Step 3: Surrender

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

This seems counter intuitive after the first step where we reclaim our power through leaving. We get our power back, now we give it away. What?! Even if is it counter to everything inside our minds, it does make sense. Let’s wade into the minefield of truth bombs.

We’ve already burned this life down to the ground. We can’t trust ourselves to always make the best decisions. We can see the evidence of that by maybe having a drug addiction, drinking too much, the bruises on our bodies, or some of the many objective facts that stand out to the state of our life. We can’t be trusted to run things around here.

So, who do we trust? We can’t trust people because all of the people we’ve trusted have broken that trust in some way. Which means we’ve either picked the wrong people to trust (refer back to #1) or it’s just that people are human and they are fallible. That means we need someone who is not human or fallible or untrustworthy in the least. This leads us to identify God.

God is trustworthy – He is perfect, loving, all-good, and all-knowing. In fact, God is love itself, the source of all love. If you’ve come this far, you can hold onto these truths.  God is our creator and has nothing but good plans in store for us[1].

If we perfectly trust God to work all things out, everything would be perfectly good, always. The problem is that we’re not perfect; in fact we are perfectly imperfect. Which means everything will not work out perfectly. Really, the best we can do is the best we can do and things will eventually be okay.

The starting point is to trust him enough to give our life over to his care. When we do this a few things will begin to happen. We will begin to heal. We will begin to make better decisions. We will begin to feel safer and to be safer. The more be follow his directions, the more we heal and the better decisions we make.

Right now, you are probably like “nope.” I understand your refusal to enter this situation. You may have the idea that God is a mighty being who smites us lowly humans at every turn. He is the one who put you into, or allowed you to be in, the situation that you find yourself in now. Maybe you grew up in church and hold a lot of pain in your heart as a result. Maybe those Christians are just a bunch of hypocritical judgey-judgertons.

Let’s put all those notions aside for a minute. Ready?

In the Old Testament, there are a lot of things about God. But, the overarching truth is that He loves us and that love points a steady direction to the New Testament. The New Testament is Jesus. Jesus is the bridge between man’s imperfection and God’s perfection. Jesus’ sacrifice led to redemption of all humankind from that moment until forever. We only have to choose to believe it. Once we believe in Jesus as redeemer, he stands in between our sin and God which allows us to approach in a whole new way. Jesus is always there.

This allows us to speak to God directly, to receive direction from the Holy Spirit, receive protection from Heaven’s forces, and be in the presence of God in a whole new way. Because of these and many other benefits, we can make a new life and make changes. We literally, only have to change our minds. As our beliefs change and we realign these with God, our behaviors will align with these new beliefs. We can be different and do different, just by making different and better decisions.

This is the reason why we give up our power – we end up getting more power. Again, counterintuitive.

So, let’s break it down a little bit. I wanted to blame God for a long time. Since I’m being honest, I’ll say I blame God for my beginnings and often have to go to Him in prayer about it. My family of origin wasn’t my fault. But, my choices as I became an adult were my fault. My genes and family of origin taught me many things, but ultimately, the choice to stay in my abusive relationship that I knew was not healthy was my own. My choice to do many of the things that I did to get further into my insanity was my fault. Once I was there and became deeply ingrained in the relationship, I was stuck, just as an addict was stuck. There were things that were going on inside my brain that I didn’t understand. I became somewhat of an insane person – I did the same sorts of things repeatedly expecting different results. We want to blame God for our circumstances, but we can’t. It’s not His fault.

The Bible says he gave us free will. It also says He never leaves us. So, He allowed us to make wrong choices without intervening because He told us we could make our own choices. Even to our detriment. He also suffered along with us while we were making those wrong choices. He didn’t leave us to our torment and not watch. He stayed alongside us and suffered. God does what He says He will do, without fail, even if it hurts Him. He is the same, never changing. He’s trustworthy. Thus, when we allow God to make decisions for us, they’ll always be the best decision, and the result is we have more ability to make more decisions.

God delivered us from the hands of evil. We got out, against all odds. He saved us from continued abuse. He allowed us the choice to do so, but when we did, he delivered us into safety. This is not to say that God is not with the women who remain in the relationship because He still allows us to choose. It also does not mean that the women who get out and do not live are not delivered either. It means, that it was within God’s will to take them from this world. So, if he’s gotten us out, he’s not going to decide that a bunch of crappy things are going to happen to us.

God is our creator and has nothing but good plans in store for us. Again, at first sight that seems like a big load of crap. But, it’s not. There’s an expression – that you can’t see the forest for the trees. We are human and we can’t see the entire picture. Only God can do that. He can see how my mistakes, my pain, my suffering, my hurts, can fit into the larger picture of time as it unfolds. He exists outside of time and space and His plan is to work things for our good. Even the things that are horrible. My existence and my suffering have a purpose that in the end, can result in good. I can’t always understand it, but as I continue to recover and look back on how all my mistakes lead me to this moment I can see that my suffering has purpose. It took me ten years of recovery to get to that point.

Sometimes, we can never see how our suffering is good. But, maybe our children or grandchildren will see it. God never promised that we wouldn’t suffer. In fact, Jesus stated over and over that we would suffer. So did Paul. We suffer because of the original sin and we suffer because we are separated from God’s will. We suffer because there really is evil in this world. We suffer because we’re human and we make mistakes.

He heals us as we trust Him and seek Him out. Once we begin to seek Him out, He begins to move closer to us. As we trust him more, we begin to lean on him for direction. As we do that, things get better. As things get better, there more we heal. We do this over and over and we begin a new cycle. We replace the old cycle with a new cycle. Eventually, things change to reflect a good result.

There’s a lot of good and valid reasons to give up our power. My reasons may seem to not make sense at all to you. I’ll close by saying this – thousands of anonymous have done this over many years and it has worked for them. I’ve done it and it has worked for me. Give it a shot, it’s likely to work for you too.


[1] Romans 8:28

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