How is the start of your New Year shaping up, friend? Personally, I find it helpful to lean into the great unknown of the coming months by focusing on one word. Just one little word to consider, reflect upon, pray over, and claim as my own for the year. To be honest, I was hoping for a lovely, kind, warm word this year like JOY, PEACE, or DELIGHT. But apparently, my “one word” for 2022 is SURRENDER…
“It is wonderful what miracles God works in wills that are utterly surrendered to Him.” Hannah Whitall Smith
In reality, SURRENDER is a beautiful word—yet it also rings raw and real and I have a feeling it’s going to require no small amount of work on my part… but I’m embracing it. If I’ve learned anything over the past couple of years, it’s that I am not in control. God is. He’s still on the throne and longs for us to utterly surrender our wills to Him.
Thoughts of surrender began percolating a couple of months ago when I wrote a devotion from Luke 19 about The Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It’s the occasion when, enraptured in celebration and song, a throng of devoted followers threw their cloaks upon the dusty ground before the King of Kings; this was a marked act of adoration and of submission.
I considered that image of cloaks laid down—and then pondered what manner of “cloaks” I might be willing to surrender before the feet of Jesus… what might be distracting, detracting, dimming my adoration of Him?
And now, as we dive into the unknown waters of a brand-new year, what fear, shame, pride, overwhelm, sorrow, or a hundred other “cloaks” are weighing me down? Or perhaps weighing you down, too?
Surrendering my plans, passions, health, hopes, family, work, and everything else to God… it sounds daring and daunting, yet I know that in the surrender there is JOY, PEACE, and DELIGHT. Those lovely, kind, warm words my heart originally yearned for—they are by-products of my one word. Oh, how I love that!
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)
And so, I’m going to hunker down in 2022 with these verses—my life verses, actually—and attempt a posture of surrender in all areas. As I pry open my clenched fingers, I know I’ll fall and fail and flounder as a flawed work in progress—but thankfully our King of Kings is also our good Father, abounding in grace, mercy, and love.
“Love comes softly, it cannot be forced… cannot bear the weight of our expectations. Love always comes in the surrender—in the falling.” Ann Voskamp
I pray we will all know more of His love in the surrender…
Finally, if you have a word for 2022, feel free to share it in the comments—it’s wonderful to see what God has placed on our hearts!
Blessings to you for the coming year…
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Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: