I once wrote about starting the new year with hands wide open ready to receive what God has to offer. I’d realized I’d spent too much time gripping tightly the things of the past while missing out on the here and now. Not to mention the future.
If we imagine our hands filled to capacity and fists tightly clenched around the objects of our current desire, can we also imagine how difficult it would be to add something better if it came along? It would require putting something down – surrendering it – to make room for the new.
Have you been in that place in life before? That place where we must surrender one thing in order to receive something better?
Surrendering to God is Often the Breakthrough We Need
Several years ago I grieved the loss of the daughter I thought would be mine. At the time, we were in the process of adopting when I received an email from our agency. The precious face that greeted me in that email made me catch my breath.
She had curly black ringlets of hair circling chubby little cheeks and deep brown, almost black eyes. In an instant, I knew she was the one. She was the little girl God hand-picked to be a Schumaker.
She lived halfway around the world, but I just knew it was her.
We filed all the necessary papers and followed all the steps to make what I already knew to be true an actual reality. It was a crazy thing – this love that happens in one brief moment. I fell madly in love with this little girl – that mama kind of love. Something that could only come from God.
On the day we waited for the confirming phone call we were all filled with excitement. Our boys resisted going to school. They wanted to stay home waiting with me so we could all celebrate together. But I sent them to school with the assurance of a celebration when the school day was over.
As I busied myself with laundry, I awaited the call. When it finally came, I quickly grabbed my telephone. With emotions just below the surface, I was anxious to hear the good news.
“Lori, I’m sorry, but I don’t have good news. Another family was picked. Your little girl is going to Italy.”
My step faltering, I sat down in an attempt to process. But I couldn’t. The news was inconceivable to me. I’d had Holy Spirit conviction. This child was meant to be a Schumaker. It just couldn’t be true.
The next several months I grieved, refusing to relinquish what I believed to be true. I wrestled with God and believed the phone would ring telling me it was all a mistake – that we could travel to Bulgaria to pick up our little girl.
Only that phone call never came and I found myself stuck in a pit of denial and heartache. I couldn’t move forward because I was anchored to the past. And unable to live free because of holding onto my dream instead of God’s plan.
I knew I had to let go if I wanted a breakthrough. I had to surrender and trust that God would bring good from the broken pieces of my heart. It meant giving this little girl – my daughter – back to her true Father. But it didn’t mean just giving her back.
It meant praising God while I surrendered.
Because surrendering isn’t really surrendering until we do it without an attitude or grudge. To fully surrender, we must trust. When we trust, we have peace no matter the outcome. And when we have all those pieces in place, we are able to see the good and praise our God who is always good.
It took some work but I got there. I found the good and praised God because even if I only felt conviction about this child so that I could be her prayer warrior for all the days of my life, that was something to be thankful for. I loved that little girl and wherever she was, she would have someone on the other side of the world praying for her every day of her life.
That’s when it happened.
It’s when the miracles started.
I’d surrendered my life and my dreams yet again to embrace God’s plan and then He began to move. What happened next is far too much to be considered a coincidence. It was the aligning of far too many lives and moments in time to make the unbelievable believable. It was the breakthrough we needed.
I share the whole story in my new book, Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust. I won’t give the ending away in case you want to read it.
But can I put you on the spot and ask you a question?
What is your story? What are you holding onto that God sees differently? Have you found yourself walking round and round the same circumstance just as Moses and the Israelites did for 40 years in the desert?
Are you stuck with fists clenched tightly around a dream of your making? So tightly it’s impossible to grab onto God’s plan? Are you desperate for a breakthrough?
Friend, there comes a time when we must let go – surrender – trust – praise.
There comes a time we wander long enough and we must turn north.
He’s the maker of the heavens and the earth – the God of the Universe. He’s capable of so much more than the dream you are grieving right now.
I know it’s not easy. Our flesh fights fiercely to hold onto our own desires. But I believe in you … and more importantly, so does the God who loves you beyond measure.
He is good.
Our Surrender to God Story
My book, Surrendered Hearts, is God’s story. It is how He taught us about surrender and trust and showed us He never leaves us. Surrendering was the breakthrough that helped us move forward and opened the doors to God’s version of how our story should go.
Want more information? My book page can be found HERE! You’ll find the Book Video Trailer and other goodies like shareable images, tweets, and a set of FREE Bonus Resources for anyone needing some extra hope and encouragement. Of course, there are some special bonuses for just the adoptive parent, as well, though!
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