Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dangerous Surrender Chapter 2!!!!!

Wow guys! I have got the coolest blogger buddies. You guys are amazing. I hope you will keep blogging about your thoughts on Chapter 1 AND 2 of Dangerous Surrender! I will continue to link you. Don't be shy. We want to hear from you. It's not too late to buy the book and join in either. It's only 2 chapters. COME ON! Join us. :0)
Sooooo onto the book....

The Kingdom of Me... Man I hate to admit that I have had that going on here but we are all getting real right? So here goes. I am messed up and selfish and too caught up in what people might think or what might happen. I love this part on pg38..
"The biggest block to our surrender is not our appetites and wayward desires but our addiction to running our own lives."
OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! Stop that pesky telling the truth Kay! What are you doing to me here? ;0) MAN has this been me to a T!
I have always wanted to do what is right. I have always had a deep level of compassion. All my life I have SEEN myself as wanting to do the "right thing."
I have NOT, however, been willing to give up my perception of control. I do emphasize the word PERCEPTION!
The truth is I don't have control anyway. I just try to create plans and scenarios and do things to make myself feel like I have some say.
During Zoe's adoption I finally got to the point where I was FORCED to give up these flimsy illusions of control and realize that God was caring for my little Guatemalan super model long before I knew she was alive.
What arrogance to try to assume power. This breaking of my arrogance and perceived control completely changed the depth of my relationship with God.
When I am trying to run everything it is still ALL ABOUT ME! When I am worried about things going just so then I am worried about how everything is hurting ME. How can I be surrendered when I can't let myself feel out of control??? I CAN'T!
After I was stripped of my personal "kingdom" I was able to slowly began to surrender different parts of my life. I was officially in the category of


Now my vision wasn't so clouded by the MEness.. Now I could see around me cause I could see more than the kingdom of me that I had so carefully constructed all around me. I now saw clearly the devastation everywhere. I realized that what I THOUGHT was me having compassion in the past was simply me participating in pathetic pity.

Unacceptable pity.... see compassion means being willing to step into someones pain and walk with them. Pity- is useless. It doesn't do anything. It looks around and says, "How sad" while deep down inside it prays that the pain doesn't "interrupt" life as I know it. Yuck... yuck.

So here I was- seriously disturbed- moving beyond pity into true compassion. I wanted to DO something but what about the what ifs? I was still so scared. Here is what Kay says...

Even though my initial response was to jump in with both feet, I began to think of all the reasons I shouldn't get overly involved. Didn't I have enough to do? Wasn't there enough pressure in my life? Wasn't it enough of a challenge to keep my world aligned with my energetic husband's life? Didn't I have plenty of relationships to manage and nurture? Wasn't Saddleback a big enough project to keep my calendar full? What if I got sick? What if I became infected with the virus (HIV) that causes AIDS and died? I didn't want to be around sick people- they're depressing!

.... Besides, the problem was just too big. Why in the world would I suddenly decide that I had what it took to tackle the greatest humanitarian crisis of all time?

.... I think you will find the same ugly reality I found: what stands in the way of your surrender to God's plan to engage with hurting people is simply that you care more about yourself than you do about the suffering of others.

OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! DOUBLE OUCH! OK!!! I admit it. I am scum. I am a sinful, fallen, selfish creature. I have known this but I don't like to admit it even to myself. First I was forced to give up my illusions of control and then I had to look my selfishness in the eye. UGH! Not a pretty picture. I KNOW I want more than that. I know I don't want a life lived for me or in fear. I don't want a life I am trying to keep under control. How sad... how boring... how shallow. There is so much more.

The bible says that when you become a Christian you are asked to become a bondslave.

A bondslave is a person who VOLUNTARILY enters into the service of another.

God wants us to choose this surrender and He will lovingly lead us toward it in such a strong way. I love this scripture. Well.... let's say it's a love hate relationship.

Then (Jesus) called to the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:34-37

Awwww MAN! Are you scared now? I was... now I mostly love this. I really love how Jesus doesn't mess around. He doesn't sugar coat it. Do you ever get tired of the sugar coated version of Jesus that seems to lurk around most church corners in America? Jesus was hard core. He wasn't a religion. He was a radical movement. He was strong and honest and he never said it would be easy.
TAKE UP MY CROSS??? What the... it sounds like torture- like dying- and in so many ways it is. Yet, through my dying I am living in ways I never thought I could. When I was living for myself there was this huge part of me that was struggling inside. I felt lost and desperately confused. I could not be that person I wanted to be till I let that old person go. I lost my old life. It's gone. I am taking up my cross...

See, my life will never be "easy" or perfectly "comfortable." People will look at my family and immediately KNOW we are different. They will think that either we are a walking billboard for adoption or that I sleep around a lot. ;0) (get it- cause my kids are all different colors) I will always be questioned. I will travel the world but not in the luxury kind of way. I will love people who aren't lovable. I will open myself up to that same pain that I spent so many years protecting myself from feeling.

My life will not be uncomplicated. It will not be the perfect American cookie cutter. Most people won't look at me and envy my life. Most people will think I am crazy. That was hard to swallow at first... it was. I am by nature an EXTREME people pleaser. It is taking time for me to let go of this society's ideas of what is "successful."

Still, now that I have begun to let it go... now that I have begun to surrender I feel such tremendous joy and peace. It's not as scary as it was yesterday. Hopefully, it'll be even less scary tomorrow. Where I used to feel so small I now KNOW that God is using me to change the world. I look at my "complicated" life and I don't see it as something to be avoided. On the contrary it seems to me something so beyond me.. something to embrace.. something only God could have created.

As my blogger buddy Billie so eloquently put it ours lives become a mosaic...

Mosaic consists of multi colored glass and stones, some are broken and fragmented, specifically placed to make a beautiful artwork. That is how I view adoption. Adoption includes various colors of glass...ethnicity, cultures,families, backgrounds. Many will be 'broken'. But God specifically sets them in place...not at random....but with a specific pattern or purpose in mind. What seems like a broken piece of glass, becomes a beautiful artwork.

WOW! Well said... God can take all the things around us we see as broken and messy and something to be avoided- he can take them all and make them beautiful. That's what I believe and am just beginning to understand. I love this quote from the book..

Surrender ALWAYS leads to peace. Accepting God's will in our circumstances is the hardest thing he asks of us because it requires denying ourselves and taking up the cross. If we forget that it is to a loving God that we surrender the keys to the Kingdom of Me, we will struggle long and hard against him. The good news is that his arms are around us, and we can beat our fists against his chest for as long as we like. But what rest for our souls comes when we finally relax into his embrace.

Amen to that. Hugs, Angel

1. What are the main reasons you don’t want to get too involved with people in dire need?
2.Kay explains that her growing understanding of God’s sovereign design created an expectation that God would someday use her for his good purposes. Describe your current sense of the purposes God may have in store for you.

Let me know when you blog about it!!! :0)
PS!! We have more wonderful posts on Dangerous Surrender to read!
Tessa just did and AMAZING post on Chapter 2 right here... THANKS GIRL! Your raw honesty is so refreshing.
Darlene just did a great Kingdom of Me post too right here. It really made me giggle in an "oops I am like that too" kind of way. GREAT STUFF! :0)
Melinda is such a cool person and she posted right here. I am so excited to see all of you jumping in to get involved. It's really neat.


Tessa said...

Hi Angel!

This book ... oh my! I think I can literally feel God stretching me right now. I just finished reading Chapter 2 yesterday and was thrilled that you posted about it today - still so fresh in my mind. I have also posted ...

Thanks for leading this ... you are awesome!

Darlene said...

Angel, You ROCK! Thank you for leading me to this book, where God has been doing a lot of talking. I actually had some precious moments in toddlerland (soon you will be arriving there!!!), and I had to post about The Kingdom of Me. Ugh!
Thanks again, fearless leader.

Nikki said...

Great post as always, Angel- and thank you for the get well wishes. Unfortunately I spent my day cleaning up puke (not my own- the little boy I am babysitting this summer... and his dog's) Ugh! Anyways, on to the book- I really enjoyed this chapter... I plan on writing a post on the whole book eventually as opposed to chapter by chapter, as I read it a few weeks ago and will have to go back and scan it again for a refresher! But to answer your questions...
1) I don't really have an answer for this one. More than anything, I want to spend my life with people in dire need, and I can't think of any reason that I wouldn't want to, aside from maybe what other people think about it.
2) I don't know exactly yet. I know SOMETHING and I know it has to do with helping people living in extreme poverty...

Billie said...

hey! i'm famous! i've been quoted!;)

i've been meaning to ask you, what is the reference for the verse within your blog title? I love that!

Dimple Queen said...

OH my....once again this book that you are reading has slapped me right across the may take me a little bit, but I do plan to post my responses! Thanks again for posting!



Wendi said...

Thanks girl for pushing me forward in my slow reading and digestion of this material. I LOVE the part where you clarify compassion vs. PITY - Yikes! Is that me or what? "Uh, I see you're hurting, but I don't know what to say, so how about I pray silently to myself...God, please get me out of here soon...oh yeah, and help this hurting person." Ouch! Will post more later.