I haven’t done an update in a while on my submission goal for the year. I’ve been reflecting on this lately and have a few things I would like to share. So, ahem…
I’ve been locked in a power struggle with myself for a few weeks now. I sent in Delivering Justice for the second time three weeks ago today, and I’ve been trying not to think about it. I’ve done a much better job this time. My email refresh button has gotten a lot more rest this time around. It’s not that I’m not worried about what is going on with it, but that I have come to accept that at this moment, its fate is in someone else’s hands. I can’t do anything more for it. I can’t send her my latest revisions or make her publish it; my part is over for the moment.
This is so much easier to realize in writing submissions than in spiritual submission. Recently someone close to me has been having a difficult time with life. REALLY difficult. I’m the cheerleader, the encourager, the person who sees it as my personal mission to pull everyone out of the doldrums kicking and screaming if I have to. I never really feel like I get anywhere with this individual, though. I feel like they listen to what I have to say but don’t believe it has any real bearing on what they are going through. I can quote scripture, speak from my own experience, or repeat every motivational quote I can think of, but I just can’t be them, and therefore I have no clue what the right thing to do or say is to make them feel better.
This week when things got difficult, they asked to be left alone for a few days. I wasn’t feeling this plan. Worries abounded in my head. But this seems like a sign of depression. But what if they do this or that? But the thing is, we all reach a point where we need to pull away at some time or another. Even Jesus left his disciples and the multitudes to pray and be with God by Himself. The truth is, nothing that I do ever seems to be enough because I’m not the one responsible for this person’s happiness. It doesn’t matter who it is in my life that needs me; I can’t fulfill all of their needs.
In Galatians, we are told to bear one another’s burdens, yes, but ultimately we are admonished to roll our cares onto Christ. I had to turn this person’s confusion, discontent and unhappiness with their current situation over to God. It was way too big for me. I couldn’t handle it. I’m not supposed to handle it.
A big part of submission is trust. When you hand someone something precious, and you don’t let go until you’re sure they have a good grip on it, that they aren’t going to drop it. I have to trust that God has a good grip on this person. Perhaps my constant interference has been disrupting what God is trying to show them. Maybe my “help” has been more of a hindrance. So lately I’ve been working on surrendering. I’m learning to trust God with those things that are too big for me to handle. I’m learning to trust the second part of the process. Once I give something to Him, it’s out of my hands.
This is something I’m trying to keep at the forefront of all my relationships and interactions with people. When I marry one day, even as I submit to my husband, there will still be things he can’t handle or be responsible for, things I need to take to God and submit to Him about. There will be times when my support and encouragement isn’t enough, when my husband needs to submit that area to God. People aren’t responsible for our happiness or contentment, and we shouldn’t hold them responsible for our discontentment or dissatisfaction. All of those Psalms where David directs his petitions to God and tells God that He alone can accomplish what David is seeking after Him to do should have clued me in to this, but sometimes it just has to be personal.
Praying for everyone struggling with depression, discontent, dissatisfaction, or decisions they need to make to move out of those places.