Thursday, October 11, 2012

31 Days of Simple, But Beautiful Things - Surrender

Surrender Can Be a Simple, But Beautiful Thing

Be self-controlled and alert…1 Peter 5:8a

After reading about “The Exploders” in Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Unglued, I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Laugh…because Lysa’s way with language can be laugh-out-loud funny.

Cry…because all too often over the years I have been in such need of a way out of  becoming unglued.

I have been the one who made matters worse by reacting harshly and defensively to a hurtful text.

I have been the one who has snapped at the saleswoman because of three small but annoying events that have led up to my present state of crankiness.

And way too many times, I have been the mom who is so stressed out from the demands of daily life--juggling work, school and activity schedules, getting some kind of dinner on the table, and making sure everyone has clean underwear—that I have exploded on my kids and my husband, only to deeply regret it later. Feeling shame and self-loathing at my lack of self-control.

One of my lines (I’m sure my kids remember this well) of utter frustration was, “I can’t…I just can’t do this…I can’t take this anymore.” I don’t really have to wonder how that made my kids feel.

For a while, I justified this behavior.
“Well, if my kids weren’t so messy, I wouldn’t be so exasperated.”
“If Chris would just help me a little more.”
“Oh this is nothing. If you kids only knew the kinds of things my mother would say to me.”

The justification just made me feel worse.
I remember one day around Christmas, when in addition to ordinary stresses and strains of busy life, I was desperately trying to create the picture perfect holiday, I was ready to blow a gasket. The pressure was boiling over and I knew I was in danger of letting loose a stream of words I would regret.

“Please God help me!” I cried out in desperation. “I really need your help. I can’t go on like this.”
I heard a voice, not out loud, but inside. I’m telling you, it was clear as day.
“Elise, get down on the floor.”
“What?” I looked around me. 
Truly, I was stunned. How foolish I would feel throwing myself on the floor. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

I lay face down on the floor. Now I know this sounds a little crazy. But I believe God was answering my cry for help. I couldn’t stand up against the stress any longer. I had to submit to my good God, my Father, who was my only hope for change. And in this state of being utterly unglued, getting face down on the floor helped me to surrender my anger, frustration, and self-reliance; to lay this stuff down at the feet of Jesus who alone could be my help in this my time of need.

Suffice it to say, I’ve headed explosions off at the pass many times since by getting face down on the floor. It’s a little weird, but it works!

Have you ever taken any desperate measures to get your emotions under control? What do you do when stress threatens to take over?

1 comment:

  1. Great get on the floor or drop to my knees. I would definitely have to wait till my kids get to bed or it would be a dog-pile mom fest. And then there would be no surrendering. Thanks for the post.


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