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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sweet Agony

This past week I've listened to three friends all describe their struggle to surrender some precious loved one to God.
In one case, my friend struggled with surrendering his "right" to feel angry at God for taking his mother home to heaven.
My other friend watches his precious wife battle cancer. He said learning to trust God to do the best for her, and for him and for his children is about the hardest thing he's ever done.
This morning, during a ministry meeting, my third friend shared her challenge at trusting God to do what's best for her child.

Such a universal struggle for the believer.

To be able to say to God:
  • I trust You. 
  • I relinquish my right to hold onto my loved one. 
  • As much as I love my child, my parent, my husband, I know that You love him/her much more than I could ever conceive. 
  • I believe that Your best is better than my best.
  • I testify that You are good. Always good.

I call this struggle between my flesh and my spirit
Sweet: because there is nothing sweeter than God.
And to be able to rest in Him brings a peace that the World cannot ever know.
Agony: because my flesh wants what it wants...
and because I must ignore what my physical eyes perceive. With each decision to relinquish my will to God, I feel as if I am leaping into space, trusting that He will catch me.

The other day my husband and I discussed a difficult decision.
A "yes" decision wasn't very difficult for my husband.
But for me, it would mean putting aside something I yearned and prayed for.
Later that day, our decision to say "yes" became God's answer to me about my long-standing prayer: 

  "No. No, Sweetheart, you may not have the thing you want so very much."

Sweet agony.

Because my flesh wants what it wants.

But it is sweet to know that, with every "no," from Him, the Holy Spirit communicates this assurance:
"Trust Me, My child. I love you more than you can know, and I am working out your best for eternity."

"All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all."
 (I Surrender All, by J. VanderVenter/W. Weeden)


  1. Well said, Dena. I find surrender to God can be especially hard when I have a strong desire in my heart for something I believe He has placed there, and yet He isn't bringing it to fruition. Confusing? Yes. Disheartening? Certainly. And yet our God is good. If He says "no" or "wait". It's truly a good thing. Sweet Agony. Yes, that's what it is. Thanks for this post. God bless you.