Surrender’s Fierce Beauty

“I can’t do this, Lord!” Tears fell, washing the worn and cracked linoleum. I was attempting to scrub my “new” kitchen floor. Every time I thought I’d found the bottom layer of grease and grime, another surfaced in muddy pools. I raced outside in disgust, only to be driven back inside the filthy kitchen by bitter February cold. “I can’t do this—please help me!” was my constant cry.

During the three years that LeRoy stepped down from pastoring, we lived in a variety of interesting places, but this was the most challenging one yet. We were attempting to convert an abandoned diesel mechanic’s shop into livable housing. We dubbed it the “flea house” due to an infestation that remained unfazed by the most powerful insecticides known to man—they just would not die!

Rodents in various sizes and stages of life, holes in the walls, the ceiling, and floors—all convinced me this was more than I could bear. The easiest thing was to blame LeRoy for our difficult living conditions, but in reality my lack of support and demeaning treatment contributed to the strain on our marriage that led him to step away from pastoring for a season—and that also put us in a difficult position financially and brought a lot of changes; one of the most challenging was our options for housing.

Although I hadn’t yet realized the need to change how I treated LeRoy, while living in the flea house I began to move from the demanding heart that yells, “I can’t do this!” to a yielded response.

“Yes, Lord. I surrender to Your will.

This is hard. I need Your grace. But I trust You.”

It took a bit before I fully surrendered, but eventually that kitchen became my sanctuary. As I surrendered and began to say, “Yes, Lord . . .” Jesus’ fellowship in that grime-covered room became more precious than what I’d ever experienced with Him. Again and again His glory filled the room as He met me there in the early dawn hours.

Because of His fellowship with me there, the place I once hated and thought I couldn’t live in became a precious place. I remember the day I vowed to God that I never wanted to leave this house if it meant leaving His presence. After struggling and fighting for release, I had finally grabbed hold of Him and settled into contentment.

Fierceness is beautiful when it is surrendered to God’s will.

Have you surrendered to His will for your life?

Excerpt from Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior Moody Publishers © 2012 by Kimberly Wagner