Probably the hardest thing for me to surrender to God—and this may sound silly because you may be expecting me to say, “My children”—was the huge, five-bedroom home I purchased five years after my divorce. I knew that my home belonged to God and that I was simply a steward of what he had entrusted to me, but that didn’t keep it from becoming an idol. My wonderful house in its expensive zip code supplied status. I couldn’t imagine giving it up, especially if God wanted me to live somewhere I didn’t like.
I eventually realized I was supposed to sell that house, but for a full year I dug in my heels and refused to do it. What a nightmare I lived trying to untangle God’s best for my life while still continuing to weave in my stubborn wishes. But God was persistent. He kept reminding me of his desire through the wise counsel of my brother Paul and sister Cathy. He continued to impress on me the need to downsize and simplify my life.
I finally came to the point where I knew I simply needed to obey God and sell the house. When I moved into a smaller home, I suddenly had much more time and energy. I found that I could focus more earnestly on my writing, which was something I had not been able to do previously with all the repairs, chores and decorating.
As terrible as it sounds, it was easier for me to surrender my children to God than it was to trust him with my home. Sad, huh? But I knew in my heart that my children would be in better hands with God than with me. While it was still excruciatingly hard to turn my children’s lives over to him, I released them to his loving care by saying a simple, heartfelt prayer to that effect. Actually, I had to say that prayer many times. It seemed to take me forever to be able to voice words that were not a lie. Though I did not drop off my kids at the local temple to be raised by a holy man, like Hannah did with her son Samuel, I did choose to trust that God would love them and guide their lives better than I could.
- What one thing are you holding back from God?
- What would happen if you released it?
- Why does God insist we sometimes give up things that seem to bring us joy?
1 Samuel 1:28
“So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”