I give up

 “Justice that love gives is a surrender…” –Mahatma Ghandhi

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”*  -Jesus

Surrender

In the first few weeks of my new life a young woman asked me to mentor her through a similar struggle as I’d experienced, saying she “wanted what I had”.  She told me the courage she saw in me motivated her.  She said my commitment to doing what it takes to have a changed life inspired her and the steps I was taking to have an authentic experience with my Higher Power made her want to know more about Who He was. I felt insecure about helping her since it was all so new to me but upon the advice of my own spiritual mentor, I decided to give it a try and gingerly accepted her invitation.

Revised and reprinted from August 2012
 

I shared that if she wanted what I had, she would need to do what I did.  For weeks and often for hours on end I met with her one-on-one,  patiently listening to her pain and offering the same tools I’d been given.  I took her to meetings, dried her eyes, prayed with her, slowly taught her about surrender, and just generally poured into her life.

After a short while, she turned her back on all of it. Further, she gave the middle finger to the investment I was making in her and all the progress she’d made and never looked back.  I was floored.  What had I done wrong?  Had my enthusiasm for her to have a better life had the opposite effect on her?  What in the heck happened??

When I shared my dismay with my mentor, she said something I didn’t expect.  She said it had nothing to do with me, but more so that people don’t want it (change for the better). Although they might say they do, the reality is most people don’t want to do what it takes to get it.  What?  How could that be?  How could anyone NOT want to sleep soundly knowing they’d been truthful in everything?  How could anyone NOT want the peace that begins to flow into relationships as one by one we make things right with those we have hurt?  How could anyone NOT want to stop looking into life’s rear view mirror as each new mile traveled now is honest?  How could anyone NOT want the freedom that comes with being naked before God and feel no shame?  How could anyone NOT want to stop arm wrestling with what they knew to be good and right and true?  I had drunk the KoolAid, saw how amazingly improved my life could be, and just assumed everyone wanted it too.

Over time I began to understand what she meant as I watched many seemingly satisfied with “close enough”.  I watched the need to be right destroy relationships on all levels. I watched drinking get out of control in the life of influencers, inflated egos hide behind the guise of ministry, churches split over power struggles, single Christians get impatient as they’d live out romance as if they didn’t know how treasured they were. I watched anger go unchecked, and the perceived “right to happiness” blow marriages apart.  I knew how that went…  I had done a lot of the same thing; professing faith in God but then making choices that flew in the face of “righteousness” if I thought it’d suit me. It’s one thing to say “I believe”, but to really live it out?  Ouch.

So… what is it with us?  Why aren’t we willing to do what it takes to experience every ounce of richness that’s available to us on every level?  Why do we allow low-living to steal from us what God has to offer?

I think it’s because it’s hard. We don’t think so at first, but honest self-review and total surrender to God takes courage. It often takes a lot to swallow our pride and recognize we are not the center of the galaxy.  It’s hard to listen to raw counsel and then truly apply it to our life in ways that show others we’re different. It takes courage to shut up, share the credit, be tolerant with others, tell the truth, stop whining, return the money, admit we’re wrong, serve with no recognition, say we’re sorry, and in general, be willing to really make things right.  It costs us a lot and sometimes, though we’d hate to admit it even to ourselves, we just don’t want to.

Here’s the thing. I believe Jesus went through all the drama of coming to this earth as He did was because He loves us so much, He wants us to have it all. Think about it: He lived as a man, was criticized and tortured and ultimately killed by religious leaders who were ticked that He’d pulled focus from their rules. He then rose up from the dead (He was also still God) and a month or so later returned to heaven where He shared that He’s preparing our eternal home for our arrival.  The point was that He went through all that in order to give us a shot at a life that is marked by great plenty, no matter how much or how little we have.

So what stops us from jumping in the deep end… from biting into the juiciest part of the apple… from living and being all God made us to be?   What would it take for us to do the right thing for the right reason, and trust God with the outcome?

 

To read more of the story, visit Sylvia’s blog I Drank The KoolAid.

* John 10:10 NASB

52 thoughts on “I give up”

  1. I am glad for commenting to let you know of the terrific encounter my friend’s daughter developed reading your site. She discovered a lot of pieces, which included how it is like to have a very effective helping character to let folks without difficulty learn certain very confusing things. You really exceeded visitors’ expected results. Thank you for offering these warm and helpful, healthy, educational and fun guidance on this topic to Ethel.

  2. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally wonderful chance to discover important secrets from this website. It’s always very superb and also packed with a lot of fun for me and my office friends to visit your blog nearly thrice per week to read the latest things you will have. Of course, I am at all times impressed concerning the outstanding suggestions served by you. Certain 3 tips in this posting are particularly the finest we have all had.

  3. My husband and i got thrilled Michael managed to round up his studies through the entire ideas he discovered using your web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just continually be giving freely guidance that most people have been selling. And we keep in mind we’ve got you to be grateful to for that. The specific explanations you made, the easy web site navigation, the relationships you will give support to engender – it is all fantastic, and it’s really letting our son in addition to us do think the subject matter is exciting, which is certainly extremely vital. Thank you for the whole lot!

  4. Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and actual effort to make a very good article?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and certainly not appear to get one thing done.

  5. I want to convey my passion for your generosity for those people who need help on in this issue. Your special dedication to getting the message all through ended up being quite informative and has really empowered workers just like me to arrive at their ambitions. Your important recommendations can mean much to me and far more to my office workers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

  6. I simply wished to appreciate you once again. I do not know what I might have created in the absence of the solutions revealed by you concerning such situation. This was a real challenging matter for me, nevertheless being able to view the skilled form you managed it made me to jump over happiness. I’m just thankful for the support as well as trust you realize what a powerful job your are carrying out teaching men and women through your web blog. I am sure you haven’t come across any of us.

  7. I’m also writing to let you understand of the fine experience our daughter undergone reading your site. She learned plenty of details, which include how it is like to have an ideal helping style to let a number of people effortlessly know just exactly certain extremely tough subject matter. You truly did more than people’s expected results. Many thanks for displaying those necessary, dependable, edifying not to mention cool tips about the topic to Gloria.

  8. My spouse and i ended up being very contented when Edward managed to conclude his investigation via the ideas he came across from your own blog. It’s not at all simplistic just to find yourself releasing steps people today could have been selling. And we also grasp we now have you to appreciate for that. These explanations you have made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships your site help to engender – it’s everything powerful, and it’s really assisting our son and our family recognize that the article is enjoyable, which is extraordinarily indispensable. Thank you for all the pieces!

  9. Thanks so much for giving everyone a very special opportunity to discover important secrets from this web site. It is always so great and jam-packed with a lot of fun for me and my office fellow workers to search your blog at the very least three times weekly to see the latest items you have. And definitely, I’m also certainly impressed with your terrific pointers served by you. Some 2 tips in this post are basically the most effective we have ever had.

  10. I would like to show my appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this scenario. Because of browsing through the search engines and meeting techniques that were not beneficial, I believed my life was well over. Being alive devoid of the answers to the difficulties you’ve resolved by means of the article is a critical case, as well as the ones which could have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I hadn’t encountered the website. Your primary capability and kindness in playing with a lot of things was precious. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a solution like this. It’s possible to now look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time very much for this high quality and results-oriented guide. I won’t think twice to endorse the sites to anybody who needs to have tips about this area.

  11. Thanks for all your hard work on this web site. My daughter delights in participating in investigation and it is simple to grasp why. A lot of people learn all regarding the compelling method you give both interesting and useful tips and hints via your blog and therefore attract response from others about this matter while our own daughter is truly learning so much. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You’re doing a splendid job.

  12. I must show my appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this type of challenge. As a result of scouting throughout the internet and meeting advice which are not beneficial, I believed my life was gone. Being alive without the presence of approaches to the issues you’ve solved by means of your entire report is a crucial case, and those that might have in a wrong way affected my career if I hadn’t discovered your web site. Your personal mastery and kindness in controlling almost everything was excellent. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come upon such a solution like this. I can also at this moment look ahead to my future. Thank you so much for this specialized and effective help. I won’t think twice to suggest the sites to anybody who should have support on this subject.

  13. I simply wanted to type a brief remark to thank you for some of the precious guidelines you are sharing at this website. My rather long internet lookup has now been paid with reliable concept to go over with my two friends. I would express that we site visitors are rather endowed to exist in a remarkable place with many wonderful people with helpful basics. I feel quite fortunate to have used your entire webpage and look forward to so many more fabulous moments reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.

  14. I just wanted to make a quick note in order to appreciate you for these wonderful solutions you are showing on this site. My time-consuming internet search has finally been rewarded with useful facts and strategies to exchange with my family and friends. I would repeat that most of us site visitors actually are definitely fortunate to exist in a superb community with so many brilliant people with great strategies. I feel really grateful to have encountered your entire web page and look forward to some more excellent times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.

  15. I just wanted to jot down a small message so as to express gratitude to you for these wonderful tips you are writing at this website. My incredibly long internet search has now been recognized with awesome content to talk about with my family members. I would declare that many of us visitors are definitely endowed to dwell in a good network with many marvellous professionals with very beneficial suggestions. I feel very happy to have discovered your entire webpage and look forward to really more brilliant minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for everything.

  16. My spouse and i got now thrilled Jordan managed to conclude his research from your ideas he grabbed from your very own web page. It’s not at all simplistic just to possibly be releasing tricks which often a number of people could have been trying to sell. We discover we have got you to thank for that. The explanations you’ve made, the simple website navigation, the friendships you make it possible to promote – it’s got most powerful, and it’s making our son in addition to the family feel that that subject is enjoyable, and that’s exceptionally indispensable. Thank you for all!

  17. I have to express my gratitude for your kind-heartedness in support of individuals who actually need assistance with your area. Your very own commitment to getting the solution up and down has been astonishingly important and has in every case made associates like me to realize their desired goals. Your personal valuable key points signifies much a person like me and somewhat more to my peers. With thanks; from each one of us.

  18. I happen to be commenting to let you be aware of what a useful experience our child encountered studying your site. She learned some pieces, which include how it is like to have an awesome coaching mood to get many more really easily know precisely several advanced topics. You truly did more than our expected results. Thank you for supplying the interesting, safe, edifying and in addition unique thoughts on this topic to Gloria.

  19. I not to mention my guys came looking at the nice ideas found on your web blog and then at once I got a terrible feeling I never expressed respect to the web blog owner for those secrets. All the women are already so happy to study them and have now pretty much been loving these things. Thanks for simply being simply helpful as well as for using varieties of brilliant subject areas most people are really eager to learn about. Our own honest regret for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  20. I want to show my appreciation to the writer just for bailing me out of such a condition. Just after scouting through the online world and seeing strategies which are not powerful, I thought my life was well over. Living devoid of the approaches to the difficulties you’ve resolved by way of this post is a critical case, as well as the kind which may have adversely damaged my entire career if I hadn’t noticed your blog. Your personal competence and kindness in handling the whole lot was important. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a thing like this. It’s possible to at this time look forward to my future. Thank you so much for your specialized and sensible guide. I won’t hesitate to recommend your site to any person who should receive assistance on this matter.

  21. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don抰 know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss problem? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  22. My husband and i have been now glad that Edward managed to carry out his research from the ideas he was given when using the blog. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself freely giving information which men and women could have been trying to sell. And we all take into account we have the website owner to give thanks to for this. The specific illustrations you have made, the straightforward website navigation, the friendships you can help to instill – it’s got most exceptional, and it’s making our son and our family do think that article is awesome, and that’s extraordinarily important. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  23. A lot of thanks for all your efforts on this website. Gloria enjoys conducting investigations and it’s really easy to see why. All of us hear all concerning the powerful mode you offer great tactics through this blog and even encourage participation from other people about this subject then my child is truly being taught so much. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. Your carrying out a wonderful job.

  24. I simply wanted to appreciate you once again. I am not sure the things I would’ve created without those creative concepts shared by you about such field. It actually was the difficult setting in my position, but witnessing a well-written strategy you solved that took me to jump for joy. I will be happy for your information as well as expect you realize what a powerful job that you are accomplishing educating some other people with the aid of a web site. I am sure you haven’t got to know all of us.

  25. I wanted to jot down a brief note to be able to thank you for all of the unique information you are placing at this site. My rather long internet research has finally been compensated with brilliant information to share with my classmates and friends. I would assume that we site visitors actually are extremely lucky to dwell in a superb place with very many marvellous professionals with very helpful tips and hints. I feel somewhat grateful to have seen your web pages and look forward to really more cool times reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  26. I have to voice my gratitude for your kind-heartedness in support of all those that really need assistance with that field. Your very own commitment to passing the solution all through turned out to be certainly powerful and have continually allowed regular people much like me to realize their pursuits. This insightful advice can mean a whole lot to me and further more to my fellow workers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  27. I am glad for commenting to make you understand of the cool experience my cousin’s girl gained browsing your web page. She even learned some pieces, including how it is like to have a great coaching spirit to make men and women without problems know just exactly some advanced topics. You actually did more than people’s expected results. I appreciate you for distributing the important, trusted, educational not to mention fun guidance on your topic to Lizeth.

  28. I not to mention my friends were actually examining the great ideas found on your web page and all of a sudden developed a terrible suspicion I never thanked the website owner for those techniques. Most of the men became so warmed to see all of them and have in effect surely been loving these things. Many thanks for indeed being very thoughtful and also for utilizing some superb subject areas millions of individuals are really desirous to be informed on. My personal sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  29. I intended to create you that very small note to thank you very much yet again on your incredible principles you’ve provided on this page. It’s pretty generous of people like you in giving unhampered precisely what many individuals could have distributed as an e-book to make some cash on their own, and in particular now that you might have done it in the event you decided. The techniques as well worked as a fantastic way to be aware that the rest have similar zeal much like my personal own to see a great deal more on the subject of this matter. I know there are several more fun situations ahead for those who looked at your site.

  30. I and my friends were reading through the nice helpful hints from the blog and so all of the sudden I got a horrible suspicion I had not thanked the blog owner for those secrets. Those people had been for this reason happy to read through them and have in actuality been having fun with those things. I appreciate you for being considerably considerate and also for going for varieties of cool things millions of individuals are really desirous to discover. My very own honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to earlier.

  31. Glad to see you are still pouring out the pearls. 🙂 God is using you and His words of wisdom and truth. Thank you for your faithfulness. I loved the reminder, too, that those that reject God (and our attempts to share His truth) are slaves to sin and are simply following their sinful nature. We need to keep loving them and praying for them. They are lost. Like you said, we are not perfect either and need to remain dependent on God. The truth that was sown is not in vain and Lord willing, one day, He will get a hold of their hearts… As for us, we are all a work in progress in a very broken world. I’m thankful to belong to a strong and mighty God! It’s a privilege to serve Him.
    Praying for you!

  32. Thank you for writing about this. It all makes sense…and yet doesn’t sometimes. 🙂 I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with us.

  33. We humans want easy/quick relief from our pain – just look at all of the big bottles of pain relievers on the shelves at Costco, and the big money that pharmaceuticals pour into developing better, stronger pain meds. We shy away from work and exercise (obesity statistics support this). And most of all, we love avoidance of our own faults, preferring to blame others when we can. As you know, you must be honest with yourself about yourself in order to be honest about yourself with God. If you are not honest with God, how can you ever experience God’s forgiveness and Grace? You can’t. Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. It is our struggle with ourselves that makes the journey into God’s loving arms difficult. My guess is that the woman wanted what she saw in you, but when she learned what was involved in getting that, the fear of honestly facing herself was overwhelming. Ironic – when we are honest with ourselves and about ourselves with God, it is the most freeing experience. We wonder what held us back in the first place. But when stuck inside ourselves prior to that, it is the most frightening thing imaginable. I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said “whoever loses their life for my sake will gain it”.

  34. “What would it take for us to do the right thing for the right reason, and trust God with the outcome?”

    … from my sinful perspective and understanding of His word,(IMHO)..it takes sinful man to accept God on his terms..not ours. Therein lies the rub. Before I wanted His “obvious wisdom”, I activly rejected and ridiculed His way. I rejected his terms because my pride, ignorance and selfish desires were more important; after all, I didn’t need Him. What finally drew me to “trust God with my outcome” was the revelation that I didn’t have to follow laws I could never keep! I was a slave to my sinful nature and I was tired of justifying what I knew to be wrong and wanted peace. The beauty of God is He offes all His creation FREE CHOICE. No thumb screws, no mark downs, no guilt trips, no BS. I finaly met Him..on his terms, (grace, mercy and omnipotence). I finaly understood that religion was a ruse and salvation was a relationship. After meeting Him, His spirit lead (and continually leads me) on my journy to knowing Him and desiring to follow him. Thanks for having the courage to bring light to His name. Sorry I Bogarted your blog. Forgivenss please :). Love YOU!

  35. Syl-what a powerful piece of writing. SO honest, insightful and REAL. Thank you for all of those you will help because you put this out there. (I shared it on my FB feed this morning.) I NEEDED to read this! Every day, every moment, I have to work at surrendering my will and wanting what He has for me instead of what I instantly want to have for myself. Thank you for this treasure of encouragement. You are such a gifted writer. Keep it up! Keep ‘um coming. Love you! xo

  36. We are not perfect, no, not one. Just remember how long you turned your back on what you KNEW was the right choice. And, if you are honest, I’ll bet you still backslide from time to time. Be careful about judging others for their lack of ‘obvious wisdom’. We are human and will make many mistakes – over and over again. Keep your eyes focused on Him and keep praying for us all.

    1. I’m sorry if I sounded judgmental- not my intent. I’m “one of those”, most certainly. I just know Jesus paid it all for us to have this thing He called “abundant living” and we miss out on it when we don’t surrender our will and our lives over to Him. For sure, all of us are moving along the path at different rates of speeds, and navigating different sized bumps and no one can push us harder than we want to be pushed. It is truly a case of one day at a time and sometimes (like in the case of flawed me), one minute at a time. Thanks for your comment.

    2. Sylvia wasn’t judging, she was challenging us to be all God made us to be.I saw her in concert a few years ago and then followed her to another event a year later. She was so unforgettable to me, the reason being is how nonjudged I felt by her. Her challenge makes mefeel included in “the struggle” we all go through. Both times I’ve heard her speak and every time I read anything she writes I am left with the desire to be better, to serve more, to stretch more, and to understand God more.

  37. This is the second most powerful message I have listened to/heard today. So powerful yet so very simple. I want to influence my relationships in a way that honors and gorifiess God. If I can’t do that I am not sure I want the relationship. I would rather pour out myself in a person that brings honor to Him than have one with no eternal/everlasting value. Thanks so much Sylvia and Michelle.

  38. What I love the most about your brand of Christianity is that you are a realist.I never feel preached at by you and instead feel like you a mouthpiece for God. At least to me. You point me to him when I do’nt feel like looking in that direction and this blog is another example of that to me. Thank you. Now where is that book?

    1. Such an encouraging reply, Gerry- thank you so much. Please (and I’m so sorry if I should know this)– remind me where we have met?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.