Day 30: Nicole Rebholz

Proverbs 3:5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
In the beginning of 2023, after a very difficult 5 years, God spoke the words “peace” and “joy” over my life, and thus began a year of walking in an entirely new freedom I had never before experienced. I had struggled with anxiety for my entire life and accepted it as a part of my identity. I never knew what it meant to have such great peace. This is significant because after my son was born in April of 2023, I didn’t experience the suffocating post-partum anxiety that had robbed me of enjoying the first few precious months after my other three sons were born.

Our God is so faithful! He doesn’t only want to see us free from a few areas of bondage, but from all things holding us captive.  And so, as I sought to draw nearer to God and His promises and the spirit of anxiety was miraculously lifted, I was able to begin to see other areas in my life that needed fixing. I kept hearing the word “surrender” and one of the greatest things I now needed to surrender was my need for control. (Thank God that He walks beside us and is a God of miracles…because surrendering my need for control will absolutely take acts of miracles.)

If I’m honest, this is something that has been challenging and is still very much a work in progress. But I am learning that surrender doesn’t mean we need to give up and roll over and play dead. It means we admit that there is only so much we can accomplish in our own human strength. That we need to come as far as we can and then humbly allow the Lord to carry us, lead us, and direct our steps.

I love my four boys fiercely, but I will never be the perfect parent. For years I allowed anxiety to rob me of my peace and sleep as I lay in bed at night full of regret, frustration, and sadness that I failed at another day of being the “perfect” mom. Now I practice surrendering. They are God’s children first and He has entrusted me with them so I can surrender and give them back to Him knowing He will direct my steps in how to train them according to His will. As much as I hold tightly to the control I thought I had, there’s a peace that comes with that surrender.

During a Bible study on the book of Daniel, we discussed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, after surrendering in obedience to God, were thrown into the furnace and they came out unscathed and not even smelling of smoke; however, it is important to note that the ropes that tied their hands were burned off and they walked out of the furnace unscathed but also freed. How great is it that our God kept them from being destroyed by the flames, yet let the flames destroy the things that kept them in bondage.

When challenges arise, we are called to surrender those challenges to the Lord. We were never meant to walk this life alone. Struggle will always be a part of our life. It’s one of the beautifully painful gifts we have for existing. Yes—I say a gift; as nothing quite brings us to our knees, strips us of our pride, and brings us to a place of surrendering to the Lord like the painful struggles we encounter. And nothing quite helps us break free of bondage while richly defining our relationship with the Lord, who so desires our full reliance on Him, like our surrender to Him. Listen to the words He speaks to your heart. He promises freedom in Him. And He is so faithful.
"Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your love and your faithfulness. Thank you for your guidance and your correction. Please strip me of my pride. Make me humble so that I may completely surrender to you and your ways rather than try to rely on my own strength. My ways are greatly limited and selfish in nature, but Lord your ways are perfect. Quiet my restless spirit and my wrestling with perfection so that I may follow your instructions and serve you better. Lord, direct my path in a way that reflects your goodness, rather than my own. Thank you for being a good, good Father. In Jesus name, Amen."

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