I bounced into the second row of my first college class, ready to take on the world. How would God move in my life at college? How would He show up, mold me, and move me to action? How would this campus differ from my presence? I know, I know. I was a dreamer.
Three semesters later, I sat in the Dean’s office to share my intentions for discontinuing my education at this institution. I was in no way displeased with the quality of academia. I wasn’t leaving because I had a difficult time choosing a major due to my interest in all subject matter. I was leaving because the young man I told that I would follow Him anywhere was asking me to go. Like now.
I had a ring on my finger and a passion in my heart. I longed to travel the globe with him, leaving gospel-changed lives in our wake. Our happy bubble was threatened only by criticism and resistance to the plans we had forged in naive faith caught up in a whirlwind of love.
I thought back to a class with a professor convinced of the power of prayer. I had never heard someone talk so confidently of the ways of God which remained a mystery to me.
He encouraged the freshmen to hand God an empty sheet of paper with our name signed at the bottom, surrendering our rights to make decisions based solely on our dreamed up desires and fairytale futures.
I wondered if my name might be signed “Dr. Amber _______ (insert last name of studly husband here),” but I took the last name of the only boy I’d ever loved (who is a total stud, by the way). He had signed a covenant contract to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
I was pleased at the prospect of sitting sideline and seeing him achieve this dream. I soon realized, however, that my cooperation was imperative to the mission. And my cooperation required a yielding of my right to further my education.
Salutatorian of my, albeit small, graduating class and recipient of several college scholarships, I fought this in my heart. Why would God gift me in ways He wouldn’t use?
But there was sweet peace in surrendering to this part of my story.
I now have a two year degree, am married to a man of God, and have two beautiful children. I’ve learned a second language and serve the sweetest people in a spiritually impoverished country.
On graduation day, it hurt to see my roommates walk to receive their diplomas. Videos aired during the ceremony and were shared on social media. I was surprised to see a few photos of me scroll across the large screens while I watched from my new basement dwelling with a baby in my lap.
That time was not wasted. It was there that I learned to surrender my will.
It took me away from that wonderful place, from my friends and my education, but it brought me here. And here is a pretty great place to be.
What might God be calling you to surrender today?
Share with me in the comment section below so I may pray with you!
Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that (James 4:14-15).
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Loved this! What a neat story!
Thank you so much for stopping by, Lydia. God has been so good in writing my story. Trusting Him has been hard for my pride at times, but it has been so worth it!
I’m so glad to have popped over to read the story of you surrendering your life to Him. May God continue to bless you on the mission field!
Thank you so much for popping over! It’s a blessing to serve Him and every little bit of encouragement along the way helps!
What a lovely story.
In God’s economy, nothing is ever waster. I once had a box labeled “Pieces Of String Too Short To Use”. Yes, really.
I’m pretty sure God doesn’t have a box like that.
My dreams died after college. When my work in the killing fields was done, I went back to school, got a PhD, and thought I’d be teaching structural engineering for a few decades.
God has placed me here, terminally ill, to do this…write. So I’ll do my best, and forbear to ask why, because I probably won’t understand the answer until I see him face to face.
He can tell me over a few pints of Fosters. He’s buying.
That’s such a hard reality to accept. It has been a blessing watching you grapple with this, always falling on the favor of God’s grace. Thanks for your constant encouragement.
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