I am not athletic. Never have been. I’m actually not even super keen on athletics. It seems so many
games, and sporting events happen…well, outdoors and, if I’m not athletic, I am certainly not outdoorsy. I love God’s beauty seen in nature and I appreciate the health benefits of getting outside, but in my heart of hearts…I’m not outdoorsy. But, I do try. When my children were younger, I tried even more (funny how that works). We hiked regularly. We climbed boulders. We biked and we canoed. We did a lot. Outside. More than once, we even went white water rafting.
I remember one rafting trip all too well. The rapids were supposed to be two’s and three’s. Fun but not too rough. Getting wet but not soaked. (Soaking your head is not acceptable. Indoorsy people have to have limits!) It was not terribly far into the trip downriver that it became very clear our trip was going to more than we thought. Much more. The internet’s definition of Class IV rapids is: Long, difficult rapids with constricted passages that often require complex maneuvering in turbulent water. I don’t know if we actually hit Class IVs but turbulent water is exactly what we felt!
My mama bear instinct kicked in quickly. I began to paddle harder, paddle stronger and do whatever I could to make sure everyone stayed in the raft. However, (being indoorsy and all, and not really knowing what I was doing), I’m sure I was not helping and even making things more difficult for our trained guide. Exhaustion eventually took over and I sank back in the raft and yielded all control to the guide. He handled those rapids like an experienced rafter would. He even had the kids enjoying it and, to this day, we have great memories of that afternoon. Most of us.
Surrendering control is something with which I have always struggled. Not only when my children were little (and about to be lost downstream) but even now, as an empty-nester. Not simply when circumstances seem threatening but even in the best of times. I need control. With my to-do list. In relationships. With hopes and dreams – of my own and everyone around me! A sense of control is what keeps me even-keeled. Emotionally, mentally and in some ways, even physically.
2019 is the year for surrender. My surrendering. This is a journey that will, no doubt, take longer than a year; although, I do hope to have made real progress by year’s end. It will be, in the largest part, a spiritual journey. Obviously, I certainly can only expect to see change with His help. I also know if I will first surrender to Him my hopes, my plans, and my heart’s desires – as well as the insecurities that cause me to crave control – I will see victories spiritually. Only afterward, will other victories follow.
I’ll admit, the task ahead – just the idea – seems a bit overwhelming; however, I know that God placed this on my heart as I prayed for a word to take with me through the year ahead. I’m eager to see all the difference at the end of this year. Looking back, I’m sure I will be able to say “that was worth the trip” – just as we did on our vacation years ago.