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thawed out ponds and God's odd sense of timing, and why you need to start pretending

In regards to surrender, the turning point for me, I would have to say, was pretending that I was surrendering. Acting as if I was good with handing it all over to God and then going about my day, anxiety free. Tricking only myself because although I am not too smart in all the things, I am smart enough to know that you can't trick God.

Because here is the thing. Surrender is an action. A movement. An intentional step closer to the heart of Jesus. You can't just pray the surrender prayer and wait for the surrender to happen. That would be like taking a box of cake mix out, setting it on the counter, walking away, and hoping to find a baked and frosted cake when you return to the kitchen two hours later.

And so if there is an obstacle in your life right now that is making you anxious and keeping you awake at night, try this. Write that obstacle down, and bring it to God. You can literally walk into a Church with this, step into the quiet of Adoration, or find a place in your home with no interruption. But say out loud....yes..OUT is important that you do this...HEAR yourself give it away. Hear yourself put the baggage down. Then you can pray that prayer of surrender or pray your own. It can be as simple as, "Help." Or "Jesus." You don't need to get fancy with God.

Truth is, surrendering is not a one time big event. It is a daily, often by the minute, intentional doing. So when you lay your burden down at the foot of the cross, only to find that your mind is immediately flooded with all of the "what if's" and "why, Lord's" and "this will never end"....shut that nonsense down. Turn that lie off. And declare truth. *CLAIM Jesus's promises for yourself, or for whoever it is you might be worried about...remind yourself who is in control, and recall His wondrous deeds...yes, that cup of coffee you just had...or the heat you turned up...or the sweet text from a friend...or the grass that is at long last peeking out from beneath the hard, cold snow. Wondrous, indeed!

And another thing. Your obstacle? It is not a problem. It is an opportunity to deepen your faith. If God has permitted it..which clearly, He is for your GOOD and it is necessary and you WILL see the grass again. Probably not nearly as quickly as you had hoped and prayed, but all in His perfect time. Which yes. Often feels like God has no access to a clock. But Father knows best, sweet friend.

I was out of town this weekend, and my husband texted me a photo of the duck that returned to our pond. A beautiful and encouraging sight, for this can mean only one thing...the winter is almost done. Today the temperature has dropped and the pond has returned to frozen and the ducks have disappeared...and so we wait a little bit longer for the earth to thaw. But I have the photo as an incredible reminder of the way that God works...

Winter is not forever. Neither is your present situation. And like the duck...we may have to deal with one step forward, one step back, but that doesn't change the fact that hope is near, and ducks and joy will return to their place. This is what makes the suffering bearable, and not just bearable, but desirable. We are just one thawed out pond away from the warmth of the sun...but it is only because of the cold and dark season that we are reminded of how much we need this new life in the first place. Nothing falls outside of God's plan.

Surrender to that. Even if you have to pretend. And wait for the ducks. I have a feeling they are closer than we think.

*Isaiah 54:5, 2 Timothy 1:7, Ephesians 2:14, Jer 29:11, 2 Cor 4:17, Isaiah 55:8-9 some of my favorite Scripture to claim out loud when I am getting all sort of crazy in my head

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