Surrendered To His Grace

This year I’m going do it. No matter what, I am going to make it happen. I am going to lose the extra pounds, work out, be more self-disciplined and have balance in my day. These are my goals and no matter what, by will power it will happen this year. This year is different! I’m going to start as soon as I get done singing “Auld Lang Syne”. No messing up this year. Nope, this is the year for change. I am filled with hope and determination. No stopping me, my mind is made up!

For sure, this year will be different…until February 14th on Valentine’s Day. All of this determination and goal setting is going to end the instant my dear sweet husband hands me a beautiful box of assorted chocolates with nuts. He’ll look into my eyes, tell me how great I am and let me know that he was thinking of me. Very sweet, right?  My knees will buckle, my mouth will water, and then everything will unravel like a bad run in my favorite sweater. I’ll forget about my willpower and commitment. Having starved myself from all sweets; I will no doubt eat the entire box in one sitting. Feeling disgusted and humiliated, I then will decide that I can skip the workout class because it didn’t work anyway. Then I’ll have a bad attitude, be disappointed with myself and walk in shame until I get another do-over the same time next year.

I know it will happen that way because that is exactly how it has gone down time and time again- year after year. I’m not going to do it again. I’m not going to try to make these goals happen again. This year is different. I am going to take my goals and just surrender them. I need another kind of change. I need a heart change. I want to be set free from the insanity of setting New Year’s resolutions because it really means I am setting myself up for failure.  This year I’d like for Jesus to get to the bottom of it. I’d like to understand why it is so hard to just simply take good care of myself.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV), “There is, therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not work according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

That is really interesting. I wonder why I find it perfectly fine to condemn myself for failing when God doesn’t. I am a woman after God’s heart. What is the problem? Why won’t this just sink in?

As I took a closer look at the scripture the part that says, “Those who are in Christ Jesus,” Really stood out to me. I repeated it over and over and then I realized the truth that was hidden in it. A huge sigh of relief and even a little giggle came over me. I have been trying to accomplish this task of self-care by keeping the rules and then condemning myself for breaking the rules that I couldn’t keep.

Let me explain.  I am a rule keeper, strong willed and a perfectionist.  So, to me, the only way you get stuff accomplished is by figuring out the rules and then keep them. It’s simple math, if you don’t keep the rules, then you fail. Please don’t judge me, that’s how I’m wired and it seems that God keeps working with me on this, a lot. 

I am trying to do it all myself! How can I be in Christ Jesus when I won’t let him have my failures? Doesn’t it make sense that when perfectionism raises its ugly head when I am trying my best to keep all the rules; there is no room for God to show me His help and His grace?

I believe that there is a moment in life to keep an eye out for. It’s the pivotal moment when you realized you are defeated but you haven’t yet chosen to accept the shame and condemnation that often goes with it. This single moment is very brief and unless we look for it we won’t know it even happened.

It’s a transitory choice to either pick up shame and condemnation or refuse that option and offer our disappointment to God instead.  There are many opportunities to pinpoint that single moment of decision. It might be at the moment of diagnosis, at the end of a divorce, when a job is lost or after years of trying to manage an addiction.  Unfortunately, I have missed that single moment many times and suffered greatly with the weight of condemnation. It is a senseless suffering because I chose to carry weight the failure.

What if this year were different? What if I surrendered and said, “God, I can’t do it. I am not able, not strong enough to keep all the rules. I’ve tried, but I just mess up over and over. I surrender all to you.”

What if, I surrendered all to Him? It’s such a precious thought to have knowing He has only love and grace to offer me in return. Will this year be different for you too? What can you surrender in exchange for His love? 

Sheri Page is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She has been married to her husband for 10 years and cherishes their blended family of 6 adult children and 9 grandchildren. Sheri has worked in and alongside ministries for over 30 years. She has served many roles within the walls of a church including, a Women’s Ministry director and assistant to a Care Pastor where she served people who were walking through Baptism, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care and benevolence. Sheri loves to share her curiosity and unique understanding of life with Jesus by her side. She is a 5-year breast cancer survivor and considers that experience to be one of the greatest gifts God has given her. More writings from Sheri can be found on her blog: https://thelordsdwellingplace.com/