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'Tis the Season
Photo: Brenda Coulomme
It was the Christmas I’ll never forget. Instead of the usual celebrating, my days were spent in doctor appointments, tests, and surgery. I knew what I might be facing—would this be my last Christmas? The hardest part for me was that I couldn’t do a thing about it. I couldn’t change what already was. This wasn’t how I’d planned my life. And for the first time, I needed to totally surrender the future of my very life to God.

I remember lying in bed a few nights before surgery, feeling afraid. That’s when my thoughts turned to that first Christmas and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary, a teen like you, had her life planned.

You probably think of plans for your own life, too—what kind of person you’ll marry, what your career will be, or where you’ll live.

Mary’s plan was to wed Joseph, be a carpenter’s wife and raise a family. But God’s plans were different.

An angel appeared and basically said, “God’s plans are not your plans. You’ve been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah.”

His Plans Better Than Hers

Mary could have complained, or even refused. She could have said, “But Lord, what will Joseph say? But Lord, my parents won’t understand. But Lord, I planned my life to be another way. But Lord….” Instead she replied, “I am the Lord’s servant.” How could she so willingly surrender? Because she trusted. Her faith in God was strong enough to believe that His plan was better than hers.

That night, I prayed my own prayer of surrender, and what a relief it was! I didn’t have to worry anymore. Someone else was in control of my future. Someone who could see my life from beginning to end. Someone who loved me enough to die for me.

Why is it that when we need God the most, we want to take our lives back and try doing things our way? I think it’s because we’re afraid, like I was—afraid to let go.

So how do you surrender a plan or a problem to God? You search the Bible for guidance on what His will is. You get advice from spiritual people you trust. But most importantly, you develop such a close friendship with God that when He speaks to you, you’ll know it--just like Mary did. Then you take action and make whatever changes your surrender requires.

It’s not easy to surrender. Believe me, I know. The surgery brought good news, but a small scar on my neck reminds me this Christmas, as it does every Christmas, that I have a choice. I can run my life my way, or I can choose the plan of the One who knows best. And you know, when I think about it, I wouldn’t want anything but God’s plan for my life.

This Christmas, as you celebrate the gift of Jesus, is there something you want to surrender? Trust Him with your future. He doesn’t make mistakes. ‘Tis the season to surrender.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. 

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