Ha! This is an old saying from the Army that I still love. We used this to talk ourselves into doing something we really didn’t want to do, but that we knew we had to get through to move on. It came to mind as I was reading about surrendering the things we’re afraid of to God, and how that surrender becomes the pathway to healing and peace. (We really don’t want to, but we know we have to.)
For me, that came in dealing with the fear of rejection. That’s pretty common after the death of a marraige, a loved one, or a career. We have to rediscover who we are without that person or position, and that’s where things get hard. We have to endure the dagger-thrusts to the heart that our fears speak to us, like, “You are not good enough.” “Nobody wants you here.” “It’s your fault, you deserved this.” Then comes the fear that compels us to try to control our world. If we let go, it could happen again. What if God rejects us because we don’t measure up? If we let someone know who we really are, they could hurt us. If we invest in another career, it could fizzle, too. This is where fear starts to build up protective walls around us, and we have to be careful not to reinforce them with layers of depression and anxiety.
It’s really hard to turn over the sources of our pain to God, to lean into the changes that have to be made. The lifestyle we had has turned into something we didn’t want. Turning that over feels like we are giving up, losing control over everything that matters to us. That’s where God steps in, and begins to show us who He is, and who we are to Him. Elizabeth Elliot wrote, “Our hesitancy is like that of a tiny shell on the seashore, afraid to give up the teaspoonful of water it holds lest there not be enough in the ocean to fill it again.” Can the shell anymore imagine the depth and plenitude of the ocean than we can imagine the riches and fullness of God’s love for us?
When the things that we took pride in disappear, the things we identified ourselves as are gone, there is a place to go. It’s the source of all joy, the Redeemer Himself. If we can resist our very human tendency to linger a bit, licking our wounds and savoring the injustice, to admitting our defeat, we can begin to heal. The peace and provision hiding just behind surrender are on the path to that healing. The future won’t look the same. We can’t change what we lost, but we can set our sites on what’s ahead. This is our Cross, our chance to join Jesus in His suffering, and as we let go of what we had, we’ll discover a secret to happiness we never knew before. Love. Light. Joy.
Have you found some ways to help you cope with anxiety? Will you tell us about them? It’s in our struggles that we really come to know God and ourselves. Your story can bring hope to someone today.
What is it you’re facing? Nobody goes into battle alone. We can stand with you. Let us know in the comments below how we can pray for you, or by submitting your story. He will fight for you.