|Photo Credit: Hillsong Church Facebook Page|
It's amazing how you can sit in a room, surrounded by 10,000 other people, and feel like you are the only one. The only one that struggles. The only one that questions. The only one that doubts. I am living a life that more than half this world would only dream of living - yet, I sit, wondering if God still sees me.
That morning, I went through the motions of worship, maybe one measly hand up, maybe my eyes closed once or twice - searching for connection. Wondering if He would meet me in my brokenness. When the last note played I knew I was the one standing between He and I, between the unified Spirit I was longing for. He whispered, "Surrender," I screamed, "No." "My child, my daughter - Surrender." I, with my sarcastic tone and my defiant spirit unfurled, "I will surrender only if he, the speaker, Brian Houston, lays his hands on me and anoints me himself." You see, it wasn't a challenge. It wasn't even a test. It was a statement made in complete and utter brokenness and unbelief. I threw my words out with no anticipation that it may even happen. Because, really, that would mean that God - the Creator of the Universe - actually heard me. I was beyond believing that.
Within minutes, as he stood on stage and began to speak of God's goodness...he stopped. His head bowed, his eyes closed, his voice spoke. "Are there people here tonight, people in ministry, who are weary..." My head dropped, my eyes closed, my tears fell. "Are you tired, worn down, jaded..." The flood gates opened. My shoulders shook, my eyes formed rivers, my body felt weak. "If you are weary, and worn down and jaded would you make your way up to the stage..." I felt gentle hands from friends push me forward, no idea how I would even be able to take steps.
I stood in front of 10,000 people, with many other weary, worn out and jaded travelers beside me, completely broken. The depths of my brokenness poured out in physical form. I could hardly stand. I certainly couldn't stop sobbing. I fought hard to control it all, not really wanting anyone to see the real, broken me standing there. But my spirit made way to surrender. And in that moment, I felt the biggest, most gentle, loving hands placed on my head. It startled me at first, wondering if it was God himself in human form touching me but instead, it was he. Brian. Brian Houston. The one person I mocked God in delivering an anointing I was sure wouldn't come. But God - the Creator of the Universe - even in all of my defiant rambling and unbelieving words - pierced the Heavenly atmosphere to lay hands on a broken girl needing to know that her Father sees her still. That even in my weariness, my worn out-ness, my jadedness - He sees me still. "You were not meant to carry this burden, child...it is mine to bear." "But you called me to this place, how could you have picked me? I am so, so broken." "That is why I have called you, my daughter. I work best through broken things."
In a world filled with billions of people, you can still feel alone. Unseen. That is the Enemy's plan, you see. Isolate. Separate. Deceive. Destroy. How many of us walk this road anticipating trials but never anticipate loneliness or weariness? We begin believing his lies, wondering if we are, in fact, walking this alone - forgetting the footsteps walking right beside us.
"In this world you will have trouble..." it says, "...but take heart." TAKE HEART! Keep going. Don't look back. Don't sit down. Don't take a break. TAKE HEART. Rest in Me. Wait on Me. Find peace in Me.
Not my plan, Father, Yours.
Believe in the unbelievable.
See the invisable.
Walk the narrow.
Love the unloveable.
Surrender. Something happened when I surrendered. I danced. My hands have never lifted higher. My eyes have never cried harder. My smile has never been bigger. I wasn't going through the motions. I saw my God. He saw me. I praised Him. I thanked Him. I worshipped Him. I surrendered.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,In this world, surrender leads to bondage and imprisonment.
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor." -Isaiah 61:1-3
In His world, Surrender leads to freedom.