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Why Surrender Is The Secret Sauce of Recovery

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2022

Those of you that have followed us for a while know that I am a recovering control freak.

Control is something we all strive for to find security in our lives. For some, the pursuit of control is more overt. I happen to be in that category.

When I am in control, I feel secure, happy, and often hopeful. 

While being a control freak insinuates that at times I try to control things that I shouldn’t…there is a good side to this as well.

Concepts of autonomy, personal responsibility, ownership, etc., have marked the DeepClean philosophy (see chapter 2 of The Last Relapse if you want to learn more). 

Because the more control we are willing to take in our situation, the more influence we can have on the final outcome.

All of this is true, but it is also incomplete.

It was just a few short years ago in the fall of 2018 that I found myself in one of the hardest seasons of my life. My fiancée was sick and the doctors didn’t know why. And I had no money to pay for the accumulating medical bills. I had moved cities to take on a new job at a new church and was finding little to no fulfillment in the work.

I knew there was more for my life, and yet I couldn’t figure out why all of the “good stuff” felt so out of reach.

Our church hosted a conference in the winter, and I was desperate to see something change. I was starting to feel a call into the business world, but truthfully – I was terrified of that notion.

In one particular session, the pastor spoke a beautiful message about worshiping God in all circumstances, ceasing the challenges of life as opportunities to give God praise. After the talk, he led us through a ministry time where he urged us to surrender.

To lay down everything and anything that we were unrightfully attempting to control.

I fought it at first, but it didn’t take long before the dam burst.

My future marriage, my fiancée’s health, my finances, my work situation, my calling, and my contemplations – I laid all of it out on the line, tears streaming down my face as I let God all the way in.

And shortly after, I felt peace like I hadn’t felt in a long time. I had clarity on my next career moves (hence, DeepClean), and I felt confident that my fiancée and I were going to make it through engagement no matter what happened with her health.

This is not permission to abdicate responsibility. It’s not to negate the importance of ownership. But it is to say – these elements on their own are incomplete.

Our extreme responsibility and brute sense of ownership must be accompanied by steady surrender to God, understanding that some things are best left in His control, not ours.

Maybe you’ve done everything on your end to take control of your recovery and own your stuff, but there are a few parts that you haven’t fully surrendered yet.

There’s no time like the present.

If you have hit a wall or are finding it tough to gain breakthrough, surrender just might be the secret sauce missing from your solution.

Cheering you on,

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