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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Surrender

I haven't finished my story yet - not sure I'm ready to.  The time in Indonesia was filled with bittersweet memories.  I would say that will be my toughest story to write, and I will, but not today. 

I want to write about surrender.  A friend recently returned a book I'd forgotten about called "Dangerous Surrender" by Kay Warren.  I started reading in it and it seems to be touching something in my life that is needing to be addressed.

Awhile back I asked a friend to do some vinyl lettering for me.  The words I wanted in my kitchen were "Spend yourself and your light will shine in the darkness."  I know I've written about it before but I'm not sure if it was in this blog or not.  The verse is in Isaiah 58:10, and I've left out some parts so it fits where I want it.  The words still remind me of the full content of the verse. 

Isaiah 58:10 says, " and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." 

Actually all the verses around it are so encouraging.  What am I saying?  It's God's Word, so of course it is.  But especially to this whole idea of surrender. 

I get the idea of "Go get exhausted on behalf of the needy."  OOPS!  Better stop complaining at home when there are things to do, because it should start there.  And when we complain about all that we need to do in front of the kids, it breeds complaining hearts and whiny attitudes.  Not fun.

To add to the thoughts on surrender, a friend is going through some of the things we went through after leaving missions, and a puppy was hit by a car last night and suffered for what seemed a long hour before dying.

I'm not sure I can explain how this all fits together.  The questions running through my mind are: "Is my heart soft and compassionate to those around me or have I hardened it to the pain of life?"  "Is there a time to buck up and shake it off and go through it?" My fears are if I allow myself to succumb to tears there won't be an end, and yet I want to be moved with compassion.  Can I have both?

My desire is to surrender to God's will for my life, even if it means that I'll never have a minute to myself, or that I'll fall into bed exhausted because I worked almost until bedtime.  But at the same time, I'm thinking, "What if it hurts?"  I already know the answer to that one.  It will!!!  But the rewards will be beyond imaginations so it's worth it. 

Do I really want to get involved?  Staying in my home would be so much easier.  Not allowing the hurt of others or my own to enter my heart seems better and more desirable.  Am I expressing that compassion to my children or am I saying, "Oh, don't see any blood, you must be fine." 

But when they see their puppy lying on the back porch and their eyes fill up with tears, there is no blood to be seen.  But they need someone to love them through it.  I don't want to tell them to quit crying and shake it off.  It really does hurt and pain is part of life. 

I do want them to see that life for that puppy would be awful.  Even if we could will her to live somehow for our own sakes, it would be selfish on our parts.  That death was better for her than suffering in order for us to be happy.

There is growth I think in allowing ourselves and others to process what happens.  When the boys first brought her in, I saw that she was badly hurt.  Her hip was broken and the leg too.  She was hardly moaning and just laying there.  At that point the kids didn't not want her to be put to sleep.  Daddy wasn't home yet, so I called him.  He asked us to wait until he got home.

As we checked on her and I saw the signs of death, the kids and I talked about what was better for Angel.  We didn't even know if she was paralyzed or not.  It was a very stressful evening, but we learned a few things.  It's better to keep moving than to sit and think - whether it's cleaning or even just sitting next to Angel.  We learned that sometimes God says no when we ask for something.

So how can I be the person that God wants me to be, someone who's compassionate and yet not a basket case who has to have a box of kleenex around all the time?  I think of the words "Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice."  That's what I'm striving toward.  But I don't know the answers to all of my questions.  I think I'm going to keep learning on this one.

Steph

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