- Stacey Darling
Learning to Surrender
A few years ago, when I felt the Lord directing me to leave the teaching profession to raise my boys, it confused and frightened me a bit. There was no way we could afford to live on one income. I was terrified and tried to convince myself that He wasn't directing me to take that path. But the more I tried to tell myself otherwise, the more He spoke to me, the louder His voice became, and the more evident it was that He was asking us to take this step in faith.
"Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess." Deuteronomy 5:33
It was during this season, that the Lord also began speaking to us very loudly and very clearly about generosity and giving. So basically the Lord was telling us that we were to live on less income and give on a much greater scale. The exact opposite of what the world was telling us to do.
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
To say that these directives created anxiety in me is an understatement. In all honesty, I still struggle today with complete trust in what He has asked us to do. Thankfully I have my husband by my side. He is both faithful and a praying man. He keeps me grounded in faith and always brings me back to God's truth when my doubts and fears become greater than my faith.
"Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." 1 Peter 3:7
Our finances are the one area in my life that I have yet to completely surrender to Him. I still worry about our finances. I still constantly calculate in my head. My first response to unexpected financial blows is often tears followed by fears. I lose sleep over my concerns about financial lack.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
I thank the Lord that He hasn't given up on me and is still refining me in this area. He has been very patient with me, waiting for me to completely surrender to Him in this area. Despite my hesitation to surrender control in this area of my life, He has provided for us in the most miraculous ways, revealing His love and His desire to take care of us.
"And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
Throughout scripture, we are taught to give and to give generously. Jesus, who gave His own life for all of us, is who we are trying to emulate and He gave everything to save us. It only makes sense that our Heavenly Father would bless those who give sacrificially in faith. This act makes us more like Jesus and that is exactly what He wants for His children.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38
My husband and I feel strongly that the Lord is again asking us to trust Him and take another great leap of faith. I feel like everything we've gone through the past few years has led us to this moment in time. God is asking us to trust Him in a great way. He is again asking us to focus solely on Him and not our circumstances.
"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10
I would be lying if I said that doesn't scare me. Of course, I have doubts. Of course, I have questions and think about all of the what ifs, but I serve a great God and I know that He blesses obedience and faithfulness.
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3
He is a God of love and even if He is asking us to do something that may not make sense to us in the moment, we can be sure that it is for our good. His ways are not our ways. His ways are not the ways of this world but they are always for our best.
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." Psalm 13:5
What my husband and I have learned from taking these steps in great faith is that it not only tests and stretches our faith, but it also allows our Heavenly Father to reveal Himself in such miraculous, unexpected ways.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
For us, we know that He wants us to depend on Him and expect Him to provide for us. What we've experienced first hand is that provision could come from anywhere, anyone and at any time. All of which is perfectly and precisely timed and allotted according to His perfect plan and will for our lives.
"The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing." Psalm 34:10
We aren't perfect in this area. He is still refining us as we work toward becoming bolder in our faith and in our walk with Him, but we do love Him and He is the foundation of our relationship and our marriage. It certainly makes it easier that God has blessed me with my husband as my partner in this life. I feed off of his steady faith and allow him to pour into me. He reminds me often that we have been walking by faith since we said, "I do," and that decision continues to be the best thing that has happened to both of us in this life time.
This entry is dedicated to my husband. We recently celebrated our 7th year as husband and wife. Happy 7th Anniversary to my husband, best friend, and partner in this life. You are a blessing and a true gift from God. I am so thankful for you and our little family. God has been good to me. I love you.