Although I’ve driven through Asheville, North Carolina many times, I’ve really only been there three times. The first time I was about five and we were visiting the Biltmore Estate. I have a favorite picture from that trip of my brother Craig and me walking on a little stone wall in one of the gardens.
My second trip to Asheville was fifteen years ago this month. I was pregnant with Sam and Dub turned five on that trip. We were there for a Bible conference and it ended up being one of the most impactful weekends of my life. The speaker focused on Romans 12 and emphasized that the opening verse describes being wholly surrendered to God, presenting our whole selves as a living sacrifice. He elaborated that the verb tense is ongoing. We know that. We continuously need to re-surrender. But he said the verb has another connotation: it can mean to fully surrender at a point in time.
I was a mom of two precious little boys, excited about having a third. I loved them madly. I loved my husband madly. But I was a pretty big worrier. We had a pool in the backyard at the time. I can’t tell you how much I worried about that even though we had door alarms and a security gate enclosing the pool. I worried about my husband driving between the three hospitals he covered in the middle of the night. Some part of me refused to surrender them to God’s control. Maybe over the course of my life, I reasoned, you know gradually.
But that weekend I was convicted that I needed to surrender everything to God, to trust Him with everything I cherished. I am not saying that I don’t have to re-surrender pretty much daily, but that moment on 10/22/2006 of intentionally acknowledging that my life was completely His gave me a sense of peace.
Recently, I stayed in Asheville for the third time. As I looked at the beautiful surroundings, I was reminded of the peace of not fighting the gentle loving hands of the Master Potter for the last fifteen years. His plan is good, pleasing and perfect, and even when it’s hard I want to trust Him fully. I want to be yielded, willing clay in His hands.
Do you know the peace of living surrendered? I hope so.
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22