As I think about this new year and all it holds for me, the phrase “Bravely Surrender” keeps coming into my mind. Brave enough to step out, but humble to throw up my hands in surrender.
In November, I attended a conference for speakers called Leverage. I know this year will bring lots of opportunities and to share about my book, A Prairie Devotional–and I want to be ready. It’s been a lifelong journey trying to convince myself that I have a story worth telling. I’m still on that journey, as we all are–growing and learning to be who we were created to be.
It makes me think of Laura Ingalls in the episode “Country Girls.”
I’m laughing at the narration of Laura sitting by Plum Creek with her book and slate, saying something about how arithmetic is easy and she loves to read… but writing is something she feels completely overwhelmed by.
So overwhelmed that she doesn’t write an essay to read in front of the class. Instead, she gives a speech about her Ma and how much she loves her. Laura is confident speaking but not writing. Her paper contained only a few small words, but her heart was full to overflowing with stories to tell about her mother.
It’s ironic that Laura Ingalls Wilder went on to write many books, but it all started with a few small words that didn’t feel like nearly enough.
Doesn’t life work like that? The very hard thing we struggle with becomes what God uses most in us.
I understand that the writers of the show did this on purpose. And who knows maybe Laura did have trouble with writing when she first started school. But the truth is that we all struggle with something, whether it be reading or writing, maybe public speaking or sharing our faith stories.
The conference was filled with great information and workshops, but what I valued most was our small critique groups. Each member shared a portion of a message on day 1, 2, & 3. We had to be brave, like Laura standing in front of a classroom of people. It was our chance to practice our message in a safe place. Each morning, after hours of preparation the night before, surrender was the only thing left to do.
When you take a step of faith, failure is always looming on the horizon. But the simple act of stepping out is victory in itself.
When you think about the new year, what is your brave step? How can you surrender this year into the hands of the One who holds it all together?
Happy New Year my friends!