Surrender. That word keeps popping up in my life whether I want it to or not. I hear it on the podcast sermons I listen to. I hear it in the Christian songs I listen to. I even heard it in the movie, Bruce Almighty inadvertently, when I was trying to change the channel to football, it got stuck on TBS during the part where Bruce (Jim Carrey) was screaming out I don’t want to play God any more, I surrender. That was definitely a God thing trying to get my attention.
You see, I am really good at trying to control things, to try and make them happen so to speak. I am a driver and a striver. It can be a good thing when you are trying to get things done and do I ever try to get things done.
Last week I was completely overwhelmed. I was trying to complete a chapter in my upcoming book to get it ready to send out to a publisher. I had two big podcasts that I was preparing for having the opportunity to interview the producer and lead actor for the soon to be premiering movie Samson. I have an article due in Faith in Fitness magazine and I had four new clients start in a week. I am also preparing for an upcoming talk at a church where my Dad used to do some preaching. No pressure there, right?
All of those things are all super amazing blessings, but I was completely overwhelmed with all I had to do, and honestly I didn’t handle it well. I was stressed, exhausted from lack of sleep and an on-going battle with insomnia and terrible allergies. My go to when I am overwhelmed is to go into deep analytical mode combined with some isolation. I try to think my way through things and I usually do this by myself. Probably not the best combination.
I am currently reading a book called Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. The book is talking about praying big audacious prayers. Prayers that scare you, prayers that take you out of your comfort zone, prayers that take your breath away. I have been praying big prayers lately. Prayers for abundance. Prayers for my new kingdom building business to make a huge impact. Prayers to get more clients and for opportunities that will make me lean into my edge.
This is what Mark Batterson has to say about God’s blessings. “You need to come to terms with this two-sided truth: The blessings of God won’t just bless you; they will also complicate your life. Sin will complicate your life in negative ways. The blessings of God will complicate your life in positive ways. Blessings will complicate your life, but they will complicate your life the way God wants it complicated.”
Mark challenges us to courageously pray this prayer, “Lord, complicate my life.”
Well it has certainly worked for me. My life has definitely gotten more complicated and that was followed by a complete feeling of being overwhelmed. But then I realized why I was feeling so overwhelmed. I was trying to do everything under my own strength. That never turns out good, by the way.
As I took a couple of days to step back, I realized once again that God wants us to lean on his strength, not our own. To surrender complete control to Him. That God will equip me for this fitness ministry that he has put on my heart. He will use me even in my brokenness.
A scripture that I leaned into during this time of overwhelm was 1 Peter 5:6-7. “Humble yourselves, therefore under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” When I meditated on this scripture I completely relaxed and let everything go. I knew that God’s got this. That God is in control and he knows what is best.
Surrender. Sweet surrender. It feels so good, but why do we fight it? I decided to surrender every part of my business to God. You know what happened? The podcasts went off without a hitch. I have been blessed with four amazing new clients that I am super-pumped to work with. A great friend of mine and talented writer agreed to write the article for Faith and Fitness Magazine and I was able to spend time this past weekend writing my speech with the words just flowing from me. God’s got this. He has got me. And he has you too, just surrender.
What area of your life haven’t you surrendered yet? We usually hold on to the area the hardest where we need to surrender the most. Is it your finances? Surrender it! Is it your relationships? Surrender it! Is it your health? Surrender it! Is it your career? Surrender it!
The result of surrender is a complete feeling of freedom, lightness, peace and joy. Who doesn’t want that? Control is just an illusion anyway. Trust God in all areas of your life. Pray this courageous prayer of making your life more complicated and then get ready to surrender to all of the complicated blessings God will bring your way.
If you are struggling with surrender and need someone to coach you, I would love to partner with you and be a part of your tribe. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary coaching session. I would love to hear how God is making your life more complicated.
Troy Ismir, MS
Personal Trainer and Health Coach