Wednesdays with Jillene: raise your white flag

so… yeah… raising my white flag over here.

Hands in the air surrender going on right now.

Some days you come face to face with a fight you can’t win, raise your white flag in surrender to realize surrender is always where you need to be.

We’ve been fighting a battle around here for about 3 weeks with illness and unexpected events. Like I said before, nothing earth shattering. Yet, the more time went on, the more I couldn’t cope.

Then it hit me as I was texting a friend:

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“I’m letting myself get weighed down with how each thing falls short of what I want and allowing that to stack up.” That weight is unbearable. Because I was never meant to bear it. I am not responsible for making everything perfect. Not responsible for managing every detail until it falls into place like a beautiful novel. Not responsible for mitigating every outcome to avoid suffering. God doesn’t ask me to make everything right. He invites me to live a life for Him.

It seems I’ve been here before. Some lessons are hard to learn.

God invites us into a life lived for Him. A life given in sacrificial worship of the creator, sustainer, redeemer, savior, friend… and we surrender- in our weakness- to that Love.

I come to the hardest of it. Because I find so often when I open my tight grasp on my weakness, I find I have my fist clenched even closer on my strength.

And God calls me to surrender that to Him as well.

Because, you know what, I never really had it anyway. What was my strength was never sufficient, never strong enough, never complete enough, never BIG enough to sustain me. In fact, when I’m really honest, what I viewed as my strength was so often my weaknesses in disguise.

Today’s white flag surrender moment came when I saw the nurse’s number on the caller ID, heard another child was sick and knew there was nothing I could do because we are down a vehicle. Called my husband from work to come pick him up… and sat down (already) exhausted with another day and another problem.

Closed my computer. That blog post I’ve been researching and outlining is going to have to wait. I can’t work on that when someone sick needs my attention.

Gave up on my plans. No reason to make half hearted attempts at accomplishing my work. Time for something else.

img_5633Then I remembered a frosting container up in the cupboard. It’s been waiting for the right time and it seems today is that day. It’s Avari’s birthday. She’d love this frosting for her birthday. I’d made cupcakes last night, but those were for school, she’d like some here too.img_5625

Oh, cupcakes! I have that heart pan… those would be perfect.

I put up my white flag, surrendered to (another) day I couldn’t fix and set to baking cupcakes…

When somewhere along the way of filling another load of heart cupcakes I started noticing I had a different attitude, you might say, a change of heart.

Ah… a matter of the heart.

Staring at those heart cupcakes I could begin to see what had been going wrong with my own heart.

Seems I’ve been here before too. Some lessons are really hard to learn.

Sometimes in life we need a “fighting” spirit. There are times to protect ourselves/friends/families. There are times to stand up for what is right. There are times when a strong will keeps you from going down the wrong path.

And there are times when the only way to truly live is to surrender.

Matthew 16:24-26 says, “24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”

The only way to truly live is to lay down your life to follow God. And, boy do we ever, need God to give us a “New Understanding” to be able to grasp this one!

I know I try to hold onto so much… be it hopes/dreams or desires for my life or the need to be in charge of how my life will turn out. But God’s ways are not my ways… and to truly live… the only way to really fight… is to choose to give up… because nothing is worth more than our soul.

Don’t get me wrong! This “give up” I am speaking of is not a “give up” that is hopeless. Instead it is a surrender full of the hope (the promise) that our creator, who loves us so much, will take the life we give to Him and give us the life HE intended us to live.

Some days you come face to face with a fight you can’t win, raise your white flag in surrender to realize surrender is always where you need to be. It’s a matter of the heart. 

The state of my heart lately: heavy burdened.

Kinda snuck up on me, ya know? Really, nothing BIG was going on… yet, in all the little things I was letting the weight pile on until it I was bearing a burden I couldn’t carry and  I was weary, broken by the little things.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I often think about Jesus words in Matthew 11 as referring to the weight of BIG burdens, insurmountable obstacles, impossible expectations. But today, God softened my heart to the reality that the little can be just as heavy as the big when I try to carry it on my own. God’s working on my mind to examine how I’m burdening myself with fault I am not meant to bear. God is whispering through the Spirit to my weary soul to find rest in Him.

And you? Anything from this resonating with you today? We aren’t meant to walk through life alone. Not only does Jesus beckon us to bring our burdens but God has also given us the support of the body of Christ. Galatians 6:2 admonishes us to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

You are not alone! Not in your burdens, never in the surrender, this isn’t a solo fight.

~Jillene

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