I surrender. Most likely, if you have been in any church service in your lifetime, you have heard the phrase, “I surrender.” As I have begun to brew over this phrase, I began to ask myself, what does the definition of “surrender” mean. And, I’m not talking about what it means in the context of singing the song or in the act of looking up the definition in your dictionary. Although, let’s be honest, who owns a dictionary now a days when we are all walking around with walking dictionaries. Thank you, Siri. But, rather, what I began to ask myself is what does the word, “surrender” mean to me. And, how can we teach the youth of this generation a lifestyle of true surrender: heart, mind, body and soul.
For a couple months, something was stirring in my heart. Write a book. Wait, what? I work 30 hours a week, I’m in my third year of college as a full time Communications/Journalism student, and serve in both youth and music ministry at my church. Who has time to write a book? So, I put the thought on the back burner.
A few weeks go by and I’m walking through my college campus, in which I decided to take my headphones out and just enjoy the sounds of nature and life happening around me. Once again, the thought, stronger than before, entered my mind. Write a book. Summer is right around the corner. It’s your last summer. If you don’t do it now, when will you? When I’m less busy? Yeah. Right.
Surrender. That dictionary definition that I was talking about? “to give the control or use of something to someone else.”
So, even with my own words, and with my time this summer, I made the decision. Alright, God. I get it. Even with the first step of taking out my notebook and pen, or in all reality, my weathered down-put to good use laptop, I surrendered. This book isn’t mine to write. It’s His.
I didn’t know where to begin. I have a testimony and I’ve already shared it with a lot of people, but I felt a prompting that I was supposed to take this a step further.
In our every day lives, we may ask the question, how did that become so popular? Why is this certain thing trending right now? We are curious to unveil the why behind the what. According to Jonah Berger, author of Contagious:Why Things Catch On, there is psychological reasoning as to why more things are talked about and shared than others. As someone who is hoping to pursue a career in Public Relations and Marketing, it is important to understand how products and ideas catch on. In writing this book, let me re-phrase that. As someone who is hoping to fight for justice, for truth, and for freedom, it is important to understand how we can help be an advocate for lives…for change. And, how our stories can be a glimpse of hope for the one who needs to hear it. We are not alone in this journey.
Sharing is a part of our culture. We are social animals and thus, we pass along thoughts, products and ideas that evoke inspiration. Emotion is the social glue. The power of emotion arouses us to do things and take a call to action. Feelings are the “underlying emotions that motivate people to action.” In Chip and Dan Heath’s book, Switch, they explain that one has to motivate the elephant by appealing to people’s emotions. People don’t respond to just information and facts. They respond to emotions, emotions that are stirred through the stories that we tell.
We are narrative human beings. It is the stories, not the facts and information that sell. I could write a book on surrender, from the dictionary point of view, but most likely, that won’t motivate you or I to make a conscious effort to change.
Ultimately, of course, it is not these feelings or emotions that will cause us to change as it is only God who can help guide and lead us down the path of righteousness. Yet, these stories, are a breath of God’s breath. They are God’s painted canvas…a canvas that allows us to see that we are all a part of the same body of Christ, we are all uniquely and wonderfully made in His image.
This book isn’t just about my story…it is about the story of many different women. Without their story, I wouldn’t have mine. And without God’s story, we wouldn’t have ours. Surrender is about the decisions that we make in our life to give our bodies, our minds, our dreams, and our hearts to the One who breathed life into us.
This book is a place to share, to pray, to love, and to guide young women in discovering who she is in Christ. Through Her Story of Surrender, I hope that we all can see that we each have a certain part and role in God’s Greater Purpose.
We are set a part and we are called to be the salt and light of the earth. With these stories, I pray that God would encourage and inspire young women not to allow culture to define them, but that they would be defined by the very One who gave them their gifts, their talents and their passions that makes them unique and some kind of wonderful.
These words allow us to express a glimpse of the One we represent.