Surrender – Part I

“The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.”

Galatians 2:20 (The Message)


Last fall I chose to fully surrender to God. Seems a little strange to hear someone who loves God and has been a Christ follower for over 40 years to say, don’t you think?

“Isn’t being a Christ follower already someone who has surrendered to God? Isn’t that what that means?” or maybe you’re thinking, “Took you long enough.”

But let me explain. Back somewhere around 2013, it was long enough ago that I don’t remember the exact year, but the moment itself was significant, I told God I wanted our family to do something significant for Him. I wanted us to live with purpose for Him. I didn’t care what it was … I just wanted Him to use us in whatever way He chose.

And when He answered … well, then I started to plan. Our conversation went a little something like this. “Oh, so You want me to finish my book? Well, in that case, I’ll transition in two years from medical transcriptionist to full-time traditionally published author of fiction books, write in my spare time, have tons of time to serve at church, volunteer in our kids classrooms, have warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for my kids on a weekly basis when they get home from school, keep an immaculate house …”

I’m not sure if God actually sits up in heaven and laughs at His children, but my attitude in 2013 definitely deserved some kind of response.

Fast forward to the fall of 2018 and a wonderful women’s conference at our church. I was given the opportunity, after some amazing discussions, to fully surrender my dreams and exchange them for His. And it was a choice. After the conference but throughout the fall, God continued to give me sermons, blog posts, conversations with friends, Bible verses, etc. about the choice I was given – remain faithful and endure, giving up my dreams in order to make room for God to work His plans in my life.

I took the first step at the conference. I went to the front of the room and laid down my dreams. Tears streaming down my face, I told God I would work in whatever capacity He chose because I trusted Him with my life, my family, and my ministry. I told Him that I knew that I knew that I knew His dreams and plans for me (while not knowing any specifics) were far better than anything I could plan or orchestrate for myself. And then I sat back and waited.

Well, in all honesty, I kept waking up every day putting one foot in front of the other, working the same jobs, continuing to work on the assignments He had previously given me, but because of my choice, I noticed my attitude started to change. My situation and my circumstance hadn’t changed … nothing changed except my attitude. And that was everything. Then a month or so later, I noticed something else.

Because I got out of the way, because I fully surrendered and stopped trying to paint a picture of what my “perfect life” would look like, God was finally able to start moving in situations and circumstances I had been praying about for years.

Come back tomorrow and I will share how by choosing to fully surrender to God, the ripple effect it had on the rest of my life.

© Cheri Swalwell 2019



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