Monday, March 8, 2010

surrender

i am not a writer.
normally i just type and "publish post" and off i go...

but this is very close to my heart...and it's been big and i want to do it justice...so i pray i can communicate in a way that you will understand and, hopefully, relate!

i have had an easy life.
born into a wonderful family.
have been loved by my immediate family, my extended family, and friends every step of my life.
i've been a Christian since i was 4 years old and have never doubted God...never struggled with "is He who He says He is?"
once i believed it, i BELIEVED it.
i have loved Him as long as i can remember.
i've said things like, "i trust Him", "He is in control", "i have faith that He knows why this is happening"...and really meant them...deep, deep down inside.

i found a husband early...earlier than some thought i should. :-)
we've had 4 healthy children.
God has provided Pat with a job that allows me to stay home.
we have a home and food and are never in "need."

i have no idea why i've had it so easy.
i feel guilty about it.
i've spent years not wanting to admit it.
and i'm finally realizing that is silly.
this is my story.
why am i not screaming it from the rooftops??
i would desire that kind of story for my children, wouldn't i??
it's not about me.
it's about Him...His grace and mercy and goodness have been just as present in my life as in someone with a much "harder" story.

i don't have a huge "thing" to be the "plot thickener" and catalyst to my story...that might keep you turning the pages...but my easy life has caused me to do something for 30+ years that is just becoming clear to me...but first, a little more about this past weekend...

i am pretty guarded with people...i don't show my emotions and have a hard time being very open in person {you might have a hard time believing that if you just know me here...i find it much easier to type/write my feelings than say them}

i also am not very emotional. i'm pretty strong and take life/days/circumstances as they come and deal with them in a logical way. i'm motivated and driven and don't struggle with busy, full, crazy days. i actually think i thrive on them. i love my life. i'm where i always wanted to be.

the last couple weeks i've been a different person...anytime i opened my mouth to talk to someone...anyone...i cried...sobbed...and had no control over it. {sorry...those of you that had to listen to me blabber on and on!} i've been so emotional...and not very guarded. yet completely confused about what was going on in my mind and heart.

this weekend was really, really good.
i knew it would be.
God cleared some stuff up for me.
and i can see now why the Enemy was trying so hard for me not to be there!

this weekend was about ME and HIM.
and it had been way too long.
i'm often seeking His will for my life...asking Him to help me be a better wife and mom and friend and on and on...

but i had forgotten about just being HIS daughter.

and seeking who He wants ME to be...for HIM.

and opening my tight-clenched hand on who I want to be for Him...and truly asking Him who HE wants me to be.

when i was trying to explain this to Pat last night {i'm horrible at communicating things in words...} he asked me, "So, do you feel like you've been disconnected from God and now you're not?" and I said, "No. I have felt very connected to God. I haven't felt disconnected from Him over these past few weeks that have been hard. I feel like He's taking me to a new level. And that's scary." He smiled and said, "Yes. Scary...but good."

for my entire life i have struggled with wanting to do things on my own.
the hard part about that is that almost all of the time, i can do life on my own.
i'm pretty capable.
i have to choose to hand it over to Him.
i have rarely been forced to hand it over to Him.

He's been working on that in me...and made it crystal clear this past weekend...that I need to surrender it all...every moment of every day...to Him. my day might still look the same. yet my spirit will be different...because it will be led by His spirit.

and i'm going to admit something.
i'm terrified about what life is going to look like with 6 kids.
we are walking into an "unknown" that is very scary to me.
4 kids was "my plan"...but this is God's plan :-)
i know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God has called us to this.
i'm excited about it.
I.CAN.NOT.WAIT to get my hands on those sweet boys.
but, i'm not going to deny that it's going to be hard...and it's going to put me WAY out of my comfort zone.

we are determined to do this well.
not "well" in the world's standards...but how HE wants us to...
we don't want to just swoop into another continent and take 2 precious children and waltz back home and move on.
we want to see God there.
to feel Him.
to not let the stress and jet lag and, likely, sickness consume us...but to allow our children's hearts to experience the hugeness of a God that adopted us into His family...even through problems and pain...He did it for us...we will do it for Him.

once we are home, as a family of 8, we want to take each day as it comes.
relying on Him to get us through.
not living by our own lists and priorities and plowing through...but by His desire for our moments.
we only have this moment...and i need to do a better job seeking His will for this moment.

i am NOT trying to romanticize this whole thing.
if anything, i think the reality of our future is hitting me.

i think my life is about to end being "easy" and i'm going to have to rely on HIS strength and grace every moment of the day and He's maybe, just maybe, getting me ready for that???

i'm ready and willing.
with Him at my side, walking alongside me, and carrying me when i can't even walk...i can do it.

He told me that this weekend.
i had struggled and cried and prayed and heard and sought and He told me,
"I've got it, Courtney. I've got it ALL."

i believed Him.
i did.
but i had to smile when our speaker walked on the stage on Sunday morning for our last session wearing a shirt that said, "147 Million Orphans" in huge letters across the front.

it was like Him underlining what He'd been telling my heart all weekend...SURRENDER IT ALL to me...I'm here and I've got you in My hands."

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

if you have any questions about anything i've said, please ask.
i've grown up in the church and reading the Bible and i try not to use "religious" phrases that someone that hasn't grown up in the church wouldn't understand, but i still might and i'm sorry.

oh...and our speaker this weekend was AMAZING!
Kelly Minter...she writes beautiful music and amazing Bible studies for women...you should definitely check her out!
and if you ever have the opportunity to hear her sing or speak...RUN there!

ok.
i know it's been kinda heavy and deep around here lately.
hopefully i'll be back to taking pictures and posting fun, silly stuff soon!!!

14 comments:

Tisha said...

LOVED reading this. No great, insightful remarks about it - I'm just having a really rough day, and needed to hear this. Again, I loved it. Thank you Courtney.

Beckysblog said...

That was great. And I've so been in that same spot.
We have much the same life story...funny isnt it?.

You are right, God's got it. All of it.

Deanna said...

I'm not sure if I've commented on your blog before, but I have been reading it for a while. I've really enjoyed hearing your story.

I, too, have had a very similar story. Even lately. God is really working on me and teaching me how to lean on him more! It's very cool, but you're right, it's scary!

Mary said...

I feel everything in this post bigtime. As we've moved closer every day (still far off..but closer every day) to the end of our adoption journey, I too, have gone from complete confidence in the decision to adopt to "what are we thinking?" to "why wouldn't we?!" to "why are we?" to "Thank you, God, for revealing Yourself to us."

To be in the middle of God's plan for our family's life is an exciting place to be, but also a very uncomfortable place. I too, am not a "churchy word" person. Never before, though, have I felt the pull of Satan so strongly...trying to shake me in my obedience and love for God. I'm so glad God has moved us from being comfortable in our lives to being fully dependent on Him. Every time we have surrendered ourselves from a place of "control" to dependence, we have experienced more of God's dream for our lives.

Thanks for sharing your journey. Adoption blogs like yours have been such a huge source of encouragement for me in the past few months...and some day, we must meet.

Holly said...

and I just can't wait to be real life friends!
I know, odd response, but that's all I got..

Katy said...

love you my friend. soooo thankful that you went this weekend. i need one myself. thought of you often and prayed for "that" kind of a weekend for you. kelly minter - her sister (megan) was on my hall at liberty and a great friend of mine!! kelly is great - so glad you had that opportunity. you know how we talked last week or so about how this is the stretching part? i think you hit the nail on the head - God is getting you ready, because some amazing things are on the horizon!! i love you...and miss you!

Jenn said...

love you! and love how god is working in your life! so glad you had such a good weekend. :)

beckley said...

i'm coming back when my brain is on.

been thinking of and praying for you today, after reading this this afternoon and waiting for words.

prayed much for you while running tonight.

my brain is sleep deprived.
shalom be yours-
r

anthonyandbeth said...

love reading about what God is doing in you Courtney. He has BIG things planned and it looks like you have every intention and desire to allow Him to make the very most of you! what a blessing you are to your family and husband for allowing yourself to be so vulnerable to God's leading in your life. for your children to be able to look back on their life with you and know that their mom really sought to KNOW God and it wasn't just something she talked about. wow! a beautiful reminder to me of all that is and should be important. i've said it before, but I appreciate your transparency so much and look forward to seeing all God is going to do in you and through you Courtney!

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness Courtney, you have said everything I was saying out loud to myself on the ride home from the retreat. I was giving my testimony (out loud - to no one, I was in the car by myself driving home because I did have to leave early, passerby's I'm sure looked at me a little strangely) but I was sobbing and thinking and praying that I would hold on to everything I had learned this past weekend about surrender. Not so much the family of 8 thing, but the family of 6 thing..LOL...I don't think I'm a family of 8, but I do struggle with the obedience and surrender and I will all my life. I am starting a new blog one that I can be totally honest through and not just pictures because like you I cannot just speak all the time what is in my heart but it easy for me to put it in words on a computer. God has worked tremendously in my heart this weekend as he obviously worked in yours, I pray that those feelings of surrender ...being obedient to it last and that your fear will go away, once you allow him to comfort you from the fear.

Kate and Geoff said...

Court - I needed to hear this. Somehow it speaks directly to what I'm going through, even though my life & circumstances really couldn't look more different than yours. Amazing. And stubborn though I am, I needed to hear it.
xoxo

Julie said...

there are so many reasons I love you....
thanks for being real... which you usually are on here, which is why we all love you so much.
And I am so jealous hearing about everyone's time on the retreat. I wish that I could have worked it out to come back to the States for it... wow, that would have been amazing. I already asked Katie if she could find out if I could get the messages on mp3, or cd...something. I would love to hear Kelly.
Thanks for sharing about your story the way it IS. That is such a blessed story. I am always telling students/adults whom I share the gospel with or doing an testimony training that THEIR story is such a GIFT. We all NEED Jesus regardless of how... even the most blessed NEED the Lord. What a wonderful testimony. What a blessing indeed, to need and rely upon the Lord. Please keep sharing your beautiful story full of blessing and reliance upon our Saviour. It is what the world needs.
May God continue to speak richly into your heart as you seek Him and being his daughter. Your 6 children are blessed to have a mom who seeks so passionately for the Lord.

Megan said...

Thanks Courtney. I'm honored to be able to pray you into and through this next stage. I look forward to seeing what God has for you and your family. Love you!

Caroline said...

I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reade. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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