Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Surrender.

[Sara Groves, "Remember Surrender"]

remember surrender
remember the rest
remember that weight lifting off of your chest
and realizing that it's not up to you and it never was

I tossed around a lot of ideas for Lent (which isn't strange for a seminarian, I think...).  Should I take up Anne's practice of writing "love letters," a note of thanks and love to a friend or family member for every day of Lent?  Should I push myself to do my yoga every day, to eat healthier, to sleep better?  Should I try to finally cultivate a visual image of G-d that incorporates the divine feminine?

remember surrender
remember relief
remember how tears rolled down both of your cheeks
as the warmth of a heavenly Father came closing in

All of these are good.  The divine feminine one, in fact, made my list of "things to do before I start my own church."  But I know what weighs on my heart the most, what most stands between me and a good life and a good ministry.

I want to do that again
why can't I live there
and make my home
in sweet surrender
I want to do so much 
more than remember

Since the age of self-consciousness, I have been overly self-conscious.  I am continually plagued by thoughts of how I am perceived by others, of who likes me and who doesn't.

This is not healthy.  This is extraordinarily painful.  It suffocates me.

There have been days - many more in the past, but a few even recently - when I cannot fathom leaving the apartment because I dread the social interaction of even running into a neighbor in the hallway.

I often have panic attacks when shopping.  I sometimes change outfits three times in the morning.  I apologize constantly for anything I imagine someone else might perceive as a slight.

I live with a voice constantly at the edge of my brain, whispering, "No one likes you."

remember surrender
remember peace
remember how soundly you fell fast asleep
in the face of your troubles your future still shone like the morning sun

But I live - I am alive only by the grace of G-d, and only because of it.

am alive.

But I will not live with that voice on my shoulder, with that condemnation in my ear.

remember surrender
remember that sound
of all of those voices inside dying down
but the One who speaks clearly of helping and healing you deep within

That voice pollutes me.  It strains my life with Kristi, it stunts my prayers, it impedes on my friendships, it stoppers my schoolwork.  It clamps my throat.  It breaks my heart.

I have fought it well, for years, and I cope reasonably well now - but I will not host a war inside me for the rest of my life.  The war is over.  The day of peace is come.

It is time to retrain my brain -
to teach it not to obsess -
and to liberate my heart
for the fullness of joy it can bear.

I want to do that again
why can't I live there
and make my home



For Lent, by the grace of G-d, by the saving hands of Christ, and by the power of the Spirit, 

I am giving up my anxiety.

in sweet surrender


I want to do so much 
more than remember

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