Without even realizing it, expectations built a ladder in my heart. As my hopes raised one rung at a time, I began to imagine Jackson’s upcoming church camp experience. Recently, I had seen such shiny Jesus moments in our son:
Helpfulness initiated on his own
Godly wisdom in his nightly Christian raps (I really need to get one on video and post)
And just a general peace about him
Chatter about church camp filled our dining area in between crunches of breakfast cereal. The day finally came. Packing Jackson’s things magnified my joy.
Why is it we forget to pray when everything is smooth sailing? A couple of bedtime prayers had been sent, but we should have said the surrender prayer before we left. Instead, Jackson and I held tight to what we knew about camp and anticipated the rest.
The drop-off wasn’t terrible, but the contrast with the build-up was a big let-down. Poor Jackson hung his head in the registration line.
“This just isn’t the same as winter, Mom.”
I tempered my words, “Jackson, please have patience. This is a necessary step before you get to run around and have fun. And from a mom’s perspective, this is better-organized than last time.”
People crawled the hallways. Small bits of overwhelmed feelings began to rise. This was what Jackson was waiting for, I thought. My excitement for him to be walking anywhere with Jesus … but at camp! My cup runneth over, calming my spirit as I pressed through the crowd.
Soon, a growling power struggle over the camp bandana ensued. Jackson was self-conscious and initially refused to wear the blue material to represent his team. The night ended with no family picture, I had to ask for a goodbye hug, and a horrible night’s sleep for me followed.
Awakened by my husband’s back-up alarm, I met His grace the minute I opened my eyes.
Grace turned off the alarm and lightened my tone as I spoke to my husband about my unplanned wake-up.
Grace sent Jackson an “I am so proud of you” letter.
Grace inspired this blog post.
Listen to His message for us: 3 Ways to Surrender More to Jesus
1) Lay down ALL at His feet, even the good things you are thankful for.
Letting go of control of our lives means we will live more abundantly (Matthew 16:25). What helps me to do this is rearranging the way I pray. We will stay with the camp example. Instead of asking God to bless Jackson’s camp experience, this:
Dear Jesus, in Your holy hands I place Jackson and his time at camp. I trust You, Lord. I look forward to seeing and hearing how You will work in his life this week.
I am visual, so I literally imagine placing people and life things into His hands.
2) Admit your weaknesses.
We all fall short (Romans 3:23). Jesus knows when we stray. Sometimes perfectionists will minimize any stumbling blocks to allow the closest thing to perfection to have center stage.
We are Jesus-followers, not Jesus.
Be open with yourself and God about how you lost patience, had several moments in one day, how you avoided people, how you gossiped and the list goes on. It takes practice showing our weaknesses, but when we do … such amazing things happen! He meets us in today’s mess with purpose to display His power and glory (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).
Left to my own devices, this morning would have been plagued with a self-centered, guilt-ridden, failure kind of space. By His power and His grace, I rocked it. Went for a walk in the rain, prayed with Braedon for Jackson, sent the letter to camp for Jackson, and the best part? I feel 1,000 pounds lighter than last night.
3) Share your weaknesses with others.
If we share only our best possible selves, we perpetuate a hamster wheel of self-defeating lies. Nobody can look like a fashion model and treat everyone in their daily path with patience and kindness. It’s just not humanly possible.
Rally your humble stories about how you messed up and feature how Jesus showed up.
I trust God to give me grace because that’s what He promises. However, the old perfectionist in me hesitated to ask others for help, even in terms of prayer.
It is a vulnerable thing to do, to lay out your dirty laundry before it’s washed clean.
Last night, Spirit corrected me again. #nomorepretending After fighting feelings of regret on the way home, I posted the experience and asked for prayer for all campers, all staff and for my mama heart to submit my plans for my boy to Our Lord.
Part of how He showed me grace was through the friends who stepped up to pray for me. #thankyouJesus
Join me on this journey as we let go of something more each day, and place it in His hands. He who holds our future will be so pleased. Let’s walk in His faithful presence. When we trip and fall, let’s expect Him to be there (John 15:4) because He is.
Thank you for visiting tonight. Do you have a story about His grace or surrender you would like to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and lets chat about it.
If these words helped you tonight, please consider sharing this post. I will be going live with more on Surrender Tuesday 8-8 at 3pm https://Facebook.com/jdibble4Him. Hope to see you there.