Surrendering

She slid softly into an empty seat, barely raising her head or risking a glance around her. Trying to look invisible while wanting to be noticed.
Eyes gradually roamed surroundings clinical yet suggestive of homely warmth.Here a comfortable chair, there a magazine, walls decorated with gentle art work to please the senses, floor carpeted.

Yet the scurrying, uniformed figures, cold steel trolleys, slabs of notes, trays holding equipment for testing ~ all betrayed the fact that this was actually a hospital waiting area.
We were captive to clock and schedules, time and tide of their convenience, malleable only to moulds of their design, clients of their care, patients feeling anything but patient.
Brief nods and smiles were exchanged before confession followed. First time? Me too. Waited how long? Oh dear!
What to do. Would there be time to drink a sip or two of water, open the Kindle and lose oneself in a book, check our phones (ignoring the ‘switch off please’ signs), rummage in bags, sigh, dream, chat, or….simply yield to the moment.
So we sat as statues. Brief shuffling, turning of heads to scan notices, gaze at our feet, read notices for the umpteenth time, whispered conversation, eyes glued to every individual who might be here to summon us into the depths.
How does one yield gracefully when senses are heightened to alert and alarm? How do we savour the moment when anxiety is high, pain presses in hard and minds are switched to numbness?
I found myself focusing on a painting. Golden yellow rays spilling as fountain reminding me of the sunshine of God’s love and how His grace spills and fills every corner of our lives.
My desire is to bask in its warmth. Seek energy and strength for what might lay ahead.
As I visualised those rays washing over me, peace came. I could hold conversation. Act normal. And maybe that’s all God asks of us. To let Him in to everything and realise He’s already there.
Abiding. Clinging to The Vine. Accepting where we are on the way to where we’re going.
Release and find rest. Sink trustful. Know we are safe. Kept. Held. Anchored.
I wondered how pliable I was. This woman who wakes stiff, limbs resistant to movement.
Would my soul yield soft as clay to The Master Potter’s touch on my life ~ be it unpalatable or not?
How willing am I to receive, accept and surrender to the thought that all things are allowed by Him ~ even This?
In the bowing down we look up to God’s higher authority, His all knowing, all seeing, all encompassing ways.
And it is a willing, meaningful yielding. Acknowledgement of His sovereignty.
My eyes shift again to view images of coffee cups and beach huts. Here too we see goodness and grace. Lift our cup of sorrow and joy and swallow down. Know it is as endless as the sea. This balance of beauty in ashes. Shelter from storms.
Voices sounding nearby call me out of my reverie. My name. My turn. My assessment and tests begin.
Groping for my stuff, struggling to prepare and follow, I smile and wish my fellow newbie well.
Here I surrender dignity and privacy. Ready myself to be investigated and questioned.
A faint shadow of the Son of Man before the cross stirs in my mind. I see Jesus stripped of all dignity. Giving out. A handing over. Great surrender. Yielding to the Father’s will.
Such love. Such grace. Such mercy.
His pain had a glorious purpose. Maybe yours and mine has too, though we can fail to see it.
A life given up so freely by the Lord of Life, yet I so often cling to my life, time, needs, plans, schedules ~ wary of change and interruption.
Boxed in by my boundaries when a life of freedom beckons if…I hang loose to the things of this world, this life, and hold fast to the eternal and unchanging promises of God.
A chair wheels me onwards down long corridors. Weary beyond words, I have X-rays, blood tests and help to dress. Yield to those stronger than I. Muse at how I was once the one offering assistance. A nurse clocking up miles a day as I strode purposefully down corridors, tending, supporting, lifting body and spirit by my ministrations.
Now, I sit passive as my husband and others join forces to prepare me for what needs doing. Made to lie low. With hope of being renewed, restored, reshaped as clay into a vessel fit for purpose again, even as God uses me for different things now…praying, writing, listening, being there.
We make it home and I need sustenance. Bacon sandwich and a cup of tea feel like a taste of heaven. And I rest. Allow peace and grace to fill me anew. Sit quiet for a while away from bright lights and activity.
Maybe the pain will never end in this lifetime. Maybe incapacity will increase. I don’t know. The One who gives grace upon grace to cope knows that.
What I do know is His great capacity in all my incapacities.How I wish I had another tale to tell and story to share sometimes than the one I am living.

Yet through it all I can bear witness to the tremendous sustaining power of God. Whatever I have given over to Him has been more then repaid, multiplied grace on grace at His hands.

And as I try to follow this path of daily (if not hourly) surrender, my hope is for His Story to be revealed through my own.

 I want to yield to Holy Spirit’s work in me. I want to see purpose in pain, liberty in a limited life. Being hard, brittle, bitter and resentful is a path I refuse to take. It all comes down to whom or what we yield to, issues of acceptance, dependence, love and trust.
I want to be able to let go (if need be) of those things I value higher than I should ~ my will, my ways, reputation, comfort, capacity and dreams.
Because in the releasing of all I have considered better, I know my cup will be filled to overflowing with God’s best as my will becomes conformed more closely with His.
Let me be soft, workable clay to be fashioned as He chooses. Let me be pliable and flexible. Let me be willing to yield ~ always. Amen.

 
Linking here with Jennifer at #TellHisStory where we encourage one another by sharing the story God is writing through our lives.

You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.

21 Comments

  1. Oh Joy, I also wish you had a different tale to tell as the cycle of medical appointments, mobility issues and pain is horrid. Your posts are always such a blessing though focusing on God's eternal goodness, however tough today is for you. I'm convicted by this: 'A life given up so freely by the Lord of Life, yet I so often cling to my life, time, needs, plans, schedules ~ wary of change and interruption.'

    1. Mandy, I know how well you identify and connect to this life and wish yours were different too Yet through it all, in living out a life so dependent on God, we are also writing out the story of His wonderful grace. Hope the conviction hit gently, my friend. God wants to change us little by little as we surrender all to Him. I'm grateful to be a 'work in progress' even if overnight transformation might seem preferable! Blessings Xx

  2. Again, Joy you spoke to my heart about surrender, about God's faithfulness, and many of the things we go through with chronic illnesses. The best thing is that you helped me remember "hope" and "contentedness." I began to write a response and realized I was writing a blog post, so I have a link back at Woman to Woman and a link in my post to your blog. You inspired me. I wasn't even planning to write today. I hope you get some relief. Love, Debby XxO

    1. Oh that's lovely! I'm so pleased to have been an instrument of inspiration for you, Debby. Isn't it wonderful when words flow free and we know we have a message to share? Do let me know when it is published. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Blessings and love Xx

  3. "Let me be soft, workable clay to be fashioned as He chooses. Let me be pliable and flexible. Let me be willing to yield ~ always. Amen" Amen indeed!

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday God bless.

    1. Hello Jenifer. It's lovely to meet you! Thanks very much for visiting and commenting. It's an honour to link up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday for the first time and I hope to do so again soon.

    1. Anita, I would love nothing better than sitting gently chatting, sharing and praying together over a cup of tea or coffee. Hugs are ALWAYS greatly appreciated too! Thank you, sweet friend. I am here for you too. Xx

    1. Hello Constance Ann (may I call you Connie?). It's good to see you here! Thanks very much for stopping by to leave a supportive, encouraging comment. Let's pray those words together, my friend. Blessings on your life and walk with the Lord. Xx

    1. Dear Julie, you are not such a distant friend ~ only in miles! With Christian fellowship we are as close as sisters. I am grateful for your visit and lovely comment. Thank you! Xx 🙂

  4. Joy, this is beautiful and heartbreaking, a tender faith. Thank you for yielding in your vulnerability to us, to tell your important story of what God is doing in and through your life and specifically through your pain. Yes, this is my heart's cry, too, friend: "To let Him in to everything and realise He's already there." So happy to see you again through Concrete Words.

    1. Ashley, I really appreciate your lovely words both here and on your own sweet blog! And I'm more than grateful that God gifted me with words to share for the #concretewords link up. It's lovely to join with you again. Blessings 🙂 x

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