
In the weeks that led up to Christmas, I sensed that once again, I needed some insight from the recovery experts. I sensed that the old familiar crazy train was gearing up to leave the station and that I was just along for the ride. A lot of things start happening first. My boundaries disappear. I start trying to please EVERYONE. I stop taking care of myself (by giving myself proper rest, preparing food, etc.) I know things are spiraling out of control, but I don’t want to deal with it.
So I set my eyes on a magical time that I will change. (It gives me a little grace period to keep going great-guns for just a little bit longer.) Of course with it being the holidays, that time for me was the New Year. But until then, the train starts picking up speed. I’m carrying way too much freight; we’re definitely looking at a safety hazard. It feels wrong, but I minimize it. I get angry when it’s brought up. I swear I’ll change. That I hate living this way and I don’t even know how it happened (again).
Thankfully, I developed a love for reading at a young age. Take me to a bookstore and let me loose~ I’m in heaven. I love that there’s a book for every problem I’ve ever encountered. I like to read books in the morning that ground me in truth and set my sights on where I want to go in life. The books on my bedside stand for nighttime reading aren’t nearly as righteous!
For the past few weeks one of my morning books has been, Scouting the Divine, My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey by Margaret Feinberg (https://margaretfeinberg.com/ ). The chapters I have been on for the past few days are talking about Margaret’s visit with a shepherdess in Oregon. The purpose for Margaret’s visit is to really understand why God calls us sheep and the significance of all of those references & comparisons to humans as sheep throughout the bible. https://www.amazon.com/Scouting-Divine-Search-Wine-Honey/dp/0310291224#
I wrote down the word, SURRENDER, in my journal this morning and I thought about all that the word has meant to me. It used to be identified with alcohol. I knew I needed to surrender my addiction to God. I had tried taking matters into my own hands, but to no avail.
After getting sober, I think I was just so pleasantly surprised that I have just been coasting on little high for the past 31 months. My BIG, overwhelming, lifelong problem…….is gone! And while that is reason to be excited, I realize that I have lots of other things that are constantly threatening to take up that space in my life. That nagging priority. That thing that I serve and I focus all of my attention & energy on.
I need to spend some time hearing from God. My own ways nearly always lead me astray. Like a dog chasing it’s own tail, I come right back around to the same stuff. The same attitudes. The same problems.
God has a better way! But I have to do that hard thing again: I have to SURRENDER! My will, my plans.
I have so much more trust than I used to have because I have experienced that God is faithful & good. When He tells us to give something up, it’s not to deprive us, but because He has something better.
We all have that thing or things that we need to surrender, but for whatever reason we keep it around. We toy with it, even though we KNOW it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s serving some kind of purpose in our life, and we don’t want to let it go!
If you don’t already have a quiet time in the morning, I would highly encourage you to try it out. Read the bible, or read some books that challenge you and push you to be a better, more loving person. Get honest about what you need to peel your fingers off of & surrender to make room for something better!