Monday, December 9, 2013

To Surrender a Light Bulb

This past year since furlough has been a trying and exhausting year.
Over and over again, I found myself telling God that I needed a break.  I needed fellowship.
Over and over I found myself brought to a place where I was physically so weak that all I could do was lay down on the bathroom floor and cry, begging God for just some relief from my exhaustion.

At the moment, my mind is drawing a blank as to why it was so physically and spiritually draining for me.
It just felt like we had one thing after another happen.

I knew and know that this is where God wants us, but still I struggled with wanting to buy a ticket and fly back to America...even if it was just for a visit.

Would it have helped?
Probably not, but there is always this fantasy that "everything is better when OFF the mission field".

It's funny.
I thought I was surrendered.
Fully surrendered.
Yet I've come to realize, especially over the course of this past year, how truly selfish I am.

As our church has grown, I have been selfish of my husband's time and attention.
As our family has grown, I have been selfish of my own time.

On the outside, oh yeah.  I was surrendered.
I live in a small home.
Away from my family.

You know the list...

But I wasn't even willing to surrender a light bulb.

Oh, it wasn't your ordinary light bulb.
No.  This one is 'cool'.
You just pull the plug and there's light.
I liked this little light for doing my devotions and it is great when we lose electricity.

Well, a couple in our church lost electricity a few weeks ago and asked to borrow it.
My first reaction was, "NOOOO!!!"  They don't NEED it.  They just want it because it's neat.
They have matches and flashlights.  This isn't practical anyways because the batteries run out so quickly.
The Lord convicted me of my selfishness and I knew it wasn't just for them, but I wasn't willing to surrender it to HIM.  He has blessed me with SO much, and yet I wasn't willing to give a little light bulb.  So we gave it to them...happily.

Again, a few weeks ago I was feeling completely exhausted.
I just begged God for a break...maybe even for Thanksgiving. 
Just a few days to visit with another missionary.
God answered my prayer and another missionary couple invited us to stay with them for Thanksgiving!
You can imagine my excitement!

It wasn't going to be easy since it was the week we were doing all of our registration work, but we booked our tickets.

The day before we were to leave, we 'happened' to call a couple in our church to see if they could take care of our dog.
They were drunk.
Eric said he was going to go get them.
Right then I KNEW what was going to happen and what God would ask of me.
How I hardened to the idea!
The Lord KNEW how much I NEEDED this break!

Well, by the time Eric got home hours later, the Lord softened my heart so that I was willing to surrender.
We still had a GREAT Thanksgiving and I had the energy to go on.

Eric helped this couple a few times the past two weeks, yet they continued to get drunk.
We kept talking about how needed a mission was here, where people like that could stay...
we just needed a bigger house.
Yep, you guessed it!
Yesterday, they begged for help as they just couldn't stop.  So, we moved them into one of our rooms.
Another young man in our church is staying here too to help us.  (He is sleeping in the mudroom.)
And you guess what?
As I laid on the ground begging God for strength, I found out...
It was not a vacation I needed,
It was HIM.
Getting up from prayer, HE renewed my strength and my joy.

I have found out this past year,
surrender is not a one time thing...
it must be done daily.

And sometimes it's not the big things.

Sometimes it's just a light bulb.


  1. Jessica, thank you for sharing your heart. I'm praying for you. This post was an encouragement to me.

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. The truth is that I struggle with areas of surrender too - just in different areas than you. This post was such a blessing and encouragement to my heart. Most of all it challenged me to surrender ALL of me and my life daily to Him. Thanks for the reminder that was given in such a humble way.
    Prayers and hugs, dear "blogging" friend ♥

  3. Jess, Thank you for being real about your struggles. Truly God wants us to be fully surrendered to Him every day. I have discovered that every day seems to be some struggle and I can not make myself surrendered. It is a matter of saying O LORD, please help me and He does as we obey in the little things. Praying much for you, Eric, S, O, and the whole church. I can picture it all! Meanwhile we are living in this huge house, trying to downsize to join you as soon as possible. Praying for God's perfect will and His timing as He purifies us. It will be a help to O to help you in the house. Love and prayers, Donna

  4. Thank you Jessica! The other day I was having a very difficult time giving over sitting on the couch for Bible time ... after a long day I would much rather sit on the couch and rest my mind and body ... but our neighbor and my Love would rather sit at the table. I was having a very bad heart attitude when God used your light bulb to remind me I can gladly give it over to Him. Though no one knew I would rather sit on the couch, I knew my heart was totally wrong in it.
    It seems like it is usually the little things that we hang on :(.
    Listening to a great message right now about thirsting after God.
    Praying for you and thanking God for you :)!



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