God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that You will make all things right
If I surrender to Your Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with You
Forever and ever in the next.
When I first started in my recovery, I had only been a Christian for about 4 years so I was still, as they say, “a baby in Christ”. I knew that if I clung to the promises of scripture, things would work out in the way they should so there was nothing I needed to fear. This was easy enough to do while things were going well and even if things were just a little messy. I didn’t know much scripture but I knew how to go looking for it when I needed it.
Then, life hit me like a tsunami. The consequences of the choices I had made were unrelenting. I felt like the waves were crashing down on me one right after the other, beating me into oblivion. I was drowning. Daily, almost hourly, I would say to myself (sometimes out loud, sometime just in my head), “Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will”. I believed on that verse with everything in me…it is what I clung to. The funny part is that I thought I was quoting a scripture to myself. One night at a meeting, it hit me (I guess because I was consciously thinking about it) that this was not scripture. It didn’t matter though. It was a statement that was based on scripture and it was a statement that comforted me.
I believe I had the “trusting” part down but I didn’t know how I was to “surrender”. It took lots of time and numerous failed attempts but I feel over the years, I finally got it down.
Surrendering doesn’t mean literally “giving up”, nor does it mean “letting go”, or even “don’t do anything”. There are time when we have to do these things but to me, surrendering means choosing to do the right thing. Yes, God has a plan for our lives but it doesn’t just happen. We don’t let go of the reins and say, “OK God, make it happen” and it just happens. No, we have work to do on our end. We have choices to make and actions to take but our job in finding this serenity is to make sure they are the right choices and actions.
Let me clarify this here: In my previous post I wrote about how I was so deeply hurt by some text messages I received. The initial response in my sinful nature is to fire back with equally nasty messages. Would that have been the right thing? Would it have settled the matter? No. I said my prayer and waited. I made a choice to not respond back at all and let God work in this situation. Yes, I was hurt. Yes, I cried like I haven’t cried in years. But I did what was pleasing to God. I did not let my sinful nature take over.
I did end up receiving an apology yesterday evening. It doesn’t make anything better or easier but I have peace about it now and know I surrendered to His will and for me that was doing what was pleasing in His sight, not what felt good for the moment in mine. God is working in my life and I am ready and willing to listen and let Him. Oh the places He will take me!