Surrender is a tough word, with so many negative connotations . . . and yet in an amazing and weird way it is absolutely freeing. Living a surrendered life sounds like I would have no control, no say, no voice, and no choice in what happens to me, for me, or anywhere around me. And, yet, like many things in God's universe, the opposite is true.
What does it look like to live a surrendered life, and what does it mean to be surrendered to God's design?
There is a line in the song "Multiplied" by Need to Breathe that says,
God of mercy sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to Your design.
I think there are two parts to surrendering to God's design. The first meaning I see is a surrender to how God designed me: my personality, my looks, my being, my gifts, my talents, and my abilities. These are all the things God chose to give me and all the the things he chose not to give me in regard to who I am. This is not really looking at any of the external influences in my life, but everything that God has made about my internal and external being.
Your design, by God, is perfect. He did not make any mistakes. Your hair color, your curly or straight hair, your height or lack thereof, your freckly face, your skin color . . . all the things about your physical self are exactly how God made them.
Have you surrendered - accepted and even embraced - all of them as God's gift to you?
What about your gifts, talents, and abilities? This combination of things that you are good at is a gift from God. It is part of His design of you so that you can fulfill all the purposes He has for your life. He did not give this exact combination to anyone else. It is specifically and specially designed for you.
Your personality design is beautiful and wonderful. Think about the way God designed your personality and the personalities of your spouse and kids. It is like no other and aren't we all grateful for that? You were made uniquely you! The things you like and don't like, the natural way you respond to life, your sense of humor, even the way you sneeze . . . isn't that a funny thought? The way people sneeze kind of fits their personalities. It is different for each of us and yet some people are known by their sneezes and that is part of your unique design by God. God must have had fun thinking about that one. ;)
What about the other part of surrendering to God's design? I think this is a surrender to God's design of our life path. It starts with the family we are placed in, the parents we are given, the number of siblings we have, and where we fall in the birth order. Our family greatly impacts who we are and how we respond to life. Do we live surrendered to this design, or do we use it as an excuse for poor behavior? Are we grateful and thankful (regardless of what it looks like), or are we constantly comparing and complaining about this part of our God-designed life?
Another aspect of surrendering to God's design of our life path is the circumstances God allows in our lives. God allows good things and bad things to come into our lives. We do not have any control over these things, but we can control our response. We have a phrase we always use in our home, "my response is . . . my responsibility." It comes out of this idea that we can either blame and become a victim to the circumstances of our lives or we can choose to see this as our path of growth from God. We can choose to surrender to our God-designed life. We can choose to see good in it. We can choose to accept what comes our way.
I knew a college girl named Sara. She was athletic, fun, kind, caring, and had so much life ahead of her. While she was at college she had a problem with her leg and had to go to the doctor. They discovered that she had an aggressive cancer. The diagnosis was that this cancer would take her life, and it did. Sara had a pretty big choice to make. She could wallow in self-pity, get angry, blame God, and live out the rest of her short life depressed and unapproachable. Sara chose to surrender to God's design for her life. She didn't necessarily like the outcome or what God had chosen for her, but her surrender to this life path and design allowed her to impact many with her remaining year of life, and even in her death.
Are you surrendered to your design? Is there a specific part of your God-designed life that you need to surrender?
If we want to live an extraordinary lives we must surrender to God's design. If not, we will stay stuck and miss out on our opportunities to make a difference and live truly extraordinary lives.
My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive updates from Be Extraordinary!