Last night, during small group, we were asked to read a passage of scripture and come up with a word that the Lord was bringing to our mind. My word was “SURRENDER”. Before moving, I was in graduate school, working, on several committees and had an entire network of family and friends. When we made the decision to move to DC, the Lord asked that I lay every one of those endeavors at His feet. In doing so, I knew that He had better plans in store for me. An unimaginable path, incomparable to the life I whipped up on my own, was waiting. Our entire move has been a long process of surrender for me.
We Each Cling Tight to Something
The most difficult “thing” for me to release was our home. I adored our home, it had become a labor of love. After working on it for four years, it was getting to the point that I had envisioned. I had my beautiful open kitchen. I had space to host whomever I needed, big groups or small. My favorite part of my house was the back yard. Our home sat on 1/3 of an acre and along the perimeter of the yard were raised beds booming with perennial flowers. The former owner was a florist and she had created a floral oasis that came back year after year to enjoy.
I would await the arrival of spring each year. The deep fuschia phlox started the party, and week after week, more surprises would appear. Daffodils, tulips, and iris soon joined the parade of flowers along my fence line. Blooming peach trees and red buds brought the eye up, just in time for the roses to start blooming beneath. My dream of living behind the walls of my own Secret Garden had become a reality.
I grew veggies and my backyard chickens pecked around for worms and insects that were burrowed beneath the lush green grass. On summer nights fireflies would swarm our yard, and the kids would flit around with nets in hand, catching as many as they could. This was my favorite place to be… and…this was my hardest surrender.
A Field of Flowers in Exchange for a Bouquet
This week is spring break for DCPS. I had planned on taking the kids to a flower farm an hour out of town for one of our spring break outings. We went to Burnside Farms, to their Holland in Haymarket event. When we arrived, the rolling acres of blooming tulips and daffodils took my breath away. The kids frolicked through the rows of flowers while Denver and I snapped pictures and enjoyed the moment. Eventually the kids went to play on the playground while I walked the rows and rows of tulips alone.
I listened to the flutter of grasshoppers and took in the open skies. While I was savoring the moment the Lord spoke clearly to me. Standing on the far edge of the field, over looking every bloom, He said, “Do you see it now? The plans I have for you are so much more. While you were clinging to a handful of blessings, I have planted fields for you…. and this field, it isn’t even the beginning. Trust me.”
Blessings Always Follow the Surrender
If we come before the Lord with our fists clenched, grasping on to the “good things” (we think we have), we miss the opportunity to let the Lord fill our hands with an abundance that we could never have imagined. Surrendering is so hard. The choice to give God control of our life is always a difficult one. Surrender requires sacrifice every time. Sometimes surrender is a huge life change, like a cross country move for example, and other times it’s the choice to see beyond your own self and love someone who is different than you.
I am learning that no matter what, when we unclench our fists and come to the Lord with open hands, He fills them up with an overflowing amount of blessing. He takes your boquet and replaces it with rolling fields of flowers. My aim (everyday) is to lay it down and live open handed.
More pictures of our day: