Pride and Surrender

For so long, I wanted things to be about me and how I wanted things to go in my life. Granted, that is the human condition that is so common to us all. To sum up that attitude in one word…let’s use “Pride”. Pride says, “I got this!” to which I now say, “Whatever!” No, in the grand scheme of things, not even my own life is about me. But that’s not to say it isn’t significant, it just means that it is fitting into God’s plan and not my own.

I may agree with that now, but how did I get there? How do any of us get there? It’s called “surrender”…it’s not a popular word, I know; and the “getting there” can be quite uncomfortable, but this journey of surrender is one we must make many times, over and over as we are coming closer to Him.

You see, up until about 10 years ago, I thought I was going to be a singer/worship leader and everything that involved. Little did I know, that wasn’t God’s ultimate intention and purpose for my life. So in ignorance, I set about trying to make it happen. Let’s just say that God had His way of frustrating my plans. I am so thankful for that now. My pastor made a statement this past weekend that is fitting right here. He said,

“It’s better to not have something you want, than to have something you don’t want.”

Little by little, I began to see that I really had NO control over where my life was going and that God actually desired for me to lay down all I believed (at that time) that I was called to. I felt alone and forgotten by Him for several years where it seemed I had been shelved. Had I been shelved for a while? Yes. Had I been forgotten? Absolutely not.  Fast forward to the past 5 years. I’ve been going through a major shift; not in my basic doctrinal beliefs, but in the stretching that surrendering my own desires required of me. James 4:6 says,

“God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.”

As long as I held onto the idea that my service to God was supposed to match up to what thought, I was continuing in pride which meant God was continuing to “resist” me. Not in a forsaking kind of way, because He always loves us and promises to never leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) His resistance looks more like a mom with a child who is throwing a temper tantrum. It’s more of a way of saying, “Okay, when you’re done with your fit, we’ll talk.” Please tell me I’m not the only one who has thrown a fit with God…anyone else???

When I began to get worn out and began to obey, which requires humility, He began to give me grace and strength to do what He asked me to do.

As I review all of this, it’s plain to see that I had been on a mission to fit God into the story I was attempting to construct, thereby making Him “small” and containable. But make no mistake; nobody puts God in a corner! (you’ll only get that reference if you’re into 80’s pop culture)

I now realize that pride had caused me to become an idolater by magnifying the very thing I claimed God had called me to. But we know that isn’t how God works. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25,

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” 

Laying down my own agenda to make room for His allows me to walk in a greater level of peace and contentment as I am finally submitted to following Him instead of trying to spear head this whole expedition. I mean come on…I was never qualified or equipped to “lead” God anywhere. I’ve also found that He has led me to far greener pastures than I could have ever found on my own 🙂

It’s a little comical when I look back and realize that although I absolutely LOVE serving on my worship team at church and I love to worship and sing and write music, I have NO desire to be a worship leader. I now see that it was God all along who was frustrating my plans and in the process, he was using every struggle to excise things in me that needed to go. I have to know now that all of it was always part of God’s plan because He doesn’t waste anything we go through, because it is all fitting into His plan; His story. Proverbs 19:21 states,

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

I want to tell you, you can trust that His purposes are good!

~Traci~

I would love to hear from you. Are there areas past or present that you sense God is asking you to surrender to Him?

Where are you in this process? 

Feel free to share on Facebook and Twitter!

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About tracihaney

Traci is a wife and mother with a strong desire to see the family become all that God intended it to be. She has been married for 28 years to her husband Kevin since she was 18. They have two adult children, daughter and a son as well as a daughter in law and new granddaughter. Traci understands how blessed she is because she also knows the pain and emotional baggage of growing up in a very dysfunctional home and the toll that it takes on a person. Having experienced healing from those past hurts, she desires to help others heal in their own areas of hurt so they can live life to their fullest potential as they impact their families and communities as well. Because of her heart for parenting, she, along with her husband have led parenting small groups for the past five years at Milestone Church in Keller, TX which is their home church. They have recently become Small Group coaches, pouring into other leaders to help them to become more successful as they minister to the needs of their own groups. She has led women's small groups and has been involved in the single mom's ministry of Milestone Church as a blog contributor and speaker. Currently, she is in the process of writing a book on the subject of parenting and bringing up children who will continue as Christ followers even after they leave the home. With a strong desire to see people thrive in all areas of their lives, she writes this blog to offer encouragement, hope and sometimes, humor, for others. View all posts by tracihaney

15 responses to “Pride and Surrender

  • godchick7

    This was a wonderful post! Was that a Dirty Dancing reference? haha….Sometimes I think it’s possible to THINK we have surrendered to God, but in actuality, we have not…it’s important to pray and ask God to reveal anything we are holding on to.

    Your comment about the tantrum made me think of how He lovingly disciplines His children. It’s what a good Father does. 🙂

    Generally speaking, I’d say I’ve dealt with Him telling me to surrender my fears to Him and to just trust Him completely. I KNOW He will take care of me and always be there for me, but still sometimes there are those moments of, what if…doubt…it’s an attack of the enemy. But God is FAITHFUL!

    Deena Wade

    • tracihaney

      Deena,thanks so much for the comment. Yes, it was a Dirty Dancing reference 🙂 …couldn’t resist! You are so right about how we can make ourselves believe something that in reality, isn’t really true. That’s why it’s so important to hear God. He will always lead us into truth. Keep believing God to meet your needs and find what His word says about your situation and cling to that because He is faithful 🙂

  • brandycason

    Traci! Great read! Better timing! This spoke straight to me! God has been opening my eyes in the last two weeks that I have been dealing with pride…big time! And in ways I have not thought about! Being a single mom (seemingly even while married), being on my own growing up because my dad was gone in the military and my mother resented me and pushed me away. I have always thought “I got this. I can handle this.” And if I cannot, I have a near meltdown and feel worthless and like a huge failure. It is off the charts messy. I refuse to ask for help, because I feel if I was put in charge of something (assignment by God, children, task at work, etc) I should be able to carry it out with little to no difficulties. Now, I will ask for assistance if I have a brain fart, but when it is a bigger item I refuse. I have trouble paying the bills, I have trouble with timing, responsibility, etc. Lately I feel like I need help merely getting dressed. But I hear the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear telling me “YOU cannot. God can. Go to God.” But that hurts my pride, so I struggle. And with everything that is in me, I want to surrender, but I have a DEEP seeded fear of what could happen if I did. I didn’t have a childhood. I raised my sister. I have had so much to carry for so long, I literally have no idea to lay it at His feet! I search the Bible, but I have yet to find the insructions on HOW to step by step do that! So, as a girl who has successfully surrendered, please share your wisdom! Love you, sweet woman of God!!!

    • tracihaney

      Brandy, thanks so much for your transparency. You may not even realize it, but you just asked for help 🙂 That’s a first step so you’re already making progress! I’m glad you asked this question because it is a good prompt for another blog entry and I may write on it in more depth in a couple of days. But for the time being, first, think of Jesus and how He surrendered. We don’t often think of that, but even the Son of God had to surrender His will to the Father’s will when it came to His death on the cross. In the garden before He was arrested, Jesus sweat drops of blood as He asked God to let this cup, pass from Him, but nevertheless, not His will, but the Father’s will be done. That is a perfect picture of surrender. Think of the consequences if He hadn’t chosen to surrender His own will and come into submission to the Father’s will. WE would be lost and dying without hope of salvation. I say all of that to say that surrender is nothing more than obedience to God’s leading in our lives. It means…just let go…Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Trust Him, don’t rely on your own ability to figure things out, look to Him and acknowledge Him in everything, and know He will guide you. I know that may be a little vague but I would love to talk with you soon if you want. Oh, and I wouldn’t call myself a complete success at this surrender thing. God is always showing me new areas I need to surrender…it just comes with the territory of letting Him do what only He can do.
      Blessings to you Brandy. He loves you 🙂

      • brandycason

        Thank you, Traci! We should meet up and chat sometime! I would love that! I was talking to my sweet friend, Maria Henderson, last night about my pride issue. I was telling her that it seems to me like my head KNOWS what I need to do, but my HEART wants to hold on. “just let go” is proving to be easier said than done for me! 🙂

  • juliepresley

    Singing was always my thang. It was a huge part of my identity in high school, you already know that ;). I dreamed about being a worship leader, a pastor’s wife/worship leader (Praise the Lord he redirected my steps, lol), and then later on a rock star. I went through a really painful experience a few years ago as it related to leading worship and the Father showed me that it had become my identity and that it had consumed me for so many years. As soon as I laid it down, the importance was gone and that was intertwined with the timing when writing became a serious desire of my heart. Writing isn’t my identity either, but it’s a gift that I love even more than the gift of singing and leading worship.

    I still have a huge heart for worship, but I no longer need to be on the stage, in fact I don’t WANT to be on the stage, just simply in the room. I am desperate for more though. I just know that I’m going to fight for a place in front of the throne w/ the Angels singing “Holy Holy Holy” when this life is said and done 🙂

    • tracihaney

      Julie,
      I love what you wrote here! You are a woman after my own heart. It was after I let go of the identity that I had in singing that I began to realize my passion for writing. I’ve always been one to journal and record my thoughts but never saw myself as a “writer”. I love this new place He has me in. The living is so much better “here” than it was “there” 🙂 Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment 🙂

  • christine

    So good to know I am not only “fit thrower” when things aren’t going “my way”! Such a great reminder that his plan is the best and the sooner we learn to surrender the more peace we can experience walking in his path:) great reminder Traci!

  • Amy Russey

    I love this girl!  God is using what you have been through to teach us all.  I still can’t help but to think of that dream I had in 1996 of you dying but coming back alive with a clearer more beautiful voice.  I think what dying looks like for you is what you have written here, because your voice in this letter is BEAUTIFUL and has come back clearer and stronger!  I love you so much and count it an honor that I can walk with you through this life.   Love you, Amy

    Amy Russey

    • tracihaney

      Amy! You have no idea what happened inside me when I read your comment…I’ve always remembered that dream as it has been an encouragement to me during many difficult times I’ve encountered. However, I never realized until reading this comment that my “clearer, more beautiful voice” is my writing and teaching! Praise God! Thank you for your friendship and encouragement. I love you too 🙂

  • Janyth

    Traci….love to read your writings and see your heart in your words. You’ve always been so determined and strong, even when you didn’t see yourself that way!

    I’ve spent a big chunk of the past 3 years having temper tantrum fits with God about alot of things but thankfully HE has watched me with loving eyes knowing eventually I would get over myself and realize that HE was still the same God that I had loved forever. It’s a weird place when you figure that out! And I agree with your comment from earlier when you said the living is so much better here than there! I couldn’t agree more! Thankfully we are never to old to learn something new in His word!

    Love you girl…..and miss you!

    Janyth

    • tracihaney

      Janyth, I love hearing from you on this and didn’t know you read my blog! Thank you so much for your comment and your encouragement. It really means a lot to me and I’m glad to know you got something you needed from this. Stay tuned, there will be more to come soon! I would LOVE to see you sometime by the way since you live so close now :)If you haven’t subscribed yet, I would love for you to.

      Love you!
      Traci

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