Surrender.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
— Romans 12:2

Sisters & Brothers,

Perhaps my greatest struggle to date is surrendering my heart, body and soul over to God. There were a few reasons I felt the great desire to surrender:

  1. In order for me to properly discern this call to a priestly vocation I had to trust in God completely that he would lead me down the right path even though he writes straight with crooked lines. 
  2. When I came back to the church some months ago I had a deep desire for forgiveness. You need to understand that I went 18 years without going to church or confession regularly. And now that I look back and know that I had a calling 18 years ago that I shoved it off for such a long time I felt what was probably the deepest guilt that I had ever felt. I've since discovered that I shouldn't feel guilty and that all of this was part of the path I was always meant to go down. I never would have come to that understanding had I not surrendered.
  3. Peace and Joy are important pillars of my life. Without surrender one can never really achieve levels of peace and joy that make you feel fulfilled.

This was a process for me. As someone who always prided himself in planning out what the next step was I had a very hard time saying "Ok God you've got the wheel now, I'm just a passenger..." It's taken me a long time to figure this out.

Some might find this incredibly difficult to do or call me crazy. But to that I say who am I to say no to someone who died for me? The least I can do is give Him everything. I surrendered because I wanted to know the Lord much more than I already did, I wanted to be filled with grace, joy and peace, I wanted to not be scared anymore about this life changing journey.

The late great Billy Graham sums this up best and asks to us say:

I receive Jesus in my heart. I trust Him. I know that I’m going to go to Heaven because of Him. I know my sins are forgiven because of Him, and I’m ready to die for Him.
— Billy Graham

I received Jesus in my heart my sisters and brothers and I trust him more than I've ever trusted anyone else, I know I'm going to Heaven because of Him. My sins are forgiven because of the profound sacrifice he made for us and if He sees fit that I should die for him then I would.

What say you?

Yours,
Jeff

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash