I watched a woman walk, yesterday, from her pew to the front of the church. She’d been paralyzed for thirteen years. The details of the past few months – the dreams, the first wiggling of the toes, the prayer to be able to stand for the reading of the Word – are hers to tell. And she wants to tell the world. It’s glorious – God’s power alive in her.
I sit as we sing and I can’t hold back a few tears. Tears of delight for her. Of wonder at God’s power in our midst. And, I’m ashamed to admit, a few for me too – tears of longing and wondering. Will I ever stand next to her as we sing?
We sing together, she and I and the rest of us, strong and lame and dying and living and brimming with brokenness and celebration and surrender:
“Here am I,
All of me.
Take my life,
It’s all for Thee.”
Maybe He’ll heal this body too, or maybe the story He’s writing in me is different. But it’s Him that I want, and how can I sing those words and not be willing if He chooses to live His power in my weakness rather than healing this body that is no longer mine but His anyway?
This isn’t about gloomy or grudging surrender to being written into a part I’d rather not play. This is about moments of longing and tears and still loving my story and the One who’s writing it because on every page there’s an invitation to come closer.
He has promised it: He is for me. All his love, and that same power that made Jamie walk – and Christ rise – is mine too. He just hasn’t promised exactly how it will look in my life.
The tulip has been slowly dying on my bathroom counter all week, petals curling and gold shining more and more brightly through blood red, the bright white pistil standing tall in the center. There’s glory in it all – glory in the tall and straight and in the curve and curl of the petals as they slowly surrender. We’re all dying and all being renewed day by day, and though the process looks a little different in each part of the body, we’re all one, all part of Him, dying with Him and being raised to new life with Him. And together it all looks like flame.
Suggestions for soaking: Rom 8:31-32; Eph 3: 14-21; 1:17-23; Col 1:29; 2 Cor 4; 12:7-10
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Wisdom. Another young woman gets this too. Her name is Laura Story and she wrote words quite like this in a beautiful song. Blessings. He IS at work revealing His glory in all kinds of ways … but really only in one. In our brokenness, His wholeness is seen. As you say, one way or another, we must die so that He can live in us. As I’ve watched His glory in the majestic beauty of dying leaves again this autumn, I have marvelled at the God who does that!
Thanks for sharing this, Betty-Anne. I’ve just looked up Laura Story’s song. Beautiful.
My heart is full as I read your thoughts! I long to surrender fully to Him. Why do I hold back sometimes! There is such freedom, such peace when I do! Thank you for this Carolyn! Eternity will reveal the countless number of people you have encouraged!
Thanks Aunt Doreen. I ask myself the same question often. . . why do I hold back when I know that there is so much joy and freedom in surrender? I’m so grateful that God is patient with us in the process and just keeps gently encouraging us to come closer!
Thanks once again, Love, for trusting Him to decide how best He wants his glory to shine in and through you. It’s happening! 🙂
This is so beautiful Carolyn! Our bible study is working on Paul Miller’s Praying Life. This week’s lesson is on surrender. Would you mind if I shared your story here with my group? It is the perfect picture of where we need to be to see God working his story in our lives. Thank you so much for posting it. It is a wonderful encouragement to me!
Thanks Jean. I’m very happy for you to share this post or any other with your group. It encourages me when God uses my story—sometimes in surprising ways—to encourage others.