You have read my words over the last few months and you know how I have struggled! God has given me strength and grace over and over again. I have had new life spring forth in my heart and I have let go….and let go…and let go.
But being a Christian isn’t a 1-2-3 zip it up process. So, while I have surrendered, I have also taken back. Haven’t we all? Oh, haven’t we all! And that is why this post isn’t just about my reflections, it’s also here to encourage you.
Because I need you to know that we are on this road together. And not a one of us has it all zipped up and put together. A few weeks ago, Ben and I planned the fastest oceanside road trip you could imagine! We were going to go to Half Moon Bay and travel down the oh so beautiful Highway 1 in our old 90s truck. I was excited to spend time with Ben, and I had no idea the turning that my heart would do in less than 24 hours.
We parked at the hotel, ate at a seafood restaurant with an ocean view no less! Then, we walked ourselves down the shore with lots of jokes and laughter. I eventually decided to let my hair down. I just wanted to enjoy the feel of the ocean air whipping my hair around. I wanted to let it free.
And I realized something amazing.
Isn’t it so wonderful that we can’t control life? I can’t snap my fingers and make it happen. I can’t squeeze myself into the story I want. I just can’t do it. I have no control. This thought would stir my heart into constant chaos if God wasn’t my Father.
But He is my father.
And He has control! As I let my hair go free, there was so much joy in unfolding my heart and offering up my expectations for life…. once again. There’s no 1-2-3 in the Christian life. It is a constant fight to do what is right, to say no to self, to search and know God. But in the fighting, there is joy and rest…all because God is with me. I am not alone!
And this whirlwind oceanside venture was my chance to let my hair down as a symbol of giving up–once again–the white knuckle grasp I had on control and expectations. It is so easy to hold onto what I believe is best for my life when God has withheld nothing from me. Period.
I am living the exact life He has written for me, and that includes whatever hardship or fire I am facing. But God is the Great I Am and He never only gives Himself in part. He gives Himself completely…every day…for me. I can ask for His strength, cling to His promises, and hold fast to Him!
We stopped just once along our Highway 1 adventure. Seeing the ocean makes me feel small, but it also makes me feel so significant. The God who made all this, made me. And not only did He make me—He thinks of me, loves me, and is after my heart. Doesn’t that make you want to cry with joy?
There I stood barefoot on the sand. I took out the bobby pins and hairband, and I placed them in my pocket. My hair flew free as an offering to God that I was surrendering my heart once again.
There is joy in giving God all the things that easily wrap around my heart and mind. I don’t have to be afraid. I don’t have to live in anxiety or hesitantly move forward.
I am free.
I am at rest.
And I am fully loved…
even when I choose to be a woman of fear!
God continues to turn my heart to Him as He replaces my fear with His truth, and my expectations with His best. I couldn’t be happier for this life of right now, right here.
But here’s the thing…
Even after so much victory and holding onto God—I sunk low again just hours later. But God is full of grace! My white-knuckle grasping didn’t take Him by surprise. He loved me just as much then as he did when I let my hair down on the beach.
Here I am, just a day or so later, still letting go, still surrendering, still holding tight to God and His truth. The Christian life isn’t a 1-2-3- zip it up and pack it in experience. The oceanside was full of surrender, but my fight isn’t finished yet.
My desire to be in control and sit as number 1 will rage on and on and on, but my God is faithful! I have hope. I experience joy! For every time I fall, I find grace. For every time I sit crushed, I am built back up in His love. For every time, I sink into discouragement, His Truth calls out to me in the darkness.
I am not alone.
And neither are you!
I let go of my heart at the oceanside, but the fact is…I’m still letting go today. And God is still catching me every time I fall, and I’m still loved no matter what. The ocean waves keep hitting the shoreline, and I keep fighting with God by my side.
There is joy here.
There is peace here.
There is rest here.
So, while the waves keep hitting the shoreline, why don’t we keep giving up our hearts to God? It doesn’t matter if we have to do it over and over again, beacuse God wants us today, tomorrow, and forever!
And that is our victory song. That is our hope!