In case you missed last week’s episode, “Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times”, you can find that episode here. Today’s episode, “Episode 34: Surrender”, is covering the topic of surrender.
Episode 34: Surrender Podcast Outline
What is surrender?
What does surrender look like?
How I Am Learning to Surrender
When you think of surrender, you think of yielding, giving up control, crying “Uncle”, giving in, waving the flag. Surrender has a negative connotation, but it can have a positive outcome when it’s done in the proper context.
If we had the choice, there are some trials that we just wouldn’t sign up for. However, God gives us these trials in order to refine us like gold. These trials will show that our faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold: So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:7, NLT)
One of the worst
things that we can do is to think that we have it all under control. The devil tricks us into thinking that we can
fix problems on our own, and that we just have to figure out the right plan, or
perhaps we just didn’t do something “enough”. A very tender spot for any
mother’s heart is their children. Oh,
how I wish that I could take away the pain and effects from trauma that my kids
have endured over the last five years.
However, this isn’t possible. No matter how old they are, our kids’ issues
stay on our hearts. However, if we don’t
surrender these very issues to God, then we find ourselves emotionally,
mentally, and spiritually drained. Of
course, because of the mind-body connection, these issues then takes a turn on
the fourth area: physical. They can
literally eat us alive with immobility and heaviness of heart. I have just recently had my moment of
realizing that my kids will have to have their own journey of healing. I can support them. However, I can’t take on the responsibility
of doing the work for them. It hinders
them from growth, and the ability to get clarity on their own.
Surrender is not
a once in a lifetime thing. If only it
was that easy. It is daily. In Luke 9: 23, Christ tells us: “If anyone would come
after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and
follow me. (ESV) Focusing on God
and his promises helps us in this journey called life.
Thank you for the
shining beauty that comes from our trials when we are refined. Thank you that we can take all of our burdens
and our kids’ burdens and lay them down at your feet. Please help us to understand that surrender
is a daily thing, and that we have to put our trust in you.
How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around
a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several
times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to
proceed. You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place.
We know that the bottom line is that God is in control. Even with that,
sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.
This was pretty much what Hannah had to go
through. Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship
and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her
to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb. We all know that
fear is from Satan himself.
And her rival used to provoke her grievously
to irritate her, because the Lord had
closed her womb.So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of
the Lord, she
used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat. (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)
Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace,
pleading to God to open her womb: “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your
servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your
servant a son,
then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)
Hannah was so intentional with her prayers,
that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart
and her spirit. She was on a mission. Eli the priest thought that
she was drunk:
Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her
lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken
woman.And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on
being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink,
but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.Do not regard your servant as a
worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and
vexation.” (I Samuel 1:
It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had
heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:
Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the
God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.”And she
said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went
her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)
And when she had weaned him, she took
him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour,
and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am
the woman who was standing here in your
presence, praying to the Lord.For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
1: 24-28, ESV)
About six years ago, when I was at the peak
of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar. I had done
everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy
heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position. I felt led to
write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:
“O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this
great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes
are upon thee.” (KJV)
God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer
for the next forty days. As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from
every corner. I was on a mission, and I continued to pray. My
friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same
prayer New Year’s Eve night.
Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we
were downstairs praying. The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food
and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept
praying. We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried
out, and we could no longer talk.
Like Hannah, we needed an answer. We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first. And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests. My prayer was answered thirteen days later. I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers. It was soon after. God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage. Praise God for his word and his promises!
Thank you for your word and your
promises. Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are
still there. You never change. You are the same yesterday, today,
and forever. Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to
do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the
time is right.
Today, I am featuring another aspect in the “Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” series. This aspect is that of music. Music can have several effects. It can make you go from feeling relaxed to nervous, anxious, and scared, and then switch over to anger, frustration, and sadness in a heartbeat.
Whether you are suffering with trauma/PTSD or not, listening to music can take you back to twenty years of memories that can feel like it was yesterday. Our emotions get stirred, and if we are not careful, we can start riding the waves. You can start thinking about old relationships and all sorts of things.
When it comes to music and PTSD, it can be both a good and bad thing, depending upon the situation. If the music is loud and harsh, with screaming involved, it can cause you to have the trauma symptoms of irritation, dissociation, and anxiety.
Unfortunately, I have experienced all of these. About five years ago, my son was listening to some metal Christian music. I had to ask him to turn it down, then off. It was just too much. The screaming caused the Fear Aspect of Trauma to settle in. I started to feel unsettled in my spirit, along with feeling agitation and anxiousness.
Whether you are listening to loud or soft music, if you haven’t processed memories that are associated with a particular song, you may not be able to tolerate that song or style of music for a while. You’ll usually know if you can tolerate the song/style because you will be able to listen to it without any problems. If the song is intolerable, you usually end up with bad flashbacks or dissociation.
Just recently, I realized that I am fully able to enjoy gospel music again. Starting in 2013, it became hit or miss. Gospel music is associated with attending a missionary baptist church as a kid, leading the choir with my ex-husband, praise dancing, and my roots in general. In order for me to truly appreciate it again, I had to process the important events that this genre held close to my heart. The events weren’t just from one particular time period. They were spread across years.
Recently, my friend invited me to two gospel concerts she performed in. I felt like I was back in the church that I attended as a kid. I knew that this genre had helped me to place the piece of puzzle of my identity in this area back to where it belonged.
Music from the 70s and 80s is also some of my favorites. When I listen to this music, it causes ambivalence. Why? This time period represents a life of simpler times. I have relatives that were alive then, and no longer alive. Community was food, dancing, talking, and enjoying one another’s company. Sometimes, I find myself dancing and crying at the same time.
The more I listen to it, the better it gets. However, I still have moments of extreme grief from trauma, as well as joy at the same time because these memories will forever be in my heart.
How has the music aspect affected your PTSD? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Community is important. The effects of having community is so important when you are going through. How do you respond with support when your friends have things that are going on in their lives? Or, do you respond at all? Is your responding more of staying away so that their situation doesn’t become contagious?
This poem “Community” reflects just that. It makes you contemplate responding in support to our dear friends, as well as brothers and sisters in Christ during their time of need.
How do you become his hands and his feet,
When others are crying and grieving knee-deep.
Do you give them a call, a prayer, a word?
Or tell them “hold on” like they never have heard?
Plants bring so many benefits to our lives: 1) They give us oxygen and clear the carbon dioxide from the air. 2) Like pictures, they bring life and promote creativity to one’s home. 3) They bring the outside in by causing a de-stressing effect, and 4) For the most part, they are simple and low-maintenance.
A few months ago, one of my friends blessed me with two plants. I decided to add them to my bedroom so that I could feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. I am all about aesthetics, and especially having spaces that are light and airy. I decided to place one in the corner of my bedroom in front of a wall mirror. The second one was placed on top of my storage trunk, along with another faux plant.
My son was given two plants recently for his birthday. One of them is a bamboo plant. He placed them in chairs by the living room window so that they could get proper sunlight. At first, I was questioning the location. Now, I have decided that I like them there. The greenery against the natural colors of the chairs and the curtain makes you feel so relaxed.
What simple, functional, grace-filled plants do you own? What places are you keeping them? Send in some comments and pictures below.
There are a lot of things that happen in life that we are just not prepared for handling. As a matter of fact, if God revealed to us what was on the way, we’d take off running in the other direction. Sometimes one thing happens, and that one thing ends up changing your entire world for what you know it to be.
That is what happened to Naomi. She was
surprised by disappointment, and then surprised by provision.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech, and their
two sons decided to leave Bethlehem and reside in Moab because of the
famine. Instead of life getting better at this point, it got worse.
Elimelech died. Their two sons found wives and got married. Then
their two sons died.
Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, since
she heard that they had bread again. She figured that this might be a
small sign of God’s provision. Naomi told her two daughters-in-law to
head back to their homelands so that they could find husbands, since she didn’t
have any more sons. Orpah left, but Ruth decided to stay:
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16, KJV)
When they returned to Bethlehem, it was evident that
Naomi was surprised by God’s provision:
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And
it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved
about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me
Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi,
seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty
hath afflicted me?
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her
daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they
came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1: 19-22, KJV)
Neither Ruth nor Naomi had a clue that going
back to Bethlehem would bring surprise provision itself. They went back
for bread. God had a little bit more than bread waiting for them.
He slowly began to reveal his plan.
Ruth went out to glean corn, and she met a man named
Boaz. They had a conversation, and Boaz let on to Ruth that God was
recompensing her work for her full diligence:
And Boaz answered
and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto
thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy
father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people
which thou knewest not heretofore.
The Lord recompense
thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
2: 11-12, KJV)
When Ruth arrived back home, Naomi questioned her
about the food. Ruth told her that she had met a man by the name of
Boaz. Naomi knew this was good news:
And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be
he of the Lord,
who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi
said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. (Ruth
2: 20, KJV )
According to the law, a kinsmen could be the
redeemer if a relative died. In this case, since Boaz was a kinsmen, he
could redeem the land that belonged to Elimelech and his two sons.
However, there was a kinsmen even closer than Boaz. This meant that he
had first pick. This relative didn’t want to forfeit his own inheritance.
Therefore, Boaz became the kinsmen redeemer.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all
the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was
Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of
Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon
his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his
brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4: 9-10, KJV)
What a surprise! The women encouraged
Naomi, telling her that God hadn’t forgotten about her:
And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be
the Lord, which
hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in
And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy
life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth
thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. (Ruth 4: 14-15, KJV)
My Surprise Disappointment
At the age of 25, I had my surprise
disappointment as well. I was pregnant with my first child, and I worked
all the way up to the day before delivery. At the time, I was the
breadwinner for the household, and I had all of the family health insurance in
my name. My son had his days and nights mixed up, and so for almost six
weeks, I had between two to three hours of consecutive sleep during the
night. I was at the point of extreme exhaustion, and I could tell that my
blood pressure was up.
This was confirmed when the home nurse came
out to check on me. As soon as she checked my blood pressure, she knew
that it was from lack of sleep. Four days before my six weeks was up, my
son started sleeping through the night for four consecutive
hours. However, I knew that I would
need two extra weeks of this before returning to work, or else my health would
I called my job and requested an additional two weeks off. I was informed that if I didn’t come back right away, it would be considered job abandonment. With $50 left to my name, and no emergency money, this was a hard call. I hung up the phone, and then wrestled with what to do. However, I also knew that if they were like this about my health, then they would be like this about my son’s health as well. I decided not to go back, not sure of how I would make it.
My Surprise Provision
My son was almost three months old when I
took him to his three-month checkup. After the appointment, I decided to
visit my old job, which was five minutes away. I got caught up with
everyone, and my old boss asked me when I would return to work. I told my
old boss what happened, and he said,” Just like that?”. I replied,” Yes,
just like that. End of story.” We laughed, and he asked me what I thought
of working for him again. I thought he was joking, but he was dead
serious. What a surprise!
Within two weeks, I was back to working
again. In the beginning, I worked a five-day week, then a 10 hour
four-day week while my son was little, before moving on to a different
job. I didn’t know, but God knew that his divine providence was waiting
for me at this place. Like Naomi, All I had to do was to go back and get
Thank you for helping us to step out on faith, even when we are not sure
what you have in store for us. In your name,
How have you allowed yourself to be led by emotions? (i.e., tightening up control with the kids, yelling, saying things that you later regret?) What was the background story? What patterns of behavior do you notice makes you want to ride the wave? What patterns of behavior helps you to jump off of this surfboard? How could you have reacted better than you did? How did you heal the relationships that were damaged as a result of you being led by your emotions instead of responding to life’s issues?
Why are we so afraid to step into our calling? There are various reasons. However, when we see and feel the freedom that it brings, we will wonder why we ever resisted displaying and embracing that irresistible mission.
There have been quite a few times over the years when I would see someone that’s homeless on the streets and was deeply moved with compassion and empathy for their situation. Majority of the time, when this happened, usually one of two things were going on: either I didn’t have cash on me, or I literally didn’t have the money. I would feel bad inside, then let them know that I wish that I had the money to give, and then say, “God bless”. Then, they would usually nod.
What I said didn’t fill their physical need. However, saying, “God bless” told them that I did care. Sometimes, we see Christians and non-Christians, and we wish that we could help, but for whatever reason, we just can’t. Satan often uses these times as tools to place a stronghold of shame on us. Money isn’t all that we can give others. We also have our time and our talents that we can bless others with. However, once we start the comparison trap, then this reality goes out the door along with everything else.
Peter and John faced the same situation with a man at the gate Beautiful, asking for money from the passersby. They didn’t have money to give him. They had something better: the gift of salvation leading to eternal life:
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
We thank you for when we have money to help others who are in need. We also thank you for when we don’t have the money, knowing that the best help that we could ever give is the plan of salvation. Please help us to remember this when we encounter certain situations.
Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 30: Lest We Forget. Have you ever left out the door and locked your keys inside of the house? What about something spiritual? Like the promises of God when you are going through. Today we are gong to talk about just that. Passing information down to our children lest they forget.
Kids and Our Hearts-Lest We Forget
When it comes to our children, they can really pull on our heartstrings. We all want what’s best for them. We want them to be happy, healthy, attend the best schools, participate in sports, have great friends, and the best manners when they are around other adults, especially our friends. Lastly, we all want them to have a better life than we had as kids.
What We Give Our Kids-Lest We Forget
Don’t get me wrong, education, sports, friends, and manners are all on my list of important things to help with a child’s development. However, God wants our major focus to be training them on giving him their hearts, having character, and a relationship with him. Everything else becomes a bonus.
Giving our children God’s commandments and
instructions for our daily living should be just as important as passing down
family history. When we tell our kids about the history of God’s goodness in
our lives, it will become contagious. They will want the God of Abraham for
themselves. They will want to tell their children. The best teacher of Christ
to anyone is living a life that oozes out Jesus wherever we go. Our kids will
see that, and even as they get older, they will remember.
God gives us explicit instructions on what we are to tell our children: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And
thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thoushalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (KJV)
Hindrances-Lest We Forget
One of the main
hindrances to feeding our children God’s Word, is that we make it legalistic,
and we compare with how our friends are doing it. We focus on how their family
holds hands and pray, whereas, we are just going over one verse or song per
When my kids were
little, I found myself getting caught up in this. When I let God’s Spirit reign
during teaching time, then God was glorified, and I felt freer. Being free to
Spirit to move in
whatever manner he sees fit for our families is enough. When we legalize it, it
discourages us from wanting to give them the Word in the first place.
If we don’t feed
them God’s Word, then they can’t pass down the knowledge to their children.
When they are adults, and they have been brought out of their struggles, they
can know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it was only the Lord who did it.
Thank you for how you created our families. Please help us to teach our children about you in a way that is God-honoring first of all, and secondly, in a way that reflects who we are as families.