It was icy outside, a freak November storm. The car was parked a little sideways. Richard had pulled into the parking place and stumbled into the ER in the midst of a massive heart attack. As I stood outside the car, trying to open the frozen door. I was trembling and not from the cold, as it hit me all that we almost lost.
When I finally made it into the car I realized I didn’t have a ice scraper. Why would I? I live in a place where snow and ice are unheard of at this time of the year, but somehow that symbolized my helplessness. I turned up the heat as high as I could, digging under the seats just in case an ice scraper was hidden. When it was clear that I was trapped in an ice cube that refused to thaw, I fell apart.
It wasn’t about the ice scraper. Or the car. It was that our lives had taken a downturn, a scary one, and my husband was being prepped for open-heart surgery. A man whose blood pressure and stats always made the doctors say, “You’re going to live to a 100.” A man who had jogged miles that week.
I laid my head on the steering wheel and cried. I told my Father all the things that were on my heart. I didn’t hold back. I told him I was afraid. I didn’t know why this was happening (I had been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer three days earlier). I told him I wasn’t sure what I’d do if I lost my sweet guy.
My friend, Barb Roose, would have called this moment one of surrender.
It’s that place where you realize your story is not going the way you thought it would, and you give up that path to embrace where God is leading. Not to open-heart surgery or cancer or fear, but to utter dependence on Him.
I feel like that moment in the car was a marker of intimacy with God.
I could be myself. I could show my heart to him. I didn’t have to pretend to be strong, because he was my strength in all of this.
Here we are, almost 11 months later. The last year has been a hard and beautiful one, but we see this season coming to a close. I can see time and time again when I surrendered what I thought should be taking place to utterly depend on the truth that God was with me, wherever our path might go.
If you are in that season that is hard, hard, hard, I get it. I know you too have those moments where an “ice scraper” — something not related to what is happening in your heart at all — feels like the last straw. I want you to know that surrendering in that moment is a beautiful act. You don’t have all the answers, nor should you. You don’t know all the best things to do, and how could you? You love the Lord and you also trust him, but it’s hard and that’s not weakness, that’s honesty.
My friend, Barb, in today’s More Than Small Talk podcast said, “Surrender is the path to peace. And we all want that. We all desperately need it. I pray you tune in to this conversation today. It’s life-giving. It’s faith-changing.
Please know that you are seen, heard, and incredibly loved as you walk through this season. I’ve been there and I’d love to pray with you as you walk through it, and cheer you as you come out on the other side.
Written in a season of sorrow, Suzanne (Suzie) Eller found that joy was more than a feeling. These 6 truths led her from what she felt to live a life marked by joy, regardless of the ups and downs of her circumstances. Discover those 6 biblical truths, confront the joy stealers that we all fight daily, so you can know joy, keep joy, and live joy.