I laid on the hardwood floor partly praying, mostly surrendering. It had been several months since I had lost my job. I was running out of money and found myself wrestling with the fact that I might need to make certain decisions that left me feeling indignant, embarrassed and feeling like a failure. I laid on the floor after having done all I could; I took a deep breath and opened my hands to God. I was still actively looking for work but that moment, I let it all go – the fear, the shame, even the hope of quickly returning to work. That instant, I gave myself permission to be okay, even if that meant taking a detour; even if I were to lose it all.
The months of unemployment — my liminal space – served as an incubator for additional character development. During that time, I was reminded of several life-changing truths, including the following:
- Prayer should come from a place of faith and not of fear – Have your prayers ever sounded like this… “God, I don’t want to face this; please don’t let such and such happen” or “I don’t want to go through that and seem…?” If there is one thing I learned these past few months it is that when our focus is on what we fear the most, our fear becomes our reality. Surrendering requires that we take a stance of faith – in our thoughts, in our prayer, in our actions; for, the fear that consumes us and on which we set our mind will inevitably become true.
- The experience of loss can be a great litmus test of our faith – A loss may occur on various forms – loss of a job, a house, a relationship, the passing of someone dear — and may generate various degrees of anguish. We may think we know how we would react when faced with such loss or adversity but in reality, we won’t know until we find ourselves in those situations. It is then we will testify of our beliefs and faith. It is in the testing of our knowing that we are awakened to our strengths and to those areas where we are still questioning. It is absolutely normal and important that we should acknowledge our losses and struggles. Yet, just as important, we must be resilient and resolved to grieve them, to push through and to remain anchored to what we know to be true.
- There is rest in the midst of the storm – That moment on the floor when I consciously decided to relinquish control of the situation, I was overtaken by a peace that surpassed my understanding. Once again, Abba took on my yoke and my burden became light. And, the days that followed gifted me with a renewed mind and just as David exclaimed in Psalm 62, I found an inner rest that could have only come from God.
When you face stormy seas, I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned. Isaiah 43:2 (The Voice)
Is there something in your life for which you need to open your hands? What have you been holding on to that ought to be surrendered? You don’t have to do it alone! There is provision for it all, if only you would open your hands.
In His mercy!