I got very tired of trying to figure God out. I knew that the Bible says that “all things work together for the good of them that love Him” (good ol Rom. 8:28), but I was really trying to figure out exactly how the mess my life had become would be worked out for my good. There were so many things happening at once. So much had piled up. I had plenty to stress about (I could’ve given it away like Oprah & had sooo much to spare)! I wanted to see my way out, so in true Valencia fashion, I tried to create a “vision” to have faith in. Maybe if I could somehow dictate or imagine how it would all work out, it would help me through it. If you happen to be in the same space, or you just have a lot going on and you don’t know how it’s going to work out, allow me to tell you what has helped me every time I’ve tried it: quit….now. What does it mean to quit? Let’s chat about it!!
- To put it simply, what I’ve called quitting is what most saints call surrendering to God. I used the word quit with yall because that’s the very word I used with God. There had been a lot of back and forth about my car, whether it was actually totaled, and which car I’d actually end up with when it’s all over. Pile that on top of all of the other chaos I had going on, and I was done (soooooooooooo far done). I kept thinking of ways that this could end up, & most of my scenarios ended with me in a different car. While this idea did hurt my little feelings for a minute, I’ve learned to be content with what I have and where I am (Phil. 4:11-13). I was very comfortable with not having my car again. I figured it was the next step. I wanted a more “grown up” car anyway. I figured that this was just one of those mysterious ways that God works in. By the time I’d reached this point in the journey, I had literally given myself a headache trying to figure out how God would make my life better because of this accident. So one night, I prayed to God, and I told Him that I quit. I was tired of trying to figure Him out. It literally hurt, and I’ve never been good with pain. I told Him that whatever He did was fine with me, because I was out of it. I no longer had the strength to fight. God, you win. I quit. I’m done. Out for every count ever created.
Yall, a couple of days later, I got a phone call saying that a shop back home would fix my car for a reasonable price! My car wasn’t beyond repair (it was just beyond the previous shop’s labor costs hahaha). I was amazed at all of this, because it felt like God was just waiting on me to get out of His way & let Him work. He’s watching me literally think myself into a frenzy, while He already had a plan. Some people may ask “what kind of God would let you do that to yourself if He had a plan?”. I’d say the kind of God that wanted me to see the value in quitting (or surrendering).
The beauty in surrendering to God’s will is that your problem is no longer your problem. When you give it to God, you’ve officially given your problem to theeeee best problem solver. He’s got ways that you don’t even see. He knows people that you don’t know. He can get to places you may never get to reach. You are His child! If you had a child, would you not want to do all that you could to make sure that they were taken care of? If you saw them crying, would you not want to instantly know who did it & how? You don’t think that God cares about you that much (at least)? Let me help you out, He does! Trying to figure God out puts Him in the very box we spoke about last week (see previous post if you’re confused lol). Surrendering to Him takes the stress off of you, & puts the burden on Him to perform. It frees you, but it’s definitely not easy. How can somebody truly surrender, though? It’s one thing to say “God, you’ve got it”, & it’s another thing to actually let Him have it. Here’s what I learned about quitting and what to do after you give it up to God:
- Surrendering to God requires you to trust Him...completely (it’s an act of faith). What was the point of surrendering an issue, habit, etc. to God, if you’re planning to pick it up again? Why’d you even lay it on the altar if you didn’t think that God was really going to have your back? Now, all fall short & sin. So I’m not bashing you because you sinned or have fallen back into a bad habit. I’m simply saying that if you’re going to give a situation to God, give a situation to God. Take your hands off of it, back away (quickly), and move only when He says so.
- Worship while you wait. Surrendering to God is hard because deep down inside, we’ve forgotten or begun to doubt who He is. If we haven’t forgotten exactly what He can do, we doubt that He’ll do it for us. It is only when you spend time with God & in HIs word that you are constantly reassured that He’s big enough for this. If you spend too much time out of His presence, you get weak. When you get weak, you forfeit all that He has for you because you take the quick way out instead of the best way out.
- The freedom you’ve been trying to create in your head is in your mouth. I don’t know anybody who actually likes trials while they’re in the middle of them. If you want your struggle to be over, you’re pretty normal (welcome to the club, I’m the newly appointed president lol). Many times, we see surrendering our problems to God as a personal failure, so we don’t do it. We don’t recognize that His victory is your victory. We don’t give Him anything, unless it’s something we don’t want to deal with. So while we’re holding on to our pain waiting for a brighter day, we don’t recognize that the key to the brighter day is in our surrendering. Unlike you, God actually wants your problems because He wants to use them to make you better. He wants to use your flaws to add to your beauty. The freedom you want from that issue, the final blow needed to win the battle in your mind and your life...is right...in..your...words.
This week’s background music: Watching (The Moment) by Vashawn Mitchell & Jonathan McReynolds. A little reminder that even in the rough times, He’s watching you...and He’s got you. Hold on to Him!