“I surrender all. I surrender all. All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”
I’ve grown up hearing that hymn. I’ve also heard numerous sermons over the years which ask the question, “Do you really surrender all? Or do you only surrender most?” And the preachers challenge us to only sing those words if we really mean them.
Being the literalist that I am, after hearing those sermons I would typically just hum. “Hmm hmm hmm hm hmmm. Hmm hmm hmm hm hmmm. All to Thee my blessed Savior, hmm hmm hmm hm hmmm.” Because I didn’t want to sing the words if I didn’t mean them. And I was afraid that I didn’t mean them.
I don’t know about you, but yeah, I struggle with surrendering all areas of my life.
Trusting God is hard. Especially because He doesn’t reveal His entire plan to us all at once.
Wanna know an area of my life that I find extremely difficult to trust to God?
My singleness and my hopes to not be single forever.
I know I talk about this a lot here on Joy Because Grace, but that’s because it’s still hard.
And I struggle with the question “Can I be truly content with being single if I don’t trust God’s timing?” because I don’t know if that’s possible.
I feel content with being single right now. I don’t want to get married anytime soon, and I’m thankful that I haven’t been in a relationship… but it’s still hard to release the future aspect of it.
I’m contently single now… but will I be if I’m still single in a year?
I ask myself this question a lot.
And I don’t know the answer yet.
I want it to be yes.
But I’m scared it might be no.
I want to trust God even when I can’t see the end of the path He’s designed for me.
When I studied abroad in Costa Rica, there was a day that we all went zip-lining through the rain forest. And at the end, we had the opportunity to repel down a slippery cliff into a rushing creek.
You read that right. Scary.
I don’t mind heights. I can stand up high and look down all day long (well, maybe not ALL day). But when it comes to scaling down a cliff and leaving the safety of solid ground…. well, that is a little more difficult for me.
I hate jumping off of things. Always have. So when the flirtatious Tican guides asked us if we wanted to repel down the cliff, my stomach turned in knots.
“NO!!” My mind screamed. “I much prefer solid, non-slippery ground!”
I came up with a million excuses. Example: I’m wearing jeans and when I’d land in the river my pants would get wet.
I looked around me. Some of the other girls looked terrified too. Some looked genuinely excited. One girl immediately backed out, “No way! I’m not doing that!”
Two of the guides strapped themselves to the ropes and showed us the proper way to jump off the ledge.
We would have to stand on the edge of the metal platform, spread our legs way apart, and sit backwards, keeping our legs straight. When our waist was lower than our feet, then we could jump off.
If we jumped off too soon, we’d hit our heads on the railing and not be able to regain our position.
Two by two, my fellow students began to repel down the slippery cliff. They made it safely to the bottom.
I was terrified. But I knew if I didn’t do it I would regret it. “When in Costa Rica, scale down a cliff,” apparently.
I did it. And one of the guides got a picture of it. (Don’t let my “camera face” fool you. I was terrified. My heart was pounding SO loud. The eyes behind those sunglasses are filled with fear.)
You see that bar there? Beyond that, the cliff did a major slope inward and you couldn’t see whoever was “jumping” down the mountain anymore.
My jeans were rolled up in preparation of my landing in the river. I didn’t have to get that wet though. The instant I made it to the bottom, the guide at the bottom swung me over to the muddy land.
In order to repel down the cliff into the river, I had to trust that the guides had strung the ropes correctly. I had to trust them not to drop me. I had to trust that my shoes wouldn’t lose their grip and slide down the moss. I had to trust despite my fear of the unknown and the fact that I couldn’t see how much longer till I’d reach the bottom.
When it comes to trusting God, it’s much of the same.
We have to trust Him. We have to trust that He set everything up correctly. We have to trust that He won’t let go of us. We have to trust even when we can’t see the end of our journey.
I don’t know when my last day to be single will be.
I don’t know when my future wedding is gonna take place. And even though I have a timeline in my head of when I dream all of that will happen, I have to recognize that it may not be God’s timeline.
I have to learn to trust that He has a greater plan for me than I ever could dream up. Beyond my wildest dream.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
God writes beautiful love stories. Will you join me in learning to trust Him completely with our own love stories?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
With ALL your heart. Not a doubt left.
It’s a tall order, but with Jesus helping us, we can trust God completely.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3
When I am afraid that I’ll be single forever, I will trust in God.
When I am afraid that no one could love me, I will trust in God.
When I am afraid to surrender my plans for my life, I will trust in God.