Surrender, freedom, and joy…

Right now, at this very moment, I am in awe of the beauty and power of surrender.

Take a look at this picture:
What does it make you think of?

To me, this image…that of someone standing with face raised to the heavens and arms wide open and extended…evokes two ideas:


and Freedom.

Surrender because those hands are no longer holding on.
Freedom because those hands have no chains.

Surrender because those arms are fully extended with absolutely nothing held back.
Freedom because everything that once filled those arms and weighed them down is gone.

Surrender because it is impossible to guard against what is around you when your face is fully toward the heavens.
Freedom because you no longer fear what is and might be around you. (Ps. 32:10)

And this is me right now–my spirit.

They’re synonymous, I think–surrender and freedom. At least with God. And perhaps…just maybe…the freedom we experience is limited only by our willingness to surrender. That’s how it seems to be in my own life, at least. For the beautiful and powerful kind of surrender is only possible through trust. And sometimes letting go of pain and fear is even more difficult than letting go of dreams. And sometimes the dreams we cling to so tightly are chains, just as surely as the pain and fear are.

And then there is joy.

I was blessed this morning to read this story on a new-to-me blog. Go read it: Where Joy Lives

That is another picture of the same thing. Read this portion of the story again, and notice what I did:

I let go of my white-knuckled grip on the safety bars, all sense of stability and control slipping through my fingers as I put my hands on either side of his face. I tell him to quiet his heart, to not be afraid, to look into my eyes, to focus on my love. He does so and lets go too, reaches up and puts his hands over mine.

The world around fades away, as calmness descends, and we are no longer aware of anything going on outside our little cocoon of momma-son love and trust. I don’t care or even notice that people are starting to stare at the momma and son who have let go, who are not hanging on to anything but each other

{and faith.}

I stare into his eyes, watching the fear slip away and his face start to shine with happiness. I catch my breath as God whispers to me,



is where joy lives.

It is there–here, in the middle of freedom and surrender–where joy bubbles over and colors my spirit and blooms in my life.

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