Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

SURRENDERING TO THE CALL
1/8/2016 12:00:01 AM by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Meet Jennifer Slattery on today's Writer's Journey

Although I’ve always enjoyed writing as a hobby and stress reliever, I didn’t grow up dreaming to write. In fact, I wanted to do anything but! 
 
God had other plans. 
 
I fought God’s call for a while, telling Him all the reasons I couldn’t—shouldn’t write. My biggest hindrance was a deep shame for a sinful and broken past, and a lack of trust in human nature. God and I went rounds, until my disobedience got in the way of my relationship with Him. So I obeyed tentatively, with a long list of qualifiers all centered on one thing—self-protection. 
 
But the more I wrote, the more broken lives I encountered. God showed me people living in shame from past regrets, people struggling with feelings of failure. Moved by compassion, I began to openly share my failings, my selfishness, and my fears, so that others could see the depths of God’s love and grace. A beautiful thing happened. I found this enabled others to do the same. 
 
I thought I’d reached full surrender, and yet, God’s work in me wasn’t finished. Amidst my obedience, God saw a thread of self-protection holding me back—my fears of being an inadequate servant. 
 
A short time ago, responding in pain and anger, I sent an ugly email to a fellow Christian. Although I apologized within an hour of doing so, it wasn’t long before others became involved. This hit on one of my deepest fears—the one barrier left between full surrender.
 
My first reaction was self-protection.
 
 I wanted to retreat, to isolate. I told God this wasn’t part of our bargain and reminded Him of our initial conversation.  After a day of tears, Bible study, and prayer, God showed me a bigger work, exposing some heart-issues He wanted to deal with.  After addressing my sin, He directed me to Psalm 86 which talks about trusting in God, seeking help from Him, and learning His ways. My ways are to lash out, to withdraw, to isolate. He longs for humility, full surrender, and unhindered obedience. 
 
 
Psalm 86:2, 4-5, 11 “Protect me, for I am devoted to you.
Save me, for I serve you and trust you.
You are my God. … Give me happiness, O Lord,
for I give myself to you. O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help. … Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! … Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.”
 
Through this experience, I learned sin is painful and often has long-term effects. Had I practiced self-control instead of lashing out in anger, this ugly mess never would have occurred. And yet, once I confessed my sin and asked for forgiveness, God showed me yet again the depths of His grace. He then offered me an opportunity to rest in His grace or stay focused on my mistake.
 
We all have fears, sinful behaviors, and wounds that hinder our service. If not diligently and prayerfully fought against, they get in the way of our calling. We’re fallen people living in a fallen world among fallen humans. Paul faced judgment, Peter faced remorse, David faced shame, and Joseph faced betrayal. Yet, somehow they moved past these things and kept their eyes on their Creator. 
 
God calls me—us—to do the same, throwing off everything that hinders to run with perseverance the race mapped out for us. For me, that means surrendering to the call of writing, even if it means self-exposure. 
 
What about you? Is there anything holding you back from full surrender?
 
 
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
 
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
 
 
Intertwined:
Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn’t take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance….or is it? Could this be where life begins again?
 
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