A beautiful friend of mine shared her story of faith with me last year and I was particularly moved by an encounter she had with the Lord while hiking in southern California. I recently reached out and asked her to write about the experience she had that day, and to describe the moment she first knew she was loved by God. The following story gives us a glimpse into her sweet moment of surrender to Jesus, and continues to inspire me to fully submit my heart and desires to God. He is so good, and He meets us where we are.
I pray that her words ignite in us a longing to actively seek God, and that we are moved to relinquish our inclination to control others as we surrender ourselves completely to Jesus. May our Heavenly Father give us eyes to see the love and freedom available to us in Him.
You are loved,
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
– Ecclesiastes 3:11
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
– Matthew 7:7-8
Have you ever felt lost?
Have you every wondered if this is really your path?
Have you have ever felt like you’re doing everything right, but still never reaching things you so badly want to obtain?
Have you ever questioned the hardships you have had to face?
Have you ever wondered, “Why me?”
If you never have, you’re blessed! Personally, I have asked each of these questions, and more times than I would like to admit. I used to experience severe anxiety when these questions would arise in my mind and heart, and I would never feel like I had done enough. To some degree I still struggle with these questions – perhaps that will never change. I always tried to live right which, to me, meant caring for others. I would put other people before myself and it seemed to backfire many times, leaving me out in the cold. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing people in my life that have completely replenished me. But looking back, I can now see that I felt a sense of control when I was trying to make sure someone else was happy. Not too long ago I questioned if it always needed to be like this: Is this my path? Am I just here to take away the pain of others?
This is hard for me to write. As I write this, I feel selfish. A few years ago I was at a crossroads in my life. I have always longed to be loved. I have accepted now that this is how God created me, and I know that He placed this desire in my heart so that He could fulfill it with His love. This realization took work. When I say work, I mean years. My story of letting go begins on a day when I randomly took a hike by myself…
I have accepted now that this is how God created me, and I know that He placed this desire in my heart so that He could fulfill it with His love.
The day was beautiful! It was a six mile hike and I had songs of worship playing in my headphones – this has always been my way of reflecting. The song “I Surrender” came on and all of the sudden I just broke down. It was overwhelming how I felt at that moment. Have you ever felt broken and then one day felt like you finally found the big piece of the puzzle that had been missing? That’s maybe the best way to describe it, and I knew it was God speaking to me. He was telling me to let go of trying to control everything. His voice became clear to me and He spoke the sweetest words: “I got you. I have always had you. This is the time for you to have faith in Me. I have always loved you. I created you to be this emotional, loving creature. Just trust Me.” It still brings tears to my eyes because when I started to see the work He was doing in my life, it was abundant! It’s hard to see the daily blessings when you are solely focused on a few things, but when you take a step a back there is good in all He does. God is kind of amazing that way.
It’s hard to see the daily blessing when you are solely focused on a few things, but when you take a step back there is good in all He does.
I will continue to struggle in complete surrender to Jesus – won’t we all?! We are giving our lives to something so big that our minds and hearts can’t comprehend it. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. He loves each of us. I continue on my journey of faith and love but I promise you the Director of our stories has a plan. Embrace the hard times. Find the blessings. Keep loving. Our Lord continues to watch over us. For those who struggle with anxiety, what an amazing feeling to know everything will be okay. One of my favorite quotes is “everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
For those of you who struggle with anxiety, what an amazing feeling to know everything will be okay.
Dear God, thank you for speaking to me that day as I laid down a cross for You in the sand. I will continue to look towards You. May I do my best to love and live as You planned. Thank you, Father. Thank you for making me this empathetic and loving creature. This is my story, but it is really Your story.