In yesterday’s post, I shared how the discipline of “finding your happy heart [joy in spite of unwanted circumstance] and teachable spirit [willing surrender]” solidified a response to tragedy in our children that has helped them begin their navigation through the unknown passages of grief. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve had to “find MY happy heart” before the Lord over this difficult year!

*** Disclaimer: Crying is part of emotional release, and happens in, around, and throughout all that I am talking about in this post. Please don’t misunderstand me, and think that I am saying to cut off emotion. We have our emotions for needed release. What I am talking about is within the inner-posturing of the soul. Okay, now read on…

After yesterday’s post, I began to receive private messages from people asking me, “How?” and sharing with me the tragic loss that is bringing storm to this holiday season 2016.

Today, I tried really hard during some family pictures with the Shroyers to “smile with my eyes.” Our photo shoot with Mabyn the other day was sort of a personal and disastrous episode of “awkward family photos!”

You know you’re OFF when your kids are viewing the images with you and keep asking, “MOM! What’s wrong with your face!?! So last night, I was telling my sister-in-law, Cara, about it, and she laughed and said, “Let me see!”

I showed her through the images Mabyn had sent and watched Cara’s response turn to laughter, “Ummmm… when you told me what the kids said to you, I thought they were being rude, but Ami… [laughing]… what’s wrong with your face!?!”

So, for today’s family Thanksgiving pictures, I tried extra hard to smile from deep inside so that my eyes would show the joy…
It’s there. But…
::sigh:: you still can’t tell in a family photo!

Here’s the evidence. You don’t even have to look closely to see the not-normal-yet behind my eyes:

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Why am I showing you this?
What does this have to do with this new song???

I am showing this to give you a glimpse into the fact that I can have HOPE but still be living “in process.”

So, to answer the question, HOW? . . . I can try by sharing the inspiration behind this song:

SURRENDER.

Every day — and many times most days — I have to speak to my soul. These conversations are just as essential to me as they were to King David, and thankfully, many of his are recorded throughout the Psalms to give someone like me some hope. Within the soul, we give power to the mind [reasoning and imagination], the emotions [feelings], and the will [the command center for momentary choices and decisions]. I speak to my soul, and tell it to get in line — to surrender. I cannot allow woeful thoughts to overtake me, fears of the future to paralyze me, or present emoticoaster rides to rule me. I would collapse!

So, daily surrender is the absolute best response to the “How” question that I can offer.

I wrote this song out of those daily conversations. Each day, my fill-in-the-blank “for this reason _____” will vary, but the art of surrender is the same, and fills me with strength beyond my own — no matter the reason.

All to Jesus
I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In presence
I will live

I get stuck when I change that surrender to:

“some to Jesus, I surrender… But let me hold onto this… and this… and perhaps just a little or a whole lot of… this.”

No. The hands of my Savior are trustworthy, and I need my Rescuer/Superhero to reach in and save me from my inner-battles every. single. day. Tight hands and raised fists on my part bring me harm and are not real strength at all. I let go, and He holds me.

For this reason______, I surrender.

I absolutely LOVE the background vocal lines throughout this song. As you listen, I hope you will feel the waves of your inner-storm begin to ebb and flow into a gentle sway. In your surrender, Jesus has the opportunity to stand at the helm of your soul and raise His arms to the Heavens, commanding the wind and the waves to obey.

Peace. Be Still.

Let that be your over-riding thought as you choose to love and trust Him.
He will never tire, or grow weary of your asking. And you and I can surrender reason after reason, after reason… after reason.

Someday soon, I will be able to smile for family photos, even from behind my eyes.
It’s there.
It’s just taking more time than expected… to rise.

Full Song Lyrics

For This Reason I Kneel (I Surrender)

How do I keep from feeding this bitter root?
How do I not let my warm heart grow cold?
How do I keep the anger from consuming my soul?

How do I keep believing in what I cannot see?
How do I not let go of all hope?
How do I keep sorrow from taking me over, over?

For this reason I kneel
I lay me down
Every reason I have to hold on, I surrender
For this reason I kneel
Your will be done
You have a plan for Your glory
And I surrender

Now is the time for believing in what I cannot see
Now I will face tomorrow with hope
Now from my knees, I’ll arise, and I’ll keep letting go, oh

For this reason I kneel
I lay me down
Every reason I have to hold on, I surrender
For this reason I kneel
Your will be done
You have a plan for Your glory

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence I will live

For this reason I kneel
I lay me down
Every reason I have to hold on, I surrender
For this reason I kneel
Your will be done
You have a plan for Your glory
For this reason I kneel
I lay me down
Every reason I have to hold on, I surrender
For this reason I kneel
Your will be done
You have a plan for Your glory

You have a plan for my good
You have a plan for Your glory
And I surrender

Yes, I surrender