The hymn "I Surrender All" as performed by Jason Lavik came on and I started thinking to myself, "I have been singing that song for decades!"
I remember singing those words as a preteen and meaning them with all of my heart. When I sang, "I surrender all" at 12, I meant it. I was surrendering my future... and all of its unknowns to God. I surrendered my nuclear family, my Jr. High grades and the drama in my youth group, and my simple and naive heart...
And I sing it tonight. I realize as I sing that my "all" has certainly changed over time. Tonight when I sing "I surrender all" I surrender my deteriorating health. Nothing major but I have diabetes, and heart issues, and back pain, and I sometimes can't sleep.
I surrender my marriage and the man to whom I am married -- my best friend, the one who makes me laugh every day, who is smart, and kind, and witty, and so supportive of me that I could literally not live a day successfully without him in my life.
I surrender my children, all twelve of them. I leave their future in God's hands. I surrender a daughter in law, and a boyfriend, and a girlfriend, and two baby daddies, and two baby mamas. I surrender my desire to fix, control, and change them.
I surrender my seven precious grandchildren. I give them to God as He gave them to us.
I surrender my mom... alone in an assisted living facility over 1000 miles away, and yet at 87 the one who often cheers me up by her cards and letters.
I surrender my speaking "career" and my writing "career."
I surrender my job and all that it entails: my coworkers, the residents, the counseling clients, the families of the children we work with, my peers, my boss, the future we have planned, even the "strategic plan."
I surrender my church.... my husband's role as pastor, my position in the small "first service choir", my Women's Bible Study, my young adult praise choir, and the young adult Sunday school class that they graciously let me attend even though I am a grandma.
I surrender my friends. Hundreds of them that I've met over the years. High school, college, Master's program, and my jobs, and all the churches we have pastored.
And I still surrender myself my future and all of it's unknowns to him. I still surrender my mom and brothers... and my dad's memory. My youth group drama and Jr. high grades are far behind me. And I still surrender my heart, though it seems much more complex now and is certainly no longer naive. But I still mean it with all of my heart.
I had no idea back then what it meant when I decided to follow Jesus and to surrender my future to him. But looking back I am so glad that I gave it all to Him. The path He has chosen for me has been a good one.
I love these verses from Psalm 16:5-6
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I hope you'll take time right now to listen to this song and to reflect on times you've sung it before. And I hope that you'll join me in thanking God for the things He has brought your way because you sang in earnest, "I surrender all."