April is now the fourth month in which I've prayed the Novena of Surrender to Jesus on days 1-9 of the month. Each month I've experienced incredible gifts through the act of surrender. This month I decided to record those experiences so I could share some and also hold some sacred as God and I continue to grow in our relationship.
I like the Novena of Surrender to Jesus presented by the Abbots Circle. I like how Friar Charbel Grbavac, O.Praem reads the novena and then gives a short devotional after. I always pause the Novena when it gets to the key line: Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.
I pray that prayer 10 times. And I mean it.
There were some pretty beautiful miracles this month. I enjoyed the freedom of Day 5 in which I prayed before every next step, "what should I tackle next?" What a beautiful day it was and how rejuvenated I felt as I accomplished fun things and let the Spirit lead.
A few to surrender miracles to share because God is so cool:
Day 1: A neighbor and friend from our old neighborhood at the recycle center offering to help with a big task. He probably cut an hour off of the work for me.
Day 2: Making it just in time to pick up some meals
Day 3: A child's hands lifted to God during worship service
Day 4: An opening of the heart for a child and time and space to sit with her in her grief
Day 5: A message of God's gift of little things. The EXACT right amount of tape needed to finish the deck taping. I mean EXACT you guys. It was crazy. Getting to dance class on time when there is NO way we should have after leaving late, and turning around to get my forgotten phone. Does God slow down time? It felt like it.
Day 6: Listening to the prompting to slow down and take a break in the midst of big emotions and old grief.
Day 7: Processing how far God has brought me. A gift discovered in time between events. Living out my understanding of PTSD and how to treat the psychological wounds from which I suffer. Rest. Rest needed. Rest taken. Repair. Holy repair because of holy rest. This day could have led to continued rupture and surrender allowed for repair.
Day 8: Moses. A story of desert wandering. A story of God helping Moses learn new tools to lead God's people. The BEMA Discipleship Podcast speaking into my writing, my thinking, my relationship with God.
Day 9: My first ever experience on I-25 from Castle Rock to Westminster in which I drove the speed limit the entire way. Miracle.
This week is Holy Week. The week we remember that Jesus surrendered it all. Marty Solomon on the Bema Podcast had another surrender miracle for me this week. It can be its own post, so I'll wait to explain, but the message that forgiveness is the ultimate act of surrender rang soft and clear in my mind as I listened on Day 5. Jesus, tortured and hung on the cross for forgiveness. My forgiveness. Yours. Jesus dead for three days. Jesus rising again. Conquering death. All for you. For me. For us. It's a lot to contemplate.
This week, I think about how challenging it actually is to live in a stance of surrender. For nine days each month this year I've focused on this practice. In my comfortable and easy western world this act is challenging. It is life changing to imagine Jesus, saying yes to the act of surrender of which we celebrate this week. And yet He did.
And so I end this post with gratitude. Thank you Jesus. Let me learn from and lean into your act of surrender. Let me contemplate this week the power of surrendering it all to you. Help me surrender the hardest parts. Especially the forgiveness I struggle to give. You take care of it. Amen.