When we give up all aspects of our lives as a total surrender to Christ, the Almighty Father provides overwhelming peace, warm reassurance, and supernatural love.
After putting her children to bed, a mother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse, took off her makeup, and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard her three- year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was that?”
Have you ever lain awake at night, wondering similarly, Who am I? Have you ever felt as though you were kinda faking your life? Maybe there had been some terrible mix-up and you picked up another person’s life by mistake? Maybe you want to give yourself to God, but what self are you going to give?
Your work life? The insane pace and tasks that don’t really come close to representing who you are? What you look like on the outside, or how you appear to others? Maybe. Your relationships? Good start. Our roles as wife, mother, friend or daughter are not the sum total of our identities. So what life, what self, can we give as a total surrender to Christ?
The answer is D: all of the above.
A simile that seems to fit about our “personhood” is that we are like onions. We can’t merely peel away all the layers, because the layers are us, too. You don’t get to the middle of an onion to find an apple core. The onion begins at the core, and each and every layer builds upon the “onion-ness” inside. An authentic life comes from an authentic self in which the layers on the outside are merely expressions of the core on the inside. So all the roles we play tell us something, but they are not the deepest level of our identity.
We bring all that we know of ourselves to all that we know of God, and we enter a relationship like none other. Even when we can’t figure out if all the pieces even add up to a whole person, we bring them and offer them as a total surrender to Christ. Then, in the loving way only God can, he begins to help us make sense of the pieces.
In Clinging, Emilie Griffin explains it like this, “He will whisper it to us not in the mad rush and fever of our striving and our fierce determination to be someone, but rather when we are content to rest in Him, to put ourselves into His keeping, into His hands.”
Surrendering to God the whole- bean essence of who we are will allow him access to the deepest place of our heart. The place where we hold all the messages we’ve heard and believed about who we really are. It is only there that God can bring about the deep change that we long for—because until we know the truth in that inner place, we will wander around noisy barnyards like ugly ducklings, seeking to make our way instead of gliding across the water like swans in the grace of his love and acceptance.
Several years ago, God used a little book called Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen to whisper this truth to me: “‘You are the Beloved,’ and all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being—‘You are the Beloved.’” I looked down into the pool and saw it for the first time. Not the me that I always saw in the mirrors of the world, but I think, the me that God saw when he created me… a baby, a girl, a youth, a woman, a mother, deeply loved and valued as a daughter of a King.
Today, walk by the reflective pool of God’s Word and dare to look in.
Are thirsting for more encouragement for the soul? You may enjoy The Wake Up Call
A bestselling author, performer, and motivational speaker, and FOUNDER of SEASONS WEEKEND, Nicole Johnson has been making audiences laugh and cry for over 25 years. With humor, compassion and wisdom, Nicole communicates using her unique blend of drama and speaking skills. She addresses issues drawn from the comedic struggles of our daily lives to the deeper questions that arise from our personal tragedies. Whether she is performing one of her original sketches on motherhood or breast cancer or sharing simple lessons from her own life, Nicole leaves each cup filled with a Fresh-Brewed perspective that brings Hope to the Daily Grind. Nicole lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband Roy, and their two children.
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