Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion. -Brennan Manning
Define Yourself – The Surrender Series – Part 1
The idea of “surrender” can be confusing. Some of us may even get a hint of anxiety when we hear the word. For many of us, “surrender” has focused on resistance to other things. We resist something in order to surrender to something else.
Another word we use for surrender is submission, which carries all kinds of connotations (and anxieties). As a woman, when I hear this word, a chill goes up my spine… it has been endlessly misused and misrepresented, particularly towards my gender. It brings up those images you’ve seen in movies, or read about in books: when facing an enemy or a foe or a person you know you cannot break free of, you desperately wave your white (proverbial or otherwise) flag in the air in the hope of mercy.
It’s a form of relinquishing control, laying down. In a sense, giving up. In these images and others, surrender leads to further bondage, rather than to freedom. We so often think of the world in terms of “for and against, us and them,” that to surrender and submit has sometimes meant that we lose and someone else wins.
And around the world right now, many are feeling this way.
Surrender means “to give over or yield to the power or authority of a higher entity; to be subject to some kind of treatment or influence.”
I was at the Doctors a few weeks ago, and he said: “People get themselves into all sorts of trouble by not respecting sickness and their own bodies.” He told me that I needed to let the illness take its course – I wasn’t going to get better by pretending I wasn’t sick. By fighting a battle I had already lost. I needed to surrender, to a point, to what was happening in my body. Let go, rest. Make room for recovery.
I wasn’t giving up the idea that I would get well, I wasn’t avoiding faith or disbelieving the power of God to heal… But I was relinquishing control over something I couldn’t control anyway. I did what I could – I took my medicine, I slept, I put work aside as much as I could, I prayed, I rested… I was subject to an influence I couldn’t ignore. I let go of what I couldn’t change and took hold of what I could.
You don’t lose your power when you surrender, you don’t relinquish your value when you submit. Not in the true sense of the words, anyway.
Brennan Manning said, “Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
When you understand this about yourself on a profound and fundamental level, you (begin to) understand that the Divine is for you, all around you, and with you. Above all, you are loved. You cannot control everything, and that’s OK. The one who holds you, and whom you are held within, holds the most powerful force and essence of all:
When you radically define yourself as one loved by God, surrender is empowerment.
Go to Part 2 – A Quiet Yes »
Written by Lizzy Milani
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