the beauty in surrender

“Knock and it shall be opened.’ But does knocking mean hammering and kicking the door like a maniac?”

– C.S. Lewis

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I can’t even read that quote without giggling and simultaneously wanting to say a really loud “AMEN” to a brother. (P.s. I can’t wait to meet him in heaven)

I mean really, I can fully understand where he is coming from – can’t you? He’s referencing the scripture in Matthew 7:7, which reads “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

But how many times have, I myself, read that and have been like, “okay – you say that, but how long will I be knocking?” Only recently did I run across C.S. Lewis’s quote and immediately, I didn’t feel so much like a heathen for thinking such. 

But really – you get it, right? We’re praying and asking and hoping and wishing and everything we can on a particular subject and we’re so exhausted from all the ‘knocking’ we’re doing that it can and sometimes does feel we have kicked and screamed outside the door, only to wish God would just let us in already.

So the answer I have realized isn’t to keep knocking and kicking for the door to be opened, but changing the question I’m praying in the first place.

What’s the key to opening the door?

As I realized the door was locked for a reason, I thought about different times in my life when I faced particularly similar “locked door” moments. And looking back, I realize it wasn’t necessarily to keep me away from the other side – but to prepare me for the other side.

And before you bug out on me, this blog isn’t going to tell you that the key to the other side is crossing the line of contentment – because believe me, I think that does have some value for some of you – no, this blog is much more obvious than that. I mean, it’s in the title for Pete’s sake. (Side Note: have you ever wondered who the original “Pete” is – I have.)

I digress, over the past two months as I realized I was waiting on the porch and wasn’t allowed inside the door – God has been showing me so much about what I can do with what I know now and what I have now.

the front yard & the front porch

It’s amazing the perspective you get of a house walking up to the front door. I work in home building and in social media, so I talk about homes and things like ‘curb appeal’ constantly – I know SUPER domestic of me. And it’s crazy all the things you can do before you even get in the home. And also, how much money you can spend. (Which is why yours truly owns an apartment.)

the front yard

The garden bed, the trees, the entire landscape of it all has so much potential. So much of what goes on in the front yard is really the beauty of the house – and honestly, it’s the only part that no matter how much you try – you can’t throw the mess into the closet. It’s out in the open for everyone to see. It’s the parts of you that can’t be hidden. The parts that God gives you the ability to really ‘clean up‘ before you go into the house. But opposite of this, it’s the part of the home that really sets the aesthetic for the rest of the ‘tour’ of the home. And we haven’t even made it to the porch yet?

the front porch

This part of the ‘tour’ has become my favorite. When I was growing up my mom always talked about wanting a house with a wrap-around porch. I never really knew even what one was until I went to college, but only recently did I take a vacation and stay a log cabin with one such porch. It was amazing, the feeling of peace and calmness that came just by even knowing I had a porch to sit on and view. And when you think about a home, the porch is where you can sit and lookout at the work you have done on that yard. You really get to see the fruit of your labor, whilst sitting in peace.

And this my friends is the beauty of surrendering.

Surrendering to the process, to the known – yet unknown – parts of our life. The parts that are so visible like careers, bills, family, relationships, vacations – they come in the form of trees, and flowers, and garden beds. Our lives are meticulously spent planning where, how, and  what to spend our time + resources. Similarly with a yard.

And the porch of our life is the precious moments during waiting and preparation seasons where we are weary from the yard work and/or relishing in a finished project. We take a moment – or a few – and sit back and either ask God for strength to continue the process and/or in gratefulness that whatever it was He gave us to do, is now complete.

And then one day, while either at work in the yard (I picture Ruth here) or sitting on the porch (I picture Mary here), Jesus shows up with the key, and says gently – yet excitingly, “Time to go in…”

You see, we’re all waiting for the key to something. No matter our age, no matter our desired next destination – we’re waiting and preparing for whatever may be next.

Recently I have really been praying and seeking the Lord on waiting on a husband. And realizing that so much of my life was spent in fear of ever even “working on the yard” of my heart, in fear that then if I admitted I was waiting or working towards something, if it never came I would then be rejected or abandoned yet again. Or even recently, I retired to the porch only to forget that where I sit is actually a just a few feet and some inches away from the door to the promise of my heart.

And how many times the fears of our lives take the beauty of surrendering away. We are so scared to surrender, in fear that once we do – what the Lord has promised won’t actually come. My friends, I’m here to tell you – work on the yard, sit on the porch – all the while hold fast to the truth that the God who has promised is faithful.

And don’t worry, even C.S. Lewis felt like a maniac in the waiting – so give yourself a break, and then get back to where you are. For where you are and what you are doing now is really the most beautiful part of the journey – remember, it’s preparing the aesthetic for when the door opens.

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