In the Thick of Surrender by Anonymous
The surrender has happened. The story will feel unresolved. That’s because it is. Our surrender story does not tie up with a neat little bow-- at least not yet. We are in the thick of our surrender. But… the Lord already told me that everything was going to be ok. And I believe Him.
It was one year ago the Lord told us to sell our house. Our “forever” home we had lived in for 2.5 years. The one we had envisioned growing old in. The one that we had poured countless of hours into painting the walls, adding landscaping and meticulously decorating each room. The one that had 5 bedrooms just in case we would have more children. The one with the view and the lot to die for with the best neighbors and tight at the end of the cul-de-sac. He told us to sell that house.
So for one year, we worked tirelessly to “fix it up” completely so it would be turn-key… in other words, perfect. We had hopes that when it was time to sell, we could make money in return.
Within that year another thing became very apparent. Our finances were a mess. It became obvious to us that we needed to sell the house because it was too much-- too big, too expensive and leaving us way too close on our margins. In fact, we felt like we were living outside the borders which the Lord provided. And in that year, the expenses added up and with that, our debt. At times, our bank account would get as low as $200, but the truth was our credit cards were growing and growing. With unexpected expenses like a new furnace, medical deductibles, a new start-up business that promised to make money and the home improvement costs… we had to sell the house.
I knew we were going to obey God and sell the house. But, I shifted my thinking about the house long before it went on the market. I knew if was not meant for us and I started praying for the people that we were fixing the house for. I prayed it would be a family and I have covered that family in prayer for awhile now.
But the truth is, I knew we needed huge prayers, too. Our overall debt had creeped up to $40,000. What we needed was more than the selling of our house… we needed a miracle.
In the meantime, I felt like the Lord was silent. Yes, we knew to sell the house, but that was the last thing we heard Him say one year ago. I prayed fervently, “Where do you want us to live? Where should we move? What should we do when we get there?” I heard nothing. I was worried we were considering a cross-country move on our own accord and not hearing from God. I wanted Him to tell me He was behind us. That we were meant to be somewhere. But nothing.
One Sunday, I asked my small group, "please pray that He speaks to me. Please pray around us that our hearts can be led." My husband wasn’t there… he had already left to go cross-country for a work trip. When he left, I felt uneasy about something… I was worried about his job. His job that he had for 10 years. His job where he worked from home and could live anywhere. His job where they loved him and promised him a huge bonus in a few months. The worry was unwarranted and in my nervousness, my “losing your job” joke even went unnoticed.
On Monday, I spoke to my husband and I knew something was wrong but he said nothing. By the next morning, he called me to tell me that his job was in jeopardy. He didn’t know details because he wasn’t even supposed to know. But he found out, and we were given one week to emotionally prepare for what would hit his other co-workers as a blind slide.
The reality was, our house was going up for sale the following Monday. His company was set to sell off the entire product, along with all of their jobs, on the exact same day.
It was almost too much to handle-- The stress of not knowing about the future of his job and the stress of entering the unpredictable circus of selling your home.
There was only one thing to do… surrender it all. As a follower of Jesus, I try to pick up the cross each and every day in my walk. But there are always strongholds that take root that need a desperate situation in order to die to self and completely surrender. I started my 21 day Daniel fast that Monday-- the same day my husband did indeed lose his job. I prayed circles, breath prayers, in depth prayers, in the tub and in the car and even while my children screaming in the background. I was in the Word and clutching to anything else I could grab onto that could be from Him. I would worship every chance I got. And He wasn’t silent anymore. I knew everything was going to be ok because He told me so. I had this incredible sense of peace that did not make sense. We went ahead with our plans and we were convinced that it was going to all work out. In the meantime, we were praising the Lord for the impeccable timing of it all.
We went back and forth with our realtor about the asking price of our house. We finally decided to go against her wishes and we listed high. We packed up the house for the weekend and headed out hoping there would be showings and a successful open house. Less than 48 hours after we listed, we received a full-price offer! Not only would this allow us to pay off our debt, it would allow us to have over $40,000 to put in a savings account.
Although there are about 10 more steps to go in the process before our house is closed, we feel like God is already creating a miracle. And we already know He will provide. We have faith about the job search and feel good about handing it all over to God.
This is just one of my surrender stories… I have many. I keep surrendering, and I pray I always will.