I haven’t written a post about my thoughts during this sabbatical period for quite a few weeks. It has now been over 2 months since my last day of work, and I can honestly say that the experience has completely exceeded my expectations. During my time off, I have been focusing on relationships – deepening both my relationship with God and my relationships with others. I have enjoyed spending time with my friends and not watching the clock to ensure that I make it back to work on time. It has been a time of introspection and reflection. I have grown closer to God and felt his leadership in my life more fully than ever before. Honestly, I believe this is because the busyness and distractions from my pre-sabbatical routine kept me from hearing God and having the intimate relationship with Him that I’ve always desired. I have joined a women’s Bible Study. I have learned to knit. I have spent time at my sister and brother-in-law’s house in Alabama enjoying their new baby. I have gone out on dates – and finally realized that, first and foremost, my heart belongs to Jesus. And that He will guide me to the husband that He has chosen for me. It’s such a big relief to quit carrying things on my shoulders and rely on His much stronger ones. Because it is not all about me – it’s only about God, His kingdom and His perfect plan.
However, I must admit that it has not been a time completely free of anxiety. I don’t hold a fully mapped out plan of the next few months or years of my life. A lot of my friends are losing their jobs, and I wonder if I am crazy for quitting my job. I feel God calling me to things that are new and scary – things that will only succeed if I completely rely on Him instead of my own skills and abilities. I feel God asking me to lay down my fears regarding financial matters and vocational decisions at His feet. Basically, I believe God is asking me to surrender to Him – all of me, not just the parts of me that I feel okay letting go. And even though I’ve been singing it and saying it all my life, it’s time to actually do it. I surrender all.
I have learned that the act of surrendering is not a one-time exercise. For me, it’s a daily activity that involves repenting when I try to grab back control of my life from God. Maybe it’s not happening on my schedule or my timetable; maybe my sinful nature thinks I can do it better or do it all by myself…so I forget God’s plan and start living my way again. For me, surrendering is a daily commitment to Jesus that I have faith in His plan, His Lordship, His way, and His redemption of me. And surrendering to His grace when I totally mess that up, too.
P.S. I saw this post’s title on a church sign as I was driving by it a few months ago. It took a few seconds for it to sink it, but I love it!