-Lay Me Down by Chris Tomlin
Sitting in the Portiuncula Chapel today, I prayed a rosary. While meditating on the sorrowful mysteries, it really hit me how much Jesus suffered for us. He was reduced to almost nothing—physically, mentally, and spiritually. He was separated from who He is, so that He could be with us forever and ever because His love is THAT STRONG.
Meditating on Christ’s suffering, I started thinking about myself and how often I say “Jesus, I Trust You” and then a few minutes later go back to chasing my selfish dreams and participating in the “world.” Or how often I tell Him “I surrender to You” and then start making my own plans. How often do I speak words to the Lord of my Life, unaware of their weight, their truth, their meaning, and most importantly their promise. But as I sat in the Portiuncula and took in all the hurt He went through for me, for you, for us—His children--I started to reflect on the idea of truly, truly surrendering.
Why would I ever want my life to be in my hands, the hands who nailed Christ to the cross through my sin, my fallen nature?
Why would I want my life to be in my hands, hands restricted to time and the limits of human nature?
Why would I want my life to be in my hands, when I can barely figure out what to wear or what to eat for breakfast?
No, my life should be in His hands, the hands that were pierced for me and still looked at me with love; the hands that gave me His body to hold and consume; the hands that hold me when I can barely make it through the day. Those are the hands, the loving, beautiful, healing, eternal hands that my life should be in.
My sisters, surrender is not a trap, but rather a beautiful source of freedom. It is a freedom in which we are able to lay down at the feet of our Lord and give Him everything. It is a freedom in which we are truly allowed to live our lives the way the Father has designed them to be—in the fullness of truth. In surrender, we have freedom from fear, from worry, from anxiety. In surrender, we can be full of joy and peace. In surrender, we need only follow His sweet voice and the rest He will take care of.
As I sat and stared at Jesus in His most beautiful form, He gave me the words to live my life by forever and ever: “Your will, Your way.” Since this night, I have felt so peaceful because I wake up each day and whisper these words to Him. I will never take them back because the truth is, I know that Jesus will lead me where He wants me to be, and for the first time, I am completely willing to go wherever that may be. For the first time, I am fully ready to be the woman He designed me to be, and that, that is the source of my peace and joy.
So where are you? Are you holding back that little piece of your heart because you’re scared to give it to Him? He loves you…
Are you worried He is calling you out of your comfort zone? Think about St. Peter…
Do you fear He will lead you far from the person you once were? He might, but in order to transform you so that you might grow. He’ll be with you the whole way…
Are you afraid to let someone love you because you’ve only been hurt by love? His love is perfect…
Do you think you’ve sinned too much, that there is no way the Father could ever use your life and make it beautiful? He hung on the cross for the sole purpose of mercy and forgiveness. He forgave the soldiers who beat His very flesh. Nothing you could do could separate you from His ocean of mercy…
Do you fear a lack of control? But control is stressful! Give Him a chance…
The things holding you back from Him are all the more reason to let Him in. He is Truth. His plan is so much greater than you can even begin to imagine, and not a single one of these reasons could ever be great enough to hold you from surrendering everything. Look at the saints, look at priests and religious, look at Pope Francis. Look where these people have come from. They are just like you and me…they each had a past. The reason their lives are beautiful stories is because they let the author write the story the way He planned to. They surrendered.
Let Him write your story. Hand over your fragile heart, and let yourself become His. Set yourself in the arms of Love. He will not disappoint you. Whisper this to Him: “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to You. Take care of everything.” And trust that He will.
Shelby Hawks is a freshman at Franciscan from the sunny state of California. She enjoys long walks on the beach (like for real) and could sing you every word to every Taylor Swift song if needed. Shelby can be #spotted in the library, in the Portiuncula, or drinking Chai tea in the JC Williams Center. She loves to write (especially about Jesus) and is so excited to be sharing her passion with the readers of this blog. She gives all glory to God for her talent to share His love through her writing.