Surrendering the Gift of Spiritual Autobiography

Surrendering:

You can learn about spiritual memoirs writing by keeping a spiritual journal. This page can help you understand spiritual writing and its place in your spiritual autobiography. Writing your spiritual memoir will require you to look at many different aspects of your life. One theme that seems to be a major focus for many is surrendering. Surrendering has a place in our spiritual autobiography or spiritual memoir.

Surrender ArtI have given some thought to the role of surrendering within my spiritual story. I really began to be free when I told Jesus that He could have it all. That’s the day I told Him I would keep on believing in Him even if life didn't go my way. I released to Him my whole life. I gave Him what I feared. I told Him that I would agree to go anywhere, and I would trust Him there. I let God have my worry and my worry about my worry. After that, I gave Him my desire for justice. I decided it was time to stop expecting fairness in exchange for love. I agreed to do my best to love people who wounded me and gave me their anger. I turned over my codependency: my need to control relationships, my manipulative ways to gain acceptance and my striving for power. I gave Him my bitterness with the hopes that I might resent less and give more. I handed Him my battle with the Guilt Voice. I gave Him my children, and that was really hard. I’ve always fought so hard to protect them. I gave Him my mom and dad. I gave Him my husband. I gave Him my finances. I released my family, my friends, my reputation, my hopes and my dreams.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no expert in surrender. I often try to take back what I’ve given away. God and I are doing a dance. It’s one step forward, two steps back. Three steps forward, ten steps back. Yours, mine, Yours, mine, Yours, mine! The good news is that despite the dance, I’ve managed to move forward. The good news is that most of us do. It’s the dance of life. We’re all in it.

What realities do you struggle to surrender? What would your life look like if you gave these realities to God to control? How would things change for you if you lived under His direction? Believe that your surrendered life has power. Believe that you can share it in your spiritual autobiography. Then believe you can give the gift of your story away to others. You can change a life through your story.


Sharing My Journey

Giving away the gift of my story:

Surrender. I’m going to end with surrender. It’s the only ending that makes sense for me. It has been my key to health and freedom. It has been my key to life and love. It has become my key to live life with the ease and delight of being God’s child once again. It is my chance for tastes of life without fear. Surrender is giving Jesus my life. I tell Him that He can have it all.

Dear sweet Jesus,

I give it all to You, Lord, and I trust You with it all. I give You my guilt, my perfectionism, my mistakes and failings, my codependency, my anger, my rage, hatred and my desire to be as perfect as You. Take my ways of seeing the world: my righteousness, my self centeredness and the distance I try to put between myself and others. I give You my kids, my husband, my marriage, my family, my body, my sickness, my healing, my perceptions, my hopes and my dreams. I accept Your truth and Your answers. I take Your plans and Your power. I invite You to change all of me. I surrender. You can have it all.

Take my life,

Alisa

It’s the ultimate irony; in order to truly enjoy life we have to surrender it. We have to see it’s not ours for the keeping. We understand that nothing is ours to keep, anyway, unless we want to die a slave. I’d rather submit it all and live. That’s what I’m going to try to do for the rest of my journey. In fact, I’ve decided what will fill my next canvas. It’s going to hold all the stuff I’m going to surrender. It’s going to be filled with all the things I’m going to give away. My new canvas is going to resonate with life.

Surrender, for me, meant letting Jesus direct my story. When I wrote my spiritual autobiography, Dancing in the Doghouse, I had to let God be in control of some stuff. It was stuff that I didn't want to let go of. I knew though, deep down inside, that my spiritual story wouldn't really encourage people if it wasn't honest, open and a good bit risky. This meant opening me up to the scrutiny of others and trusting God with the outcome. As I began sharing my spiritual memoir I was terrified: terrified of the scrutiny, terrified of the powerlessness and terrified to let Jesus direct me. I had to surrender it all and trust that God had his reasons for doing things as He saw fit. Dancing in the Doghouse was my way of giving it all over to God and believing that He would take good care of the gift of my story.

Spiritual Autobiography Gift

Have It All

Age 39

Journaling

Sharing Your Journey

Giving the gift of your story:

If you want to find a voice for your spiritual memoir you can get help by simply praying for God's direction. Some people don't like this idea, because they might not get the direction they were hoping for. Instead, they might be challenged to do something with their spiritual story that's outside of their comfort zone. Truly praying for God's direction requires us to embrace surrendering. Sharing our story with others is a gift that's not always easy to share. We need God's help to give it away.

Think about the role of surrender as you look back on your journey. How is it part of your spirituality? How is surrender necessary as you seek to express your personal journey? What do you need from God to give voice to your own spiritual autobiography? Ask God to lead you to the answers to these questions. Let Him direct your journey.

Trace your hands on a page in your journal. Imagine that the hands you have drawn are God's hands. What areas in your life are you struggling to control rather than surrendering them to Him? Reflect on the ways you have given God control along your journey. Reflect on ways that you have tried to take charge of things that are beyond your control. Write down all the things you would like to surrender inside the hands you have drawn. Write a prayer within your journal. Tell God about all the things in your life that you'd like Him to take over. Pray for His help and direction. Trust that He will help you find a voice for your spiritual autobiography.

Testimonies: The Power of Inspirational Christian Stories was formerly titled Dancing in the Doghouse. This spiritual autobiography has been renamed and redesigned to better reach its audience.


Past Work! 
         

Hope for Spiritual Story
Sanctuary,
Age 36 

I make a collage. Blood red is the prominent color. A cross divides the rectangular space into four sections. In the center of the cross is a God’s Eye. I surround it with nails to symbolize the crucifixion. The nails remind me that Jesus forgives us no matter what He sees us do.

I remember the God’s Eye. I remember it from my childhood. Ya Ya said, “God knows all.” The God’s Eye scared me when I was a child. It looked like a real eye. It made me afraid of what God’s eyes might see in me. I figured He’d judge me and punish me. I figured I deserved it if He did. Yet, I wasn’t quite sure what I had done wrong.  I’m still confused by the cultic symbolisms and meanings of the All-knowing God’s Eye. But, I’m sold on God and I believe God does know all. He knows what we all did and what we are doing.  He knows about all the ways we’ve been weak and how we’ve messed up. Our selfishness, pride and fear is no surprise to Him. Our lives are fueled by His grace. When I look at the ways He has restored me, and others, I can’t help but know His grace. Rebuilding and restoring is His business as far as my eyes can see.

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