Wow. God just keeps blowing me away. Grace in action. He is such a gracious, loving, merciful God.

Weds. night, Julie F. and I began our new online support group at the Thin Within website. We had quite a group show up for our first chat! It was WONDERFUL!

Yesterday morning, I knew I, too, needed to open my workbook and “do” the material that I have encouraged all the group members to complete. My words to them Monday night had something to do with “Even if you have done the workbook several times before, believe that God is doing a new thing right now! Go through it with a fresh heart, believing that God will meet you in a new way! Invite Him to do so!”

I have seen God do that with me before with Thin Within material, but I guess I just wasn’t sure He would pull it off again :-/. I don’t know why…There it is again! “Oh me, of little faith!”

Even after saying that to the group, I felt a bit…well, “Ho Hum” about doing the workbook…*again* yesterday morning. It is SO familiar. What I really wanted was to work in my Beth Moore Stepping Up study. But I figured I would get to that after I hustled my way through the reading of Lesson 1 in the Thin Within workbook.

First, I spent some time journaling a prayer to God to help me see the material in a new way. Then, I began to read Lesson 1 and God gave me an “assignment.” To those of you with the Thin Within quarter one workbook, I challenge you, the readers of this blog, with the same “assignment:”

Go through Lesson 1. Read and highlight, circle or underline everything that is said about God’s character–what He is like or what He does. Write down a list of all of these character qualities or behaviors in a journal. If there are verses, write them down (look them up, too!). Then next to all of these, write down if you believe them or not–REALLY believe them! Use this list (and keep adding to it as you go through the workbook for the next 3 months) to pray in faith, “God, I thank you that you do the impossible. Thank you that you embrace me and are doing a new thing in me. Thank you that your grace is immeasurable and steadfast.” If you struggle with believing any of the things you have written down, pray a prayer of confession and ask God to help you to believe these things about Him in a new way.

As I began to do this…oh wow…I sensed His power and His presence in such a mighty way, it was like I could touch Him! Like FEEL that embrace, literally!

I continued to bask in His presence as I left to go on a trail ride with my best horse. Mercy Me was playing in my truck…This video (by someone else) plays the song that I listened to…the words really became me…or I became the words. God was so ver present it was almost overwhelming! (In a good way!)

If you can take the time to listen to the song all the way through, I hope you will do that. It is so powerful. The words to the song are here.

It struck me so powerfully…I was truly caught up in God’s beauty, just as the song says.

But then, suddenly, God gave me an amazingly powerful *contradictory* image. Yes, I was swept off my feet by Him in this moment. But He showed me what happens when I am not.

He showed me what I have often done…replacing the object of my devotion. This may sound so silly, but he showed me what it would be like if the music that was playing was sung to what I sometimes focus on, sometimes surrender to–as if the music was sung to the pizza, or the chocolate muffin, or the hot fudge sundae…Picture it with me…

I sit down, grinning ear to ear at my dining table, eyes GLUED to the food, heart fixated on the tasty morsels landing on my taste buds:

“I can feel your presence here with me…(singing to the food…)

Suddenly I’m lost within your beauty… (this breaks my heart…)

Caught up in the wonder of your touch (on my lips and the taste),

Here in this moment I surrender to your love…”
How often have I surrendered to the “love” of food?

This broke my heart…but God showed me this so tenderly. I did *NOT* feel shamed. He doesn’t use shame. It is His kindness that leads me to repentance…
I felt…well… “educated.” I felt like he “enlightened” me, pulled back the curtain, as it were, to expose (there it is again) the truth. But, again, he showed me truth with the perfect balance of grace.

And just as quickly as that vision of my sin came upon me, it left and He restored me with an awareness of HIM. HIS beauty. HIS majesty. I was caught up again by the “wonder of His touch.”

I can tell you for SURE, the two do NOT begin to compare.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
– Psalm 73:25-26

Thank you, Lord, for a vision, just a taste of your amazing presence. Oh, God, it really does make me fall down to my knees like the song says…And thank you for showing me so clearly, just what I have been doing when I allow food to have my affection…I have “surrendered” to it. Thank you that, in each moment, I have a choice. I can choose to surrender to your love. I can surrender to your grace. I can surrender to the One who took my place. Let me not forget. Oh, God…thank you. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.

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8 Responses to Surrender…

  1. deborah June 6, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this and encouraging me as I struggle during this season. This has given me great hope that He has a plan and I can’t let the enemy steal my hope..

  2. Ken Johnson June 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Hello Heidi,Earlier I googled “I want to give up before God” and came to your blog. It seems you are blessed. I am depressed, out of work, hopeless, isolated and alone. I pray for help everyday, but I only find more misery and loss.I need the Lord’s help, please tell Him I want a new life, and I need Him to find and guide me.Thank you.

  3. trainedbyhorses June 6, 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    Lord, I pray for Ken Johnson and ask that you would help him to see a fresh vision of you, today. I pray he would feel your embrace and know that you care. I pray tht Ken would hold on because you are holding on tenaciously to him. I pray that his heart might open wide to you, Jesus, and that whatever you want to accomplish would be totally accomplished in him…please provide for his needs–physically, spiritually, emotionally. I pray he would hold on. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

  4. Lindsay June 7, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    Hi Heidi…Another “more awesome than the last” post. Kinda like Pastor David’s messages. What really struck me is how the Lord directed Ken here via google. I’m echoing your prayer for Ken as well.Time to return to the TW site and join your group perhaps…

  5. Paula June 8, 2008 at 1:16 am #

    That video was awesome. Thanks for sharing!!! Love you girl!

  6. Karen June 8, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi HeidiI read your post with tears and Kens with even more. I saw both ends of a spectrum, one uplifted by Him and one wanting so badly to be. Then I remembered He is not a respecter of persons and will do for others(me) what He has done for one(you). You sought Him and was found by Him. I will seek Him. Amen to the prayer for KenKaren

  7. Ken Johnson June 8, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    I thank you for your prayers. Two days ago I was very despondant,I have healing to do. Yet when I returned to your blog and found your prayers and comments, I was reassured that I am not alone and that God has a place for me, and He will deliver me there. Bless you and thank you.Ken

  8. trainedbyhorses June 8, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    Dear Ken, Yes! People care and are praying! I am so glad you came back to visit. And many more are those who lift you up in prayer without posting here. Just cling to the Lord and His Word. Scripture tells us that He sent forth His *Word* and healed them…and he does the same today…I hope you experience that in a new fresh way. No matter how you may *feel*, the *fact* is that the Lord is crazy about you. Even when you *feel* alone, He carries you. Even when you *feel* forgotten, He has engraved you on the palms of His hands. Cling to Him, dear One. Lord, thank you that Ken has visited this blog again. May he experience the grace of your healing, binding up of his wounds, Lord. Even as I hear the music playing on my computer “By His wounds, we are healed…” Lord, may Ken know the truth of that…that by the wounds of Jesus, we are healed. He was bruised for our transgressions…nothing but the blood of Jesus can take away the pain, the sin, the shame, the guilt…and heartache. Please lift Ken’s gaze, that He might see your majesty, your love, your tender heart for Him…In the amazing healing name of Jesus…Amen. Ken, now my music is playing the song Only Grace by Matthew West. Here is a link for it at You Tube. Hope it encourages you

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