Reframing Surrender

Today, I welcome Kellie La Follettewho is in a writing group with me. While I’ve only seen her on Zoom, I noticed in a an array of faces, Kellie’s is always wearing a smile. Today she is sharing a post about how a tragic accident changed her life forever. She tells about her decision to surrender control, anger, and bitterness and what she discovered when she let go and put all her trust in the Lord.

Featured image by artist Lori Jean Whitaker.

———- Reframing Surrender by Kellie La Follette ———-

What image does surrender conjure up in your mind? Do you see a silly cartoon character waving a tattered white flag? Maybe you picture a child exhausted from the laughter of an epic tickle fight. Perhaps surrender creates a somber image of a battle-weary soldier at the end of a war.

What if surrendering isn’t about white flags or defeat? What if surrender is really about releasing our grip on what we can’t control? What if surrender and reaching for help is part of the path to a joyful future despite difficult circumstances? 

My story has led me on a journey reframing the meaning of surrender. In 2004, a mass radiation accident during a teacher in-service training changed my life. The radiation burns left me homebound and in unrelenting 24-hour pain. Those burns have also meant I have had to surrender my career, my ability to drive, most of life outside of my home, many friends, and even my marriage of nearly 30 years. It hasn’t been easy.

On my darkest days of pain, I felt like I was dangling by my fingertips from a precipice over a roaring ocean. The edge of the cliff was crumbling between my fingers and falling into a tear-filled sea below. Like a stormy sea ravaging the shoreline, each wave of loss attempted to undercut the foundation of my life. Maybe you have felt this way too.  

When I cried out for help, a mighty Rescuer was there. With the last ounce of courage I could muster, I surrendered my grip on the disintegrating pieces of my life and placed my hand in His. It felt strong and secure.

Back on solid ground, there were no instant answers to what the future held. I just knew Who held my future. The Lord asked me to believe His promise:

“I will never (under any circumstances) desert you

(nor give you up nor leave you without support,

nor will I in any degree leave you helpless),

nor will I forsake or let you down

or relax My hold on you (assuredly not)!”

Hebrews 13:5b AMP

I didn’t have a choice in much of what I lost, but I had a choice in who I would trust. I had a choice to surrender to hope and a future, or to bitterness and anger. I chose to put my entire trust in the Lord. His promise to never me leave became the foundation for my future. No matter how many others left, the Lord never has and never will. “Assuredly not!”

My surrender list is long, but my list of joys is even longer, filling volumes of journals and countless prayers of gratitude. The joy in my life is only explainable by continued surrender. As I keep surrendering to the Lord, reaching for His strength and believing in his promises, He opens doors I could have never imagined.

Surrender is not a white flag of defeat. Surrender is releasing our grip on what we can’t control. Surrender is reaching for help and a path to a joyful future, despite circumstances. Surrender is an invitation to build your house and future on the Rock that can’t be shaken.

The rain came down, the streams rose,

and the winds blew and beat against that house;

yet it did not fall, 

because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matthew 7:25

The heart of Psalm 25: invites us to put our trust-our surrender-in the Lord. I pray you take His hand as He reaches out to you at this every moment. Let Him pull you to solid ground. You can trust His promise. He will never leave you. “Assuredly not!”

_____

Kellie is a hope bearer who shares encouragement under the banner of “Reframing Rain” at KellieLaFollette.org. Many people view rain as dreary. Yet for Kellie, rainy days offer a bit of relief and an opportunity to access the outside world. Rain falls as a reframed gift from God, complete with fresh air and puddles for splashing.

You can join Kellie on Facebook here.

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Has a life circumstance led you to surrender?

I’d love to hear your story or your thoughts on this post. Send me an email at hello@lorisanders.com

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Until next time, be well.

Lori

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